Friday, August 01, 2008

The Myth of the Interchangeable Programmer

The software development industry has a problem. According to this article in Datamation, the problem stems from two software management formulas (SMFs) that drive much of the industry:

  • Software Produced = Number of Workers x Hours Worked

  • Cost of Software = Number of Workers x Hours Worked x Hourly Cost Per Worker
At first glance, these equations might make sense. But, look again and you’ll see the problem: They use the assumption that all developers are interchangeable. Based on that assumption, logic dictates that quantity is better than quality, and low priced developers are always the best option.

Sound familiar? This is why companies use offshore developers.

In reality, all developers are not equal. The formulas fail to account for things like individual skill, work ethic, incorrect cultural assumptions, distractions, etc… Rather than answering project deadline problems with more developers, try to find ways to make your current developers more productive.

It’s not as hard as you might think. This company made their developers more productive and was able to meet a near impossible deadline despite being short a developer. Find out how they did it>>


Anonymous 8:34 PM  

The "Mythical Man Month" should be required reading for C-level MBA candidates.

Al Macintyre

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