Hello everybody and welcome to my blog!
I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, and the new job that I have landed has turned out to be a good occasion to share with you all my experiences in the new and fascinating world of enterprise applications on .NET.
In this first post I feel I need to spend a few words on the blog’s banner saying “Chased by the Silver Bullet”. So, what does that mean?
You might have already heard about “No Silver Bullet”, one of the most famous papers ever written in the history of software engineering. The essay is included in one of my all-time favorite books: The Mythical Man Month, by Frederick P. Brooks.Written back in the mid ‘80s, the topics touched in this book are still relevant today, mainly because the author concentrates more on the human factors of software development than specific technologies.
Chapter 16 from this book is “No Silver Bullet – Essence and Accident in Software Engineering”. The central proposition is that
There is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order-of-magnitude improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity.
In other words, writing good software is hard, and most likely it will always be. There will always be projects which are late, requiring double resources and shipping half of the planned features. Irrespective of new technologies, languages, tools; we’ve all been there. Yes, new processes and platforms can make our life easier , but they affect only what Brooks describes as accidental aspects, not the essential ones which he identifies in the
specification, design and test of this conceptual construct [the software], not the labor of representing it and testing the fidelity of the representation […] Building software will always be hard. There is inherently no silver bullet.
You can find the complete paper here (pdf).
Aren’t we all as developers (and potential buyers of tools/courses/seminars/etc…) always chased by yet another silver bullet, or the new fad of the moment with its promise land where productivity blooms, deadlines are met, customer expectations are exceeded?
I believe that the very people developing the software will always matter more than anything else (I agree with the agile manifesto here). Hence the need to continuously improve, to learn new things every day and to share all those little discoveries within your network of coworkers and friends. That’s the reason behind this blog which I hope you’ll enjoy!