Scrum and Agile Development
Iinterested in agile development methodologies? Scrum is an increasingly popular process that is laser-focused on quality deliverables. Whether you're managing the IT function at a giant insurance company, developing firmware, or anything in between, you'd be well served checking out Scrum (and/or other Extreme-Programming related agile methods).
Scrum: an iterative, incremental process for developing software in chaotic environments. Scrum consists of a series of 30 day sprints, each sprint producing an executable. Between sprints, all interested parties evaluate progress and reevaluate technical and business requirements. Work is reestablished and the team enters into another sprint.
The pulse of Scrum is the key to its success … management determines what should be done prior to every sprint, their determination influenced by prior deliverables and requirements. During the sprint, the team is left alone and produces the best software possible : let in chaos, keep out chaos, let in chaos, keep out chaos, let in chaos, keep out chaos … etc....
Offshoring: The Root of the Problem
Excellent article and even better follow-up discussion regarding the ramifications of IT outsourcing.
I argued that outsourcing software posed other risks, because it essentially exports and helps nurture competition in the one area that is a key, strategic advantage for the U.S. and, to a lesser degree, Europe. Software IP is the key differentiator for our economies, a technology whose impact is pervasive. From the human genome project to Pixar's movies, software is the core technology that makes it work.
This drew baffled looks. "Programming is a commodity, grunt work," said the board member. "Software isn't different from the textile industry," the CEO said.
...Carol Bartz, long-time CEO of Autodesk, Inc. in San Rafel, Calif., defended her company's extensive offshoring of U.S. software jobs, chanting the same Corporate Darwinism dogma.
Then later in the interview, Bartz decried the lack of high-tech students at colleges. Even Homer Simpson would utter his trademark "Doh!" at that logical inconsistency. Bartz is cutting software jobs, is participating in the trend to cut pay for high-tech professionals, then wonders why enrollment in technical majors is declining. Only executives (and politicians) can be that hypocritical and self-serving with a straight face...
Original article and follow-up discussion