Composing and Improvising: the Art of Software Development

An illustration to convey composition and innovation in software development

In the early years of Art+Logic, my wife and I liked to visit a small inn in Palm Springs called Villa Royale. It was lovely. Each room was decorated in a different European country theme. The proprietors traveled frequently and brought back regional artifacts to lend authenticity to the room designs. It was a relaxed and creative space — especially the small pool at the back of the property with its odd shape and faux antique fountain. This was before we had children, so we had lots of hours to while away. I spent many of them pacing around that pool and sketching out my vision for how Art+Logic should work. How would we recruit developers? How would we keep track of our time? How would we bill our clients? (more…)

Can I Hold you to That?

Project Management Cartoon

I came across two articles over the past few days, both of which resonated with me, but neither of which filled me with much hope for a resolution to the problem they addressed.

Ron Jeffries‘ article, Estimation is Evil: Overcoming the Estimation Obsession, enumerates some well-known issues with how software estimates are interpreted and the problems they cause. His suggestion is to forego estimation, start building software, and come to a go/no-go decision after a couple of iteration cycles.