A Weekly (at least) Newsletter on Software Development
The Dream of Avoiding Failure
We all dream of working on software projects that make a difference but all too often the apps barely even run.
Over budget and buggy, we’re lucky if the services address even a part of the problem they’re supposed to.
Everything keeps changing, it feels like we’re constantly chasing after a moving landscape—Red Queen style. We dream of stability.
But There is No Stability
New frameworks appear daily.
New platforms keep getting released that are said to be better than the existing ones in every way.
Older frameworks keep adding features and changing old ones in a constant search for perfection.
New libraries get made to solve old problems in better ways.
Progress is constant—an unrelenting weight on everything we do.
Everything keeps getting better but our endless chase after these improvements leads to bugs, delays, and burnout.
Stability is Something We Create
We work within a software development community using a variety of systems. We choose the systems.We choose how to change them.
What we need is to be thoughtful about it because, if those innovations are truly innovative, they’ll still be there a few months down the line.
The Out of the Software Crisis Newsletter aims to be your guide to a more systemic perspective on software development. It isn’t trying to sell you a specific system. There are many and most of them work. It isn’t trying to sell you a single platform or language (though, I am a web developer, so most of my examples will be from that world). It will help you think critically about established practices and sceptically about the new.
Modern software development is mostly broken: it comes unassembled out of the box and we need to figure out how to assemble it.
I can’t tell you exactly how to assemble your particular software development system, but I can help you find the questions to ask so that you can discover it yourself.
The Bonus Essays
Join the newsletter and get access to a PDF of three bonus essays from the book, Out of the Software Crisis:
The Collapse of Complex Companies, on the risks of layoffs for large software companies (2750 words).
Failure demand: when mistakes improve your metrics (970 words).
Disruptive Innovations: Clayton Christensen’s mistake, which also happens to be a mistake the rest of us keep committing as well (950 words).