Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Nov 6, 2005 12:41am

less is crap

What's with the glorified self-balkanization of software?

I'm in Poland, running through my feeds for the first time in a week. Half the stuff I'm reading from Paul Graham, 37 Signals and a million others is undigested "less is more" zen-of-development hoo-hah. It may just be that I'm tired and jetlagged and supposed to be sleeping, but this stuff is majorly rubbing me the wrong way. It's like job #1 for all these guys is gleefully cutting down their workload by proclaiming philosophical opposition to planning, preparation, or listening to their users. I realize this is a great way to get a wee startup out the door, but the approach has no apparent respect for software with more than ten users and developers. Some jobs, like disaster relief or administering a country or designing a car are big by nature. I'll never forget our two visits to BMW's design & engineering center in 2004 and 2003, when I witnessed for the first time a large, highly synchronized operation manned by hyper-competent individuals acting synchronously towards a central goal. It was poetry in motion, a sad counterpoint to the incompetent bumblefuckery of FEMA and other federal agencies botching wars and rescues.

The real problems of the 21st century are worlds-apart from the American business press' sudden obsession with autonomous smallness, agile and open source software. I'm curious to see the focus of small, distributed teams pointed at big problems with inherently big solutions.


Sorry, no new comments on old posts.

September 2018
Su M Tu W Th F Sa

Recent Entries

  1. planscore: a project to score gerrymandered district plans
  2. blog all dog-eared pages: human transit
  3. the levity of serverlessness
  4. three open data projects: openstreetmap, openaddresses, and who’s on first
  5. building up redistricting data for North Carolina
  6. district plans by the hundredweight
  7. baby steps towards measuring the efficiency gap
  8. things I’ve recently learned about legislative redistricting
  9. oh no
  10. landsat satellite imagery is easy to use
  11. openstreetmap: robots, crisis, and craft mappers
  12. quoted in the news
  13. dockering address data
  14. blog all dog-eared pages: the best and the brightest
  15. five-minute geocoder for openaddresses
  16. notes on debian packaging for ubuntu
  17. guyana trip report
  18. openaddresses population comparison
  19. blog all oft-played tracks VII
  20. week 1,984: back to the map