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“The Real Software Crisis” [BYTE Magazine, January 1996]

September 13, 2013 2 Comments
“The Real Software Crisis” [BYTE Magazine, January 1996]

[This commentary of mine, published in the January 1996 edition of BYTE Magazine (p. 218), used to be available on-line at BYTE.com, but no longer is, so I’ve re-posted it here. In the 17 years since I wrote it, I’ve seen nothing to change my mind.] The shortage of top-notch programmers threatens to become the […]

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Book review: “Why New Systems Fail”

July 15, 2009 0 Comments
Book review: “Why New Systems Fail”

My review of Why New Systems Fail by Phil Simon is now up on Slashdot. Here’s the opening paragraph: Over the last forty years, a small set of classic works on risks and pitfalls in software engineering and IT project management have been published and remained in print. The authors are well known, or should […]

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Is IT work true engineering or just plumbing?

November 18, 2008 8 Comments
Is IT work true engineering or just plumbing?

And I mean no disrespect to plumbers for that comment. Many states require plumbers to be licensed, unlike software engineers. I was reading the comment thread to this Slashdot post on the declining percentage of women studying computer science. All the explanations you would expect are offered, with a fair amount of point and counterpoint. […]

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The engineering shortage: Japan

May 17, 2008 1 Comment
The engineering shortage: Japan

Today’s New York Times reports that Japan is “running out of engineers“: After years of fretting over coming shortages, the country is actually facing a dwindling number of young people entering engineering and technology-related fields. Universities call it “rikei banare,” or “flight from science.” The decline is growing so drastic that industry has begun advertising […]

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The Dead Sea Effect: why would IT engineers leave Google?

May 5, 2008 4 Comments
The Dead Sea Effect: why would IT engineers leave Google?

In my post on the “Dead Sea Effect“, I talk about why the overall quality of personnel in large corporate and government IT shops declines over time (short answer: the great IT engineers leave for greener pastures, the not-so-great ones stay and entrench). So, why would IT engineers leave one of the most highly regarded, […]

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