19 June 2007

The Myth of "Doing it Right the First Time"

In the programming world, it's a fact that nothing can be done right the first time, that includes the software embedded in the Patriot Missile Defense System. But I remembered way back '98 when one big IT company marketed it's crap using this slogan "doing right the first time" and some others followed suit selling the same snake oil with different labels. Unfortunately, in Singapore, some folks still believes in that fallacy. NOTHING CAN BE DONE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!!!

Why? Because every software project is unique. We haven't gone far enough in the way we write software now from the day NATO assembled the best minds in Garmisch in a Software Crisis conference. Software is abstract. Many have tried XP and other Agile methodologies but still failed and many have attempted all sorts of mixtures. And yet nothing can be done right the first time. Whoever concocted that doing-right-the-first-time campaign nine years ago, if he/she lived during the Three Kingdoms War, he/she could have been buried alive with his/her ass pointing skywards.

If we can do things right the first time, then how come there are still witches in the industry that makes up a lot of things? New methodologies, new frameworks, new platform, new languages but never really dealt with the real world issues developers are facing today. As long as there are believers of these witches that has the power to call the shots in their respective enclaves, things will always be the same.

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