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Thursday, December 09, 2004

This is why I love gaming..., STOP. Don't go away. Trust me, even if you have no interest. Just click this for puppies (!!!)

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Methodologies encourage rock stars to become compliance monkeys...

Got an interesting link from Rob the other day (Rob being Tech Lead guy on my team). One line stood out, being the rock god that I am (new guitar pedal - now I'm always a god!). Anyhow, the quote was...

"methodologies encourage rock stars to become compliance monkeys, and I need everyone on my team to be a rock star..."

This line initally struck me as brilliant. However, as time passed, I began using my guitar heritage (errr...if you've heard me play, then please keep quiet) and extensive knowledge of ROCK (seen "School of Rock", got book on air guitar - now at intermediate) to question this statement. You see, the thing I'm learning from playing guitar is that there are staple sets of chord changes, of riffs that are shared, of beats that are reused time and again (remember watching top of the pops many years ago, and someone mentioned in some music journo at the time that 16 of the top 20 used Led Zep drum rhythms). What makes a rock star is how they reuse this, tweak them, re-order them, add a little hammer-on there, an extra riff here. So, to be a rock man/lass takes hard graft and learning the building blocks of the trade. To be a rock star, you add something unique to this.
And its the same with software dev. The methodologies are the building blocks. You need to know these, understand them, be able to mix them up a bit and occasionaly add a little flourish of your own - just like a guitarist, building on solid foundations of previous generations but adding your own unique touch to make it special.

So, Joel ain't got it quite right in my mind. He was talking about those developers who use one methodology and stick to it through thick and thin, even when the audience (users) are pelting them with rotton fruit (they're the air guitarists - lots of action, but no actual result). To be a software rock star, you need to know all the methodologies, you mix them up, play around with them as the need arises, improvise a bit, and occassionally add a little new riff of your own.

So, come on ladies - throw us yer knickers - LETS ROCK!