Time is a River, After All

I for one am really glad to see that the old waterfall approach is making a comeback.
I did quite a few projects using this approach and some of them succeeded.
Before that we just started writing code – kind of a “code first” approach.
Putting some structure around it really helped. Although I have to say those people who used to give us all those requirements didn’t really seem to know what they were talking about.
But then it was great fun to argue for a year or two about the design before starting to code – you wanted to get it right before starting, you know. It was a lot better than just coding up some stuff and having to change it all later.
Who were these people anyway, though, who always said the code isn’t right and has to be changed? It wasn’t their code. No. So how did they know? The best thing would be to just trust the coders. If they want to add something, or change something, no problem. After all it is their code. Or somebody’s.
Yes, life before the waterfall was definitely not so easy, and that’s why it’s great it’s coming back now. I always knew this agile stuff would die down someday, just like object orientation.
Sometimes I still miss the good old days. Like Steamboat Willie or the African Queen just sailing straight ahead, never looking to see what’s around the bend.

7 responses to “Time is a River, After All

  1. Hey Eric,
    I’ve found just the conference for you!

  2. D’Oh! RTFA….
    “If Today’s the Ship Date, I Must Be Done Testing.” – pure gold.

  3. Eric,
    it seems to me that there are endless debates in the IT arena, like OO vs Procedural, Agile vs Sequential methodologies, Java vs C++. As usual there is no “silver bullet”. Everything is in the wise people’s hands. A good methodologist whould apply the right metodology for the particular project as a software architect should apply the right set of architectural pattern of the particular system, the right language, ecc.
    The reality, IMHO, is that software engineering is much closer to medecine than an exact science and most of the knowledge is just empirical and give the software engineer a great deal of freedom and responsibility. This is what makes this job so fascinating !

  4. Yes, I absolutely agree. Another good analogy is carpentry, with many tools in the toolbox that can be used. You can accomplish the same task using different tools.
    I got the link to the Waterfall Conference site from Oisin Hurley, and after reading it I couldn’t resist posting something. In my early days we did a lot of waterfall projects and it was usually pretty painful.
    We’ve been using agile methods at IONA for 4-5 years now, and I supervised their introduction into the former Netfish development team basck in 2001. We had Kent Beck come out and train us and everything.
    I actually think the agile methods, especially test first, are a big step forward, but I also completely agree that no methodology is perfect and you have to adapt it for the task at hand.
    But the Waterfall Conference site is so funny, I wanted to contribute somehow…

  5. I am not the same Eric Newcomer as the author of this blog. This is probably the one of the few non technology related comments on your blog. I just think its amusing that there’s another Eric Newcomer. I would like you to know that you have pushed any mention of me back to the 6th page of google. Thats about it. I also find it interesting that I cannot understand what you do exactly.

  6. I just read over my last comment. I find it amusing that I say that my comment is not related to technology and then I comment how you pushed me back to the 6th page of google. But yeah whatever its impossible to avoid talking about the internet. Now I am just some rambling teenager on your blog.

  7. Well, welcome Eric!
    I found another one:
    Looks like a sophomore in high school at Ohio.
    And here’s another one, listed as a contributor to a documentary productions organization:
    I also know there’s another Eric Newcomer in New York somewhere because Hilton Hotels finds him whenever I forget my HHonors number and they have to try to look it up using my name.
    I was born in Connecticut but my father and grandfather were from Seattle. My grandfather said his father was from Kansas, and before that he thought he was Pennslyvania Dutch, which would make the name Swiss German I guess.
    As for what I do – well, I guess you could say I try to help promote the application of computer technology to business.
    Thanks for stopping by and good luck with school!