RE: The software factory (was "Don't believe the hype?") (long)

Subject: RE: The software factory (was "Don't believe the hype?") (long)
From: Chris Despopoulos <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 09:19:23 -0800

I feel misunderstood. My point is that the *general* culture often moves in ways that don't correspond with your individual values or preferences. I can give you a long list of examples... I think anthropology refers to it as cultural drift - similar to genetic drift - especially when your individual values correspond to the stated cultural values. A clear example... We want a just world, but we use spies to asssasinate perceived enemies without a trial. While the general values match the specific values, the means do not. This shouldn't seem unusual to you, and to absorb this sort of conflict, the culture has to flex. The result of this, as well as genetic drift, or any other evolutionary process, is that the "best" is not always the most successful. And the "best" or even the most successful can indeed squeeze themselves out of the competition.
To get on topic, what I see is a trend toward offshoring into these "turnkey" shops where everything is set up, but offshore. The personal problem I see is that the individual contractor gets squeezed out of the competition because he isn't a member of one of these shops - he falls out of the category du jour. To the degree that this is a popular, cultural movement, and not one based on open and flexible reasoning, there's little an individual can do about it except wait for the wave to pass, or appeal to the turnkey shops to buy his services. My personal input has not caused companies to go to offshoring, nor will it convince them to stop.
As for the value of what you or I produce, I completely agree with you. Sure, I have made mistakes. But I have always done my best, and I often produce better than expectations. I won't say I always do - I have taken risks, and sometimes they don't pan out. I believe that's to be expected... Risk-takers need not apply.

Personally, I'm not always an optimist. Look at=20
our presidents, the products we buy, the movies=20
we produce, the food we eat, the dominant OS... =20
As a culture we're *driven* to achieve mediocrity. =20

My culture isn't and personal satisfaction DOES have everything to do
with it. I cannot control any of the things you itemized, so I don't
bang my head on the wall trying. I can only control my little piece of
the world and that by doing what I do how I do it, I sleep at night, I
walk the hallways with my head up, and I'm never ashamed to place my
name on anything for which I'm responsible.

Anything I produce may not be perfect, but it's always better than they


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