How Is Agile Methodology Like Cholesterol?

by Nick Thursday, September 28, 2006 8:34 AM

To be honest, I'm still not quite sure exactly what "Agile Methodology" is.  I've read several books on the subject, and there are plenty of companies out there that like to think they use parts of it in their development process.  I say "parts" because they really just cherry pick the things that they thought they could sell to management without changing too much of their current process, yet still sound like they're on the cutting edge.  There are so many different versions of "Agile Methodology" out there, it's enough to make your head spin.  That's why this blog post is so damn funny:

Yeah. Well, they make money hand over fist, because of P.T. Barnum's Law, just like Scientology does. Can't really fault 'em. Some people are just dying to be parted with their cash. And their dignity.

The rest of us have all known that Agile Methodologies are stupid, by application of any of the following well-known laws of marketing:

- anything that calls itself a "Methodology" is stupid, on general principle.
- anything that requires "evangelists" and offers seminars, exists solely for the purpose of making money.
- anything that never mentions any competition or alternatives is dubiously self-serving.
- anything that does diagrams with hand-wavy math is stupid, on general principle.

And by "stupid", I mean it's "incredibly brilliant marketing targeted at stupid people."

Not only is Agile like cholesterol, it's also like Scientology and your local circus.  It's probably the most sensible look at Agile that I've read so far.  Via Joel on Software.

Update: And here is the response, from Coding Horror:

Rather than wasting time and effort on discriminating between "good" and "bad" Agile, we should be banding together in the name of Anything But Waterfall. The fact that some maladjusted developer or project manager could use Steve's well-written, reasonable sounding rant as a justification to keep their project in the dark ages of Waterfall and BDUF absolutely kills me. Who is the real enemy here?

Read the whole thing.

Reason #1 Why I Still Use MP3

by Nick Tuesday, September 19, 2006 9:51 AM

I am very proud of the fact that I do not have a single piece of DRM protected music on my computer.  Period.  I want to own my music, and be sure that if I buy a new device, it will play said music.  Period.  Here is a perfect example of why I do this:

In yesterday's announcement of the new Zune media player and Zune Marketplace, Microsoft (and many press reports) glossed over a remarkable misfeature that should demonstrate once and for all how DRM and the DMCA harm legitimate customers.

Microsoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right -- the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play on Microsoft's own device. Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent.

That's right.  Microsoft's own player won't even play music that has been protected by the DRM format they pushed.  From a business perspective, this is just stupid.  Microsoft has actually had a very strong history of backwards compatibility.  Windows is a great example of this commitment.  Why they're screwing their customers now, for really no good reason, is a complete mystery.

But more to the point... my faith in the MP3 format is once again justified.  Via Slashdot.

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Nick Schweitzer Nick Schweitzer
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I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit. ... Full Bio

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