Crafting software.

Game of code – a tale of Agility and Quality by Harald Storrle

Like many other academic disciplines, Software Engineering is a practical craft. Unlike medicine, law, or economics, however, Software Engineering is a fairly recent arrival on the scene. Its development is still explosive, and the impact is only starting to manifest itself in the public eye. We as representatives of this craft have a very special responsibility towards the general public, but first and foremost, it is our responsibility to do our job as best as we can, by the state of the art.

In this talk I want to explore what we – every one of us – can do to live up to this standard, despite pressures on us from all sides: impatient clients, economically pressed bosses, and colleagues not all of whom are always helpful. The good news is that it can be done, and that the tools and techniques are widely available to those willing to try. The bad news is that far too often, people get away cheating, cutting corners, and not paying back their (technical) debt. It is not a new story, many of the classic texts have already pointed out the issues decades ago (e.g., Mythical Man-Month, Peopleware, Quality is Free). One might say it is a well-known tale of agility and quality. You might also call it the game of code.

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