Bruce Tate on Rails, Java, and Waterfall

eRubyCon - Bruce Tate | the Ruby on Rails Podcast

This interview with Bruce Tate helped open my eyes to a few things that I intuitively knew, but didn't actually string together into a single, coherent idea. The idea that companies who don't provide their customers with immediate feedback start alienating their customers is a given in the software industry (would you wait four hours for Excel to recalculate a spreadsheet every time you put in a number? How about four months for a serious bug correction?). Apply this to the current trend of outsourcing, where Bruce conjectures that the Waterfall Methodology is required (and we all know that Waterfall sucks), and you have a recipe for customers who feel neglected and withdrawn from the development process. That's not the best way to keep your customer relationships alive, whether you're working in a big company, or doing small consulting work on the side. The customer is vital to the relationship, and using languages and methodologies where the customer is drawn in at the beginning, and then made to wait until the project is completed is foolish.

Definitely worth a listen. You might not agree with Bruce at all levels (and Bruce has become quite the target in the Java community), but I think he has a message that is worth the listen.

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