Monday, January 30, 2006

A bit of explanation

Why is this blog called "Ninja Software Development", you may ask?
(Well, you might ask. Someone might. Ok, nobody would, but I'm going to explain it anyway)

It's not from a fannish infatuation with the Ninja as super-stealthy assassins, or an anime fixation. The key elements that I wished to convey were the secrecy of the ninja, and their resistance to a stronger force. The forces of business are arrayed against the development of good software, and the developers need to work behind the scenes to counter the greater army.

A colleague of mine once commented that it was a sad state of affairs when developers had to resort to skunkworks methods to improve software quality. He was right, in that the business risk management practices often require the reduction of change, which mean that quality changes will be delayed, and the business case of quality improvements is hard to make. And that, given the current business climate of making the numbers for the current quarter, means that nobody wants to spend time developing things with no new features. So the only way to improve software quality is to do so stealthily, since process improvements are equally difficult to make a business case for these days. Refactoring is done as part of a new feature; algorithmic changes are slipped in as a bug fix. And thus are we able to keep entropy at bay.

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