Consulting Software Engineer with Oxford Software Engineering, happy helping investigate and fix problems, sharing good practice, and learning more about how we make software. Currently chair of British Computer Society SPIN SG and member of UK Software Metrics
Association committee. Previously (and still, from time to time) a programmer. Has worked in atomic energy and power industries. Later a software engineer and quality engineer with Hewlett Packard then Racal Electronics. Before that a geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey, and astrophysicist.
The Software Project Considered Harmful
Software development work is generally organized as a project, increasingly an agile project, maybe not, but generally a 'project'. The project model is very familiar and the de facto organizational model for all sorts of technical work. And project working can call upon many powerful and effective resources to this development work.
A project can be the crucible for team creation, or the organizing principle that well established teams use to organize and manage their work. But the dominance of the project model may have serious effects on software development; stunting or damaging software, obstructing development activity and distorting the careers
of software developers. The dominance of the project as descriptor and model for organizing
software work is disscussed and the need for alternative descriptors proposed.