What Snake Oil Is Your Organization Buying Today?

James Coplien, Nordija A/S

As always, the snake oil bandwagons are circling your organization. But unlike snake oil, a purported health supplement of old, modern organizations bet their success on technologies with often equally dubious claims. Did your organization jump on the CORBA bandwagon? It's now dead. How about outsourcing? Have you discovered all the hidden costs and quality problems yet? Perhaps you were mesmerized by Extreme Programming-a fading religion that once had many believers but few actual practitioners. There are many other software religions with many practitioners but few real believers. Do you use sound business judgment in choosing your technologies and methodologies? Or do you choose it because you heard an impassioned presentation by a noted expert? Ungrounded choices based on testimonials place us squarely back in the days when snake oil salesmen crisscrossed the land. Today’s bandwagons include CMMI®, AJAX, RUP, SOA, and Agile. Will they advance our industry? How can you know? Jim Coplien believes our industry advances through effective systems thinking, introspection, good decisions, hard work, courage, and initiative. Jim endorses these old fashioned basics and challenges you to use them in making your technology decisions.

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