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Why Your Users Hate Agile

Capt. Skinny Re:doesn't work (597 comments)

By contrast waterfall forces most decisions to be made blindly, all but ensuring they will be very wrong, and only discovered after its much, much too late to do anything about it.

They've been doing it in civil and mechanical engineering for decades. That's what plans are for. They're cheap to change before you start building something. If your clients can't discover that you are going about it wrong, then you didn't give them sufficient planning documents. Try walking into a commercial building under construction and telling the engineers you hired that -- oops -- you want 12 foot ceilings instead of 8 foot ceilings, but you didn't realize that until you actually saw the building. Without hesitation, the engineering firm will whip out the spec that you signed and say, "well, that's not what you agreed to."

All Agile does is hide the true cost of allowing design changes at arbitrary points in the process. Whether with waterfall or Agile, changes are expensive. With waterfall, when you properly manage expectations and thus don't have to deal with significant changes, you know exactly what is required throughout the project -- redundancies, opportunities for abstraction, and overall design efficiencies are evident from the beginning -- so you save on cost AND build things efficiently. With Agile, on the other hand, those extra costs are already built in and unavoidable. You're never looking at the big picture, so design efficiencies are not always evident until part of the work has been done. The iterative builds and deployments take up valuable coding time. So even you DO properly manage expectations with Agile and don't keep chasing your tail with changes, the cost will be far greater, and the efficiency much lower, when all is said and done.

about a year ago

Oculus VR Co-founder Andrew Reisse Killed In Auto Collision

Capt. Skinny Re:FTA (302 comments)

a lot of opportunity to travel by bicycle instead of car, but again - many of you just don't want to

I'm one of them. I'm lucky enough to work only a few miles from my house, but not everyone wants to arrive at work drenched in sweat, soaked by rain or snow, or with frostbite. I'll postpone the bike ride until after I get home, on a nice day, when I don't have to maintain a professional appearance at my destination.

These anti-car people have an awfully narrow view of the world, insisting that their favorite niche mode of transportation will work for everyone. The ones in Europe assume that efficient, accessible public transportation is ubiquitous. The ones in American cities don't realize that some people actually have reason to leave the city. The ones advocating bikes assume that the weather is fair, the commute is short, and people can show up to work smelling like they just came from the gym.

Give me a viable alternative to a car that meets my needs without causing congestion and I'll consider it. But don't assume that what works for your personal circumstances will work for everyone.

about a year ago

Amazon, Google and Apple Won't Need To Pay Tax, Despite Goverment Threats

Capt. Skinny Re:You voted them into office, now suck it up. (327 comments)

But.. but... but... I thought the US was the center of the world??? Isn't /everything/ about the US unless explicitly declared otherwise???


about a year ago

Amazon, Google and Apple Won't Need To Pay Tax, Despite Goverment Threats

Capt. Skinny Re:Remind me,,, (327 comments)

It would be nice to see the IRS threatened mafia-style for gouging the rich just "because they can afford it." I'm sure the poorest of the poor would consider the middle class as being able to afford a near-40% marginal tax rate on their earnings, because relative to them, the middle class is "rich." But the middle class would beg to differ, and would argue that millionaires should pay huge tax bills. They fail to recognize the hypocrisy in taking that position.

about a year ago

A Sea Story: the Wreck of the Replica HMS Bounty

Capt. Skinny Re:Safest at sea? (184 comments)

I frequently come across the maxim that the safest place for a ship to be during a storm is at sea... where, presumably, you can sail away from or around danger

I'm sure the safest place to be during an bank robbery is outside and down the road, but I'm probably not going to run past the guy with the gun to get there.

about a year and a half ago

Eric Schmidt To Sell Up To 42% of Stake In Google

Capt. Skinny Re:Capitalism is failing (183 comments)

It is time for the workers, lead by their Leninist vanguard party, to smash the rule of the bourgeois parasites and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat, opening the road to socialism.

Yes, let's replace those who have skill and initiative with those who are unwilling or unable to make their own way in the world. I've always found it quite ironic that the "proletariat" has such disdain for the capitalists upon whom they depend to make their living.

about a year and a half ago

New Threadlike Carbon Nanotube Fiber Unveiled

Capt. Skinny Re:Make a white suit out of it (171 comments)

I'm suddenly reminded of Mr. Gradgrind speaking to schoolchildren in Dickens' Hard Times. "You don't find that foreign birds and butterflies come and perch upon your crockery; you cannot be permitted to to paint foreign birds and butterflies upon your crockery. You never meet with quadrupeds going up and down walls; you must not have quadrupeds represented upon walls."

about a year and a half ago

New Threadlike Carbon Nanotube Fiber Unveiled

Capt. Skinny Re:Make a white suit out of it (171 comments)

the vanity of people is such that if some fibre allowed permanently enduring clothes they would still want new ones

Vanity? Am I vain because I moved to another city? Or rearranged my furniture? Or painted my house a different color? Sometimes people just want a change.

about a year and a half ago

TSA Says Screening Drinks Purchased Inside Airport Terminal Is Nothing New

Capt. Skinny Re:non-toxic? (427 comments)

Nor does TSA need to let you on your flight. There's nothing to stop them from questioning you for four hours when you don't bring an ID.

about 2 years ago

Knocking Infected PCs Off the Internet

Capt. Skinny Re:Not just infected PCs... (206 comments)

The Native Americans believed land couldn't be owned. It's a fine ideal. But the other guys had guns, and it didn't matter who was right, only who was left.

That's a pretty compelling case for accepting the idea of intellectual property. If the good guys don't assert ownership and control then the bad guys certainly will. The thing is, not everyone agrees on who the good guys are...

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Options For FOSS Remote Support Software?

Capt. Skinny Re:Or, ssh? (247 comments)

Do you really think someone is going to intercept the screen drawing compressed bitmap traffic during some ad-hoc session?

While we're at it, let's forgo backups. Do you really think a hard drive is going to die? And insurance. What are the chances your house will burn down? And seat belts. And safety harnesses. Because if it's not likely, it's not worth the trouble of protecting against, right?

about 2 years ago

The Panic Over Fukushima

Capt. Skinny Re:Right...just change the "acceptable level"! (536 comments)

The 'hot spots' in Japan that frightened many people showed radiation at the level of .1 rem, a number quite small compared with the average excess dose that people happily live with in Denver. What explains the disparity?

I think you can not compare radiation that easily

Exactly. There's a time component left out of the 0.1 rem figure. I probably took Tylenol every week last year. 400 milligrams per dose * 52 weeks = 20,800 mg. That doesn't mean I'd take 104 Tylenol in a day.

about 2 years ago

Police Don't Need a Warrant To Track Your Disposable Cellphone

Capt. Skinny Re:Look at it this way... (312 comments)

Some do, apparently. See

The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I.

more than 2 years ago

JPMorgan Chase Spends $500 Million On a Data Center

Capt. Skinny Re:Line Item (275 comments)

How many new substantial business ventures do you think got off the ground or went public in the last several decades without a loan? I'm talking about those large enough to have a national or even regional impact. Many businesses that provide the products we now use in our daily lives and the profits we have in our retirement portfolios simply wouldn't exist without bankers extending the loans. Whether the bankers benefit themselves or not is irrelevant (I can anticipate someone making the point that they were motivated by their own profit) -- the point is that these successful businesses are considered "good things" by a large segment of the population.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Billionaire Wants To Build Jurassic Park-Style Resort

Capt. Skinny Re:Awesome! (409 comments)

Rei didn't suggest that the kind of person Crichton is has anything to do with whether he's right. He suggested it has something to do with whether his statements are worthy of debate.

more than 2 years ago

Managing Human Workers With an Algorithm

Capt. Skinny Re:Hooray for Globalization (186 comments)

There's no meaningful reason to do this other than corporate profits.

Well, that is why people go into business.

more than 2 years ago

How Intuit Manages 10 Million Lines of Code

Capt. Skinny Re:If it takes 20 million lines of code (304 comments)

I'd be willing to bet... that a competent group of people could implement QB in under a quarter of the lines of code

Agreed. But then the business aspect comes into play: can they market it well enough to displace the market leader? There's plenty of crap out there that makes money despite the fact that better options exist. If it was as easy as just competent programming, someone would have done it already.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Invites Hackers To Attack Its Network

Capt. Skinny Re:Fairly cynical view... (157 comments)

Agreed. This won't cause black hats to have a change of heart, but it will bring more white hats to the table by giving them more of an incentive.

more than 2 years ago


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