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Patterns of failure: how LucasArts fell apart

September 27, 2013 0 Comments
Patterns of failure: how LucasArts fell apart

Over at Kotaku, a Gawker Media web portal that covers computer games (a bigger industry than Hollywood, I might point out), Jason Schreier has an excellent article outlining the fall of LucasArts, once one of the most productive and successful video game companies around, but now no longer in existence. It is worth a careful […]

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$1 billion example of the Thermocline of Truth

September 9, 2013 4 Comments
$1 billion example of the Thermocline of Truth

In a post here last week, I made reference to what I call “the thermocline of truth.” The basic idea is simple: those in the trenches of a large project know how badly it’s going, while those at the top think everything’s fine; the level at which the ‘truth’ stops is somewhere in the middle. As […]

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Entrenchment of bad technology: the London Metropolitan Police Department

September 2, 2013 0 Comments
Entrenchment of bad technology: the London Metropolitan Police Department

Vernor Vinge, in several of his science fiction novels (such as A Fire upon the Deep), posits the existence of  “zones of thought” within the inner portion of our galaxy that place inherent limits on intelligence and technology — the further you get from the galaxy’s center, the greater intelligence and technology is possible. The […]

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The Gartner Hype Cycle (2013)

August 22, 2013 0 Comments
The Gartner Hype Cycle (2013)

Barry Ritholtz, over at the always-worth-reading The Big Picture, posts the latest “hype cycle” from Gartner and where current proposed/emerging/developing technologies stand. I wasn’t familiar with Gartner’s stages of hype (as shown along the bottom of the chart), but they’re very useful. The overall concept meshes well with an article I wrote back in 2009 for Baseline […]

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Why is software project estimation so often wrong?

July 11, 2013 1 Comment
Why is software project estimation so often wrong?

Thanks to Michael Swain (via a Facebook post), I ran across this explanation of why software projects are so often underestimated: Let’s take a hike on the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles to visit our friends in Newport Beach. I’ll whip out my map and draw our route down the coast: The line […]

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