The Nature of the Problem

The Nature of The Problem

It’s my proposition that the “software crisis“, some 50 years old now and still going strong, is a consequence of a widespread failure to grasp – or agree on – the nature of the problem that is “software development”.

Many have guessed at the nature of the problem. Many have created more or less convoluted solutions to the imagined problem. Many more have adopted these so-called solutions, having little idea themselves of the nature of the problem and thus little opportunity to evaluate the fitness of such solutions.

And no, I’m not saying that I have the answer to the nature of the problem. In fact, I’m not even going to pursue here what the nature of the problem is, or might be.

Meta-problem

This post is simply to ask: Have we, as an industry, understood the nature of the problem? Is the lack of such understanding, consensus, the real problem? Is there any mileage in building such shared understanding, such a consensus?

Or will we just go on each ploughing our own separate furrows? Each guessing at the nature of the problem, and each quixotically tilting at our various windmills, all the while taking money off of gullible folks who rely on us, to a greater or lesser extent, to identify the nature of the problem?

Is this the meta-problem? Our Gordian Knot?

– Bob

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