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August 6, 2010

Getting better by the day

What does this mean really ? Dont people / companies generally claim they are the BEST ? Why are we falling short of calling ourselves the best ?

Well – with due respect to all those who call them the BEST – Software Industry is still maturing. What we learnt in school about the Waterfall method and SDLC lifecylce does not hold true any longer ? AGILE , SCRUM , XP are the new Mantras ? How can we claim ourselves to be the best in AGILE – when it is still being integrated into our projects ?

C, C++ were the languages we grew up with , VB , PB , Visual Foxpro were what we romanced and now PHP , RUBY , PYTHON are what are giving us our bread and butter . So how can we claim that we have so many man years of development experience with PHP – when all the frameworks written for PHP development are still being released with latest and greatest features every six months or so? SYMFONY 2.0 for example will be released sometime in 2011 – how can we then claim we are the BEST in SYMFONY ? Practice makes one perfect – but being the BEST you have to practice a thousand times to make those tall claims.

Phew – Software development is not an easy makeshift industry to be in. Constant learning process , dedication and hard work still dont make you the BEST – they can only make you better. Didnt we learn a few years ago that design , code and test were the three phases of development ? Then when Test Driven Development becomes a necessity we simply follow it – after all these processes are set by mature professionals who have proven records and recorded data to assure us that these are better.

CMM level certifications , ISO certifications , 6 SIGMA certifications are definitely great – they ensure that your company follows specific industry standards . But what happens when those Industry Standards change ? You have to constantly learn – that is the mantra we all need to follow. Practice and penance are what made Yoga and Ayurveda such powerful institutions that even after thousand years people are still following them – without changing the standards. But did they evolve in a mere 30 years (assuming the SOFTWARE INDUSTRY is 30 years of age ) ? No – guess not – it probably took a 100 years of constant evolution and deep practice to achieve the perfection levels. So what’s the rush ? Why the mad hurry in calling ourselves the BEST ?

Better still – it is good to be better at a certain technology than be good in all. Our focus is on web development – and more specifically Open Source Web Development – that covers – PHP , PYTHON , RUBY and JAVA. We can safely cross the finish line with a BETTER THAN OTHERS in Open Source Web Development and still be extremely happy with our achievements.

Written by : Aditi Dixit (aditi@siddhatech.com)