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March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
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Friday, June 08, 2007

"The SDLC"

There's been some great discussion on software-testing yahoo group lately.

Here's the latest post, by Jeff Fry, quoting myself and Ben Simo:

Ben Simo wrote:
I view the all-too-common resume claims like "full understanding of the SDLC" to be a sign of a lack of experience.

Matt Heusser Replies:
(huge, error-prone heuristic warning here) I find that people who talk in terms like "The Software Development Life Cycle" (SDLC) are talking in models and abstractions they use to make things seem easier.
When someone is all "SDLC this, SDLC that", my warning flags go up.

I much prefer people who talk about what actually happens on real software projects with concrete examples.

Much like Ben says, but I'd go futher: There is a difference between the abstraction and reality. A lot of my work is exposing that difference and helping people deal with it. If someone doesn't seem to grok that difference ...

And Jeff Finally Closes:
This reminds me of one of my favorite Dietrich Dorner quotes (Logic of
Failure, p 55):

By labeling a bundle of problems with a single conceptual label, we make dealing with that problem easier - provided we're not interested in solving it. Phrases like "urgently needed measures for combating unemployment" roll easily off the tongue if we don't have to /do /anything about unemployment. A simple label can't make the complex nature of a problem go away, but it can so obscure complexity that we lose sight of it. And that, of course, we find a great relief.


Ben Simo said...

That Dietrich Dorner quote provided by Jeff is priceless. If only we could solve problems by labeling them to make them seem simpler than they are.

Ben Simo

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the resume writing front is a tricky one. It really depends on whom you're submitting your cv to.

If you're going with a specialist recruiter, or submitting directly to someone you know has the technical nous to understand what you would prefer to write, then jolly good.

If on the other hand, you're going with a recruiter that doesn't understand your field (then you should probably be more judicious about whom you give your resume to), then adding the wankwords that you know they'll be skimming for is somewhat inevitable.

If I'm not sure of the techie ability of my audience, I might put something like 'understands various incarnations of the SDLC' in the hope that a) the necessary wankword is there and b) anyone who has a dubious view of said word can deduce that I probably have a similar view.

That said, I haven't had to do much job hunting in the last five years, so ymmv :)

James Christie said...

"Any form of life cycle is a project management structure imposed on system development. To contend that any life cycle scheme, even with variations, can be applied to all system development is either to fly in the face of reality or to assume a life cycle so rudimentary as to be vacuous."
McCracken & Jackson, way back in 1982. I've always loved that quote.