The TAGRI (They Aren't  Gonna Read It) Principle of Software Development

The requirements document that never got to the developers.  In the spring of 2005 I had the pleasure of visiting India.  While I was there I spent time at several organizations discussing with them how to become more agile.  Part way through the trip I spent some time with a gentleman who worked for an IT outsourcing service firm.  One aspect of his job was to take the large requirements documents provided by their American clients, which were typically hundreds of pages in length, and to summarize them down to something less than ten pages.  This summary was then provided to the development team, not the detailed requirements.  They did this because they discovered that no matter how well the documentation had been written the problem still remained that the documents were error prone, contradictory, and far too verbose.  This in turn led to the wrong software being developed.  Experience showed them that by giving the developers the overview document and then having them talk with the client on a regular basis, daily conference calls were common, that they could do a far better job.  In short, this CMMI level 4 firm discovered that a significant productivity improvement (SPI) strategy was to reduce requirements documentation, not increase it.  Granted, writing this document up front would hopefully have had the benefit that the client settled on a common vision.  However, they could still have achieved this same goal without having to write some much documentation (e.g. perhaps they should have just written the 10-page summary to begin with).

Citi’s Creator, Sandy Weill, Alone With His Regrets -

On that day, April 18, 2006, Citi’s share price was $48.48. After studying the photo for a few moments, Mr. Weill says quietly, “I thought the company was impregnable.”

He knows now, of course, that he was wrong.

Over the last two years, Mr. Weill has watched Citi — a company he built brick by brick during the final act of a 50-year career — nearly fall apart. Although every taxpayer in the country has paid for Citi’s outsize mistakes, for Mr. Weill the bank’s myriad woes are a commentary on his life’s work.


“The dream, the mirage has always been the global supermarket, but the reality is that it was a shopping mall,” says Chris Whalen, editor of The Institutional Risk Analyst, of Citi’s evolution over the last decade. “You can talk about synergies all day long. It never happened.”

US Patent Office tightens the screws on software patents

In its decision, the BPAI announced a new two-pronged test for determining whether an invention involving a mathematical algorithm would be eligible for patent protection. First, the invention must be "limited to a tangible practical application" and result "in a real-world use." Second, it must be "limited so as to not encompass substantially all practical applications of the mathematical algorithm" in all fields or even in "only one field.

The Best and the Worst Tech of the Decade - O'Reilly Radar

SOAP was a particularly egregious failure, because it was sold so heavily as the final solution to the interoperatibility problem. The catch, of course, was that no two vendors implemented the stack quite the same way, with the result that getting a .NET SOAP client to talk to a Java server could be a nightmare. Add in poorly spec'd out components such as web service security, and SOAP became useless in many cases. And the WSDL files that define SOAP endpoints are unreadable and impossible to generate by hand (well, not impossible, but unpleasant in the extreme.)

Yes, SOAP is at the TOP of the Worst list...

Customers are always right, except when they are wrong

We noticed once we added the $9 plan, we started getting more tech support requests. Customers who typically pay us $49 and $99 tend to have less questions and are usually more satisfied with our product. On the other hand, customers on the $9 plan tend to ask a more questions and generally aren’t as satisfied as the higher paying customers.

Essentially, you don't always make it up in volume...

Tech Decisions: Aggressive IT Spending Predicted for P&C Carriers

In looking at the top drivers for technology spending, Furtado reported business growth was cited as the top driver by 66 percent of respondents. This was followed by both business process optimization and cost containment/expense reduction, each of which was cited by 56 percent of respondents.

“These drivers reflect the need to strengthen processes and stay competitive,” said Furtado