“The brilliant founders of these companies could certainly adjust to the new world: they are talented computer scientists who can learn anything, but the company they built can’t adjust because it has substituted a rulebook for talent, and rulebooks don’t adjust to new times.” – Joel Spolsky
“Beware of Methodologies. They are a great way to bring everyone up to a dismal, but passable, level of performance, but at the same time, they are aggravating to more talented people who chafe at the restrictions that are placed on them.” – Joel Spolsky
I wonder if this connects to self-disruption. Without methodology, consisting of defined and relatively painful and annoying rules, things like NASA simply wouldn’t function. Unexpectedly, the overall programmer happiness and quality was high. This might be because the people there have more in common with the attributes of the “founder” class than the rules followers.
One thing not to do is to adhere to methodology like a religion. It’s critical that it evolve over time, that it meet the needs of the team, and that one continuously evaluates the teams ability to achieve forward movement.
I’ve always found myself emplacing looser requirements here than you’d expect my classical training to have bred into me. Counter intuitively, software on which people’s lives rely must be more flexible and survivable than other types of code. As such, QA-based testing cycles, for example, have proven to be near useless as they are nearly always insufficiently broad.
It’s always be the deployment gates that have chaffed the most…