Software Engineering for Everyone
Subject:   collegiality and accountability in software engineering
Date:   2001-04-05 11:21:37
From:   wlanderson1
This a terrific piece. The only negative feeling I had was when it ended. Seriously, I think the
issues touched on regarding collegiality and accountability can benefit from a more nuanced discussion.

I agree that feeling incompetent definitely gets in the way of doing good work. One reason for my procrastination is that experiences of learning are often embarrassing. But learning is extremely personal and we all have to deal with it, if we're to be good at it. If we understood and
admitted our resistance we could probably be more collegial and understanding of each other. We have created a culture in which admitting ignorance or our interdependence just isn't done. And we suffer for that.

I also think that the accountability element is deep. As much as it is about being able to have an accounting of how a system works I think it's also about being able to account for how a system fits into its environment of work and work practices. For me this is about having use cases and use scenarios that are grounded in actual work experience rather than in idealized work activities. If one watches any television these days you can't avoid the fantasies projected by
stock brokerage houses regarding how technology can help anyone be a master stock investor. <rant>And don't even get me started on depictions of people buying stock using their cell phone while they run from a meeting to a lunch date.</rant>