Theory P and Theory D

Tim Bray Reginald Braithwaite has written a VERY GOOD blog post on the two dominant modes of software development in the industry, with much to grin about and much to cry about when you recognize the different traits described of both Theory D adherents and Theory P adherents.

Some choice favorites:

“Theory D managers often “game” their workers by “negotiating” estimates downward in a cruel game of “guess the estimate I’m think of.”


Theory P adherents believe that there are lies, damned lies, and software development estimates.


Theory P adherents believe that the most important element of successful software development is learning.


Theory D adherents believe that the most important element of successful software development is planning.



Which one are you?

  • http://blog.gueck.com/ Mikael Gueck

    It’s not Tim Bray, it’s Reginald Braithwaite, and the article is the kind of typical oversimplification that I’ve come to expect from that guy.

  • http://blog.james-carr.org James Carr

    Fixed. I picked the link up off a mailing list email someone had sent, which preceded the link with “via Tim Bray’s blog.” Just to add to my confusion I suppose. ;)

    Thanks,
    James

  • http://weblog.raganwald.com Reg Braithwaite

    I agree that the linked post is typical of “that guy.”

    Any post about the beliefs and behaviours of humans in a social setting is necessarily a simplification. The point of such simplification sis to provide useful strategies for making our own choices.

    Some simplifications are oversimplifications: they ignore crucial elements that are necessary to understand in order to make good choices.

    I encourage everyone who believes the linked post is an “oversimplification” to elaborate, to correct, to provide critical feedback. This would be helpful for everyone. To simply say that it is an oversimplification… can I say it oversimplifies a critique?