Software waste

Consider the plight of Microsoft and their rampant success that has also sown the seeds of their current woes. Also consider the plight of the BBC and their strange web platforms. And, I think we can start to see the inside of a very real recurring problem that date back at least to Fred Brooks Jr. and probably point back to problems that have plagued all engineering projects that require much management over-head.

Computers do a great job of covering up wasted labor. That's because they can crunch through stupidity like nobody's business. You have to wonder if management could actually see the product being built if they would take such a stance (both at Microsoft and at BBC).

It turns out that being insular in your development practices means you get to be "the old man on the mountain" and your shop turns into something quite unique... most of the time in a very bad way. The ideas of DRY, open source, and code reuse are ideas that we hold onto in the great wide community of developers to keep us from wandering down dead-end trails. The results of which are utter disasters unless you are Microsoft or the BBC which are both big enough to just absorb the loss.

My message to you is to get out there and get some of your sacred cows challenged. Learn how to defend your choices and your technical abilities or learn to change them. Do some open-source work. Stop making stupid rules to limit the creative talent you employ. Get out there and learn from others.