Sunday, July 29, 2007

Asshole-Driven Development on Berkun

Time for my weekly post on assholes in corporations, I guess; this is a few weeks behind, but I needed to space out the AH stuff, and I was busy.

Berkun posted an idle conversation starter on what he called "asshole-driven development" and the responses brought down his server. Then Lost Cog did some content analysis of the styles of development described by the comment thread. It seems to be going on and on. Some of the original categories identified:

  • Asshole Driven development (ADD) - Any team where the biggest jerk makes all the big decisions is asshole driven development.
  • Cognitive Dissonance development (CDD) - In any organization where there are two or more divergent beliefs on how software should be made.
  • Cover Your Ass Engineering (CYAE) - The driving force behind most individual efforts is to make sure than when the shit hits the fan, they are not to blame.
  • Development By Denial (DBD) - Everybody pretends there is a method for what’s being done, and that things are going ok, when in reality, things are a mess and the process is on the floor.
  • Get Me Promoted Methodology (GMPM) - People write code and design things to increase their visibility, satisfy their boss’s whims, and accelerate their path to a raise or the corner office no matter how far outside of stated goals their efforts go.

As some posters and Scott noted, bad development management may be subtypes of general Management Antipatterns, like "Death by Planning."

And I'd note that these techniques aren't limited to management of technical problems, but also exist in any other project context, in slightly different forms.

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