I checked the date. It was two days too late to be an April 1st stunt. So then I read the article title again, to see if I was misreading it: Enough of Processes: Let’s Do Practices (Part I), by [tag]Ivar Jacobson[/tag]. Those who never had to work alongside an army of overpaid Rational Unified Process ([tag]RUP[/tag]) consultants may not be aware that this last great heavyweight process was the brainchild of Ivan Jacobson, Grady Booch and Jim Rumbaugh – collectively known as the Three Amigos.
Jacobson has been repositioning himself for some time now, admitting (to his credit) that RUP got too big. I admire people who can change their minds when presented with evidence that they were wrong. I also admire people who have the chutzpah to get back up after a fall, dust themselves off, and re-enter the fray. That’s exactly what Jacobson is doing with his new line in ‘[tag]EssUP[/tag]’ (Essential Unified Process), and this re-badging of Process as Practices. But while I’ll take my hat off to the guy, I don’t feel inclined to open any purse-strings.
If you read the above-linked essay, you will find Jacobson railing against the kind of problems that he and his Amigos helped to institutionalize. But be aware that too much irony in your diet can make you feel ill. The coining of terms like EssWork and The Problem of Denied Commonality would be hard enough to take – they’re made worse when they appear alongside complaints like this:
Everyone is looking for a silver bullet. People aren’t really interested in things that have proven their worth over time. They are just interested in what’s new and fashionable, even if it is the same old thing rebranded with trendy jargon and acronyms.
If this were written by anyone else, it would be merely banal. That it is written by Jacobson adds an edge of brazenness that should act like smelling salts for any slumbering sense of skepticism.
So why should we even be talking about Jacobson? Surely this is all good publicity for his latest wheeze? Well I think that this essay is providing us, the software development community – and especially architects and technical management – with an excellent opportunity. He is giving us the chance to demonstrate that we have learned something over the last 10 years. That we have grown up a little. That we don’t need to run around like a bunch of adolescent drama queens looking for meaning, wisdom and the Next Big Thing. That collectively we can recognize the goose-bumped bare backside of an emperor when we see it. That we can scan the contents of his essay, mentally bin it, and get back to work.