Saturday, 24 October 2015


Observations of the space at present. 

Tongue in cheek of course


I don't usually offer much opinion in what I do. I  sit on the fence alot, maybe I shouldn't . However, when I do, I try to base what I know on what I really know, not on what other people tell me I need to know.  I'm sure what I am observing has been commented on before, and maybe other people agree or not, but reading a post on Twitter and then using it as your own keen insight  or shallowly cited insight is more of an indication of your lack of ability instead of  just keeping schtum or just saying "I dont know", where more respect would probably be gained. 

The above practice seems to be rife in software development at the moment.  I'd be a hypocrite if I said I hadn't fallen into the trap, but - like a recovering alcoholic - I have realised the errors of my ways and I am standing up and saying my name is Colin and I am a twitosopher (at times)  and shallow citer (at times). 

Shallow Citing. (Shiting?) 

The practice of citing something when you don't really have the full picture of what it is you are citing and/or name dropping at the same time .  I have only really noticed  this recently, maybe its  a larger organisation based thing which has pervaded the rest of the industry or  just that people are more aspirational or deluded in the places I have worked recently.   

I work in enterprise development and the most cited things are the testing triangle and Fowler (as in Martin Fowler).  The Shiter often uses a cite to gain the upper hand in an argument.  I mean just what is there be said if someone who is the Oracle on a subject has said it, what can I - as mere mortal - offer in the way of comeback or alternative.  It can be the argument/debate ender -  I'd encourage it not to be and challenge the citation for all its worth.  People have with me and have seen me coming up short.   

Is this the same where everyone works?  Don't get me wrong, things are often correctly and relevantly cited but, dig a little deeper , and asking the person just what it is they are referring to can often prompt some hand-wringing awkwardness.

Again, I have been guilty of this and have been caught out red-handed one more than one occasion. I felt embarrassed and felt that there's an element of charlatanism at play,  and I came to the conclusion that unless I can confidently back up what I am citing, then don't cite it - unless a disclaimer of some sort is provided.   

So for all the pseudo intellectuals out there, most people have got your number, but it is entertaining to watch you in all of your pumped-up, self-important glory, so carry on shiting.