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Software development from classical, jazz and karaoke to heavy metal

Software application development comes in many flavours, or as we often like to call them ‘methodologies’. There are different styles to suit different people for different reasons – and that’s a lot like music isn’t it?

Software application development comes in many flavours, or as we often like to call them ‘methodologies’. There are different styles to suit different people for different reasons – and that’s a lot like music isn’t it?

It’s perhaps no surprise that I saw this idea take shape at the oh-so-cross-platform Qt Developer Days conference that I was at last week. Once again bowing deference to the man who postulated this idea, Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri, I thought this was a really cool analogy to draw. Let me explain and expand upon the idea…

CLASSICAL: In the world of music this is where we see structure and design being carried out by professional composers and execution (or playing) being undertaken by virtuosos. In software application development, this is an environment such as structured or procedural programming with top down design.

JAZZ: In music, once again this is professionally composed content that adheres to laid down principles for what works and what does not. But, it is open to freeform contribution from a community of others. Open source anyone?

MOBY: Well, not just Moby, but mashups… now surely I don’t need to explain this one at all right?

KARAOKE: Could this be hobbyist programmers playing around with professional tools to get used to the look and feel of how things work?

THRASH METAL: Extreme programming perhaps?

ELECTROPOP: Autonomic self healing computer systems come to mind, both CA and IBM talk volubly on this issue and there are some nice parallels with the human body’s own autonomic nervous system.

HEAVY METAL HAIR BANDS: Simply put, according to Gualtieri, this was the dot com era. Everybody was doing stuff, nobody was too sure what was going on, but we had a lot of fun (and he really did play Mötley Crue).

GUITAR HERO: There’s a serious point to be made here, this is once again a reference to my blog earlier this week on user-created applications. Putting dumbed down professional power in the hands of average users is never a good thing whether it’s in software application development or heavy metal heaven.

Gualtieri took us through this idea pretty early on the morning and Mötley Crue served up at volume 11 in any technical keynote is bound to wake you up. We need more of this kind of presentation style!