Change will do you good?

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For those of you who live on another planet, e.g. Venus, or in another country, which has no interest in what goes on here in the UK, e.g. most of you, we are going to have a General Election soon. This means we get to choose who is going to make a complete hash of running the place for the next five years, whilst they line their pockets with our hard-earned cash. (If you think that's cynical, you should have seen my initial version!)

The UK used to be a superpower. When I went to school, most of the world was coloured pink on my school atlas, which made geography pretty easy. However, things have changed dramatically, although a lot of people here don't seem to have realised that. No, they still think we should be poking our noses into places we don't belong and throwing our (light) weight around. To quote the youth of today - get real.

So it is also with computer systems. You may dearly love the one you built 30 years ago and think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. You may think the new technology from WhizBang Inc. is fantastic. In some cases, you will be totally right; in others sadly wrong. Being able to stand back and look at things objectively, and with an open mind is very difficult, but I believe it is vital if we are going to squeeze the optimum results out of the limited resources we have available. Always ask yourself "Why?", and "What is it worth?"

I just hope our next government thinks the same way.

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Nial Ferguson published an interesting article entitled "America, the Fragile Empire" in last weekend's Los Angeles Times:,0,2697391.story The subtitle - "Here today, gone tomorrow -- could the United States fall that fast?" - echoes the sentiments Peter expresses in his post.

A fascinating view expressed in Ferguston's article is empire as a Complex Adaptive System. To quote Ferguson: "Empires behave like all complex adaptive systems. They function in apparent equilibrium for some unknowable period. And then, quite abruptly, they collapse."

My experience with software development has taught me time and time again that it must be viewed as a complex adaptive system that evolves on an on-going basis. Much of the work that I do is about managing software accordingly. For example, refactoring it on an on-going basis to reduce the level of (cyclomatic) complexity.

My hunch is the computer systems Peter discusses are complex adaptive systems...


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This page contains a single entry by Peter Armstrong published on March 4, 2010 1:56 PM.

Applying Agile Principles in IT was the previous entry in this blog.

Keyworth Interview re: Importance of BSM is the next entry in this blog.

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