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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Chapter 25. Welcome to the Process: Step Inside, Step Inside, and See the Show

Ned Robinson

IT WAS APRIL 2001, AND THE GRAY SKIES OF WINTER IN NEW YORK WERE GIVING WAY TO THE CRISP blue skies of spring. A 20-year programming veteran, I had spent the previous 5 years running the software division of RePlay Technologies, a music software company. The company had done relatively well for a small start-up, but after five years of almost breaking even, RePlay was sold and I was out of a job. So here I was, back in the financial district of NYC looking for a job.

My first few interviews proved that the American corporations had not changed their software development practices during the previous five years. They were still paying little attention to formal processes and good project management. Every company I interviewed with sang the same refrain: work 60 to 70 hours a week, projects will succeed because of your superhuman efforts (red cape and beeper will be handed out on first day of job), and yes, expect the sponsor to be changing requirements constantly. When can you start?

The problem was that I no longer wanted to be a superman developer. I had done that for too long already and was burned out. I hadn't minded when I was still in my 20s and trying to make a name for myself in the industry. Whatever the project, whatever the obstacles, I had spent many sleepless nights writing line after line of code to accommodate incomplete and half-articulated and thought-out requirements that ...

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