Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Scott Hirsch, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Aria Blog

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, XML, Websphere, Weblogic, .NET, AJAX & REA, Apache

SOA & WOA: Blog Feed Post

Agile, Offshoring and Dreyfus Model of Learning

Agile works!

Agile works!

If you have any doubt about it just look at the adoption rate … look at the study results published … or just try it yourself.

Offshoring also works!

Again, if you have any doubt, just look at the growth of offshoring … look at the success of the success of the India based IT companies … try to find a reasonably large company which has no offshore presence.

People or Process … which is more important?
If you are following agile methods then … obviously … people are more important. In fact it is clearly stated in the Agile manifesto. Off course, the manifesto does not say that process is not important but it emphasizes that people are more important than process and tool.

If you are into offshoring then the clear winner is process. Almost all large offshoring outfit have focused on process and have adopted SEI-CMMi model. On the same vein, CMMi does not say the people are not important, but the focus is clearly on processes and practices.

But, is this not contradictory?

Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition
One possible explanation is that both people and process are important. Successful agile implementation does not ignore process. Similarly, successful offshoring does not ignore people.

However, a better explanation can be found in the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition.

If you search the net you will find tons of material explaining what the model is and I have included few of the at the end of this post. However, the simplest and the shortest explanation comes from Seth Godin:

The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition posits that there are five stages people go through:

  1. Novice = wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible
  2. Advanced beginner = needs a bit of freedom, but is unable to quickly describe a hierarchy of which parts are more important than others
  3. Competent = wants the ability to make plans, create routines and choose among activities>
  4. Proficient = the more freedom you offer, the more you expect, the more you’ll get
  5. Expert = writes the manual, doesn’t follow it

Dreyfus Model

Offshore Software Development, CMMi and Process Focus
When the offshoring started, the workforce comprised of Novices and Advanced Beginner with a handful of experts guiding them. The growth of offshoring was too fast to move the Advanced Beginners to become Competent in the required number.

Therefore, it was logical for the organizations to focus on gaining process expertise and the most logical choice was the SEI – Capability Maturity Model (CMMi). The focus was on “Conformance to Requirement”. It was necessary to have more people to do the same work but that could be absorbed through the huge gap of salary.

Every project needed to find at least on expert. That expert could guide the team and interact with the onsite people. Projects which could not find such experts failed badly.

The growth of the offshoring industry have validated this approach.

Agile Methods and People Focus
Agile methods became popular where enough number of Competent and Proficient software developers where available. Once a developer becomes Competent he is ready and willing to take ownership of his work.

“…you might see folks at this level typically described as “having initiative” and being “resourceful.” They tend to be in a leadership role in the team…even at this level, practitioners can’t apply agile methods the way we would like—there isn’t yet enough ability for reflection and self correction…” - Andrew Hunt

Agile methods were ideally suited for Proficient software developers. All you needed to do was to…

“…Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done…” – 5th principle behind agile manifesto!

It is no surprise that agile methods worked and worked very well.

The story of offshoring is not over yet!

Offshoring growth came down from the ridiculous  30-50% per year to more down to earth 10-15%. That allowed more time to have sufficient numbers of Competent and Proficient developers. There are around 2 million ITES professional in India and even if only a small percentage can be classified as Competent and Proficient developers, you still land up with a huge number!

No wonder the India software industry has started looking beyond “Conformance to Requirement”

What about the expert?

The expert observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He concerns himself with the depth and not the surface, with the fruit and not the flower.

When expert leads, the team is hardly aware that he exists. He is content to serve as an example and not to impose his will. He doesn’t talk, he acts. When this is done, the team says, “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”

The expert shapes events as they come. He steps out of the way and lets the design speak for itself. His workings remain a mystery, he just shows the results.

This might sound familiar to you because this is an condensed and modified version of The Tao of the Software Architect.

Related Articles

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
Google

@CloudExpo Stories
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...