Friday, November 07, 2008

Reality Check Levels

I am in a "question everything" phase. Maybe it is a side-effect of reading the excellent F-book (review coming soon) or the outcome of learning about the software half-life hypothesis? All in all, I am more and more dubious about what I read and hear about in the field of software. I have grown tired of half-baked ideas (including mine) that present possibilities as realities and niche solutions as widely applicable ones.

It seems this is natural: smart people have started to change their views on important subjects. Since I am not that smart, I would like reviewers of articles and publications to add something like the color-coded terrorist threat level to indicate the reality-check level of what I am reading.

That could be something like:
RC0: This is highly hypothetical material. Mainly works in the vendor's environment, on the open source committer's laptop or in the researcher's lab.

RC1: This plays well in the F100 or governmental field. Complex committee-driven years-long BDUF-minded expensive concepts can be applied here. But nowhere else.

RC3: This is the field of pragmatists. The ideas, methodologies or products are based on simple, well-established and proven concepts.

Like the threat level, this scale is coarse and over simplistic. Would you like it anyway? Would you had more levels?