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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Friday August 09, 2002
10:51 AM

Software development magazine

[ #7003 ]

I subscribed for free to Software Development magazine a year or two ago, because I saw a nice article (which used to be available without coughing up personal information, last I checked) on the CMM . Unfortunately, very few articles since then have been up to that quality. I've seen lots of reviews for proprietary tools I will hopefully never have to use [my stance against proprietary tools goes beyond free software zealotry; I just have yet to see anything proprietary besides maybe Borland Turbo C that is as useful to me as the free tools out there], lots of buzzword articles, lots of XP and "agile" and "lightweight" methodology articles written by people who sound like they haven't programmed in ten years, at least not in an environment like mine.

So when I started getting mailings saying, "you must resubscribe to remain on our mailing list," I didn't respond. Yet the magazine kept coming. On the other hand, Server/Workstation Expert (formerly Sun Expert) is also free, and almost always has two or three useful articles. They wanted me to go through a resubscription process, too, but they quit sending me the magazine anyway. Go figure.

I like CMM and its cousins, PSP and TSP. I tend to distrust XP, but mostly because of anecdotal stories like the shop that began its XP implementation by halting all writing of documentation.

I would love to have a magazine sort of like what I thought Software Development was: articles of development methodologies. But from the point of view of people who first turn to places like sourceforge when they need a new tool. Something that will tell me what the latest thoughts are about XP and CMM and how to use them from the point of view of a person like me: sitting in a small place in a large corporation trying to use Perl to do great things (and wanting to do better). Something that would cover version control software and practices, but would talk more extensively about CVS and subversion than Rational Whatever. Something that would cover ticketing systems and have an article on RT, not an article on Rational Whatever. Something that would cover UML/data-flow-diagrams/whatever's-in-vogue-but-actually-works-even-for-open-sour ce-developers and tell me about Dia and Autodia, instead of Rational Rose Whatever. (Oh, and I'd want it to major on CMM and minor on XP and not treat either one like a buzzword.)

This is a magazine I would pay money for, say $15. I just seriously wonder if it would work, because it wouldn't be able to attract advertising from Rational, Kylix, etc.

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