Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Apache

Microservices Expo: 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

Latest Stories
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.