Does not meet requirements

Sunday, 24 April 2005 — 5:23pm | Computing

Continued exploration of the processes and methodologies of the pseudo-managerial practice euphemistically (and misleadingly) known as “software engineering” has led me to believe that the Golgafrinchan hypothesis – that we are, in fact, descended from useless middlemen with a committee fetish mercifully expelled from their distant planet of origin – is probably on the ball.

It floors me that an artificial semantic construction based on an elaborate canon of Confucian thou-shalts has been exalted to the status of accredited classroom instruction in universities, institutions founded on the trivium and quadrivium and a yearning for knowledge – not the sort of tribalized disciplinary wisdom that McLuhan calls know-how, which properly belongs in technical institutes and on-the-job training, or better yet, shot into outer space.

But give it a clever name with an air of professionalism and conflate it with just the right things, and it stands reified as the norm for both eager, ill-informed freshmen (tragically unaware that software engineering as taught is neither engineering nor science, computing or otherwise) and their future employers. Equilibrium is restored for all but the displaced, and olympian mountainfuls of source code wind up looking pretty. Yippie-ki-yay.


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