Monday, 15 May 2017

Development : The Cathedral & The Bazaar

Recently I had to explain to a none-developer how we had been working on a project, that is to say he and I.  I explained that our common boss worked very much in terms of the Cathedral, everything is big, grand, old, with set sources for supplies and almost dogmatic adherence to their ways of working.  Whilst he and I had been working, with extraordinary success, in a much more agile manner, in the manner of the Bazaar.

Anyone could bring items to us, he could filter some queries, I could filter some others, between us we then worked in an Agile manner to achieve a result.

I myself ran the development, and I pushed builds, lots of builds, releasing at least twice daily.  Any problem was picked up, worked on, solved and the next build had it, leaving a train of progressively better builds step by step, until we sit today with a fully functional system and we await input from multiple other sources.

The main source for things we are awaiting is the Cathedral, we have waited a long time, seven weeks of hard work by ourselves far out stripped the expectations of the Cathedral model of working, and once we superceded that model it was too heavy, too slow, too stiff to catch up with us.

The net result is somewhat of a pocket of confusion, work was demanded, it was delivered, yet now it sits unused.

The bazaar delivered, whilst the Cathedral struggles.

("The Cathedral & the Bazaar" is a famous musing upon software development from the perspective of old slow methodologies to the exploding Agile methodologies which suffuse the Linux development and open source development movements).

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