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Welcome to Hell

Edit 7/9/20: this response has been unexpectedly popular so I have expanded it into a more detailed separate article, you can read it at

Xin cảm ơn!

We got a lot more work done, and in less time, and with fewer bugs, before all this methodology nonsense came along. Any of you under 40 or so have never known the power of Flow, of unbroken concentration; you think that being led by people who have never written code is fine. You think that being solely responsible for testing your own work is perfectly sensible. You think being interrupted three times a day for recurring meetings that are never canceled and never let out early is just "the way it is." You spend more time on process than you spend doing actual work and think everything is just fine.

Most of you have never had a single-occupancy office with a door, never been able to do 90 minutes of work without interruptions, never been encouraged to get past compulsions like performance optimization, never had any reason to write legible code. You speak in sports metaphors and use an arcane vocabulary of meaningless neologisms that sound smart but impede communication (what does "refactor" actually mean?).

You think writing tests before writing the code makes some perverse sense, you think design documents are obsolete.

You think that developers who prefer to own large components are stealing something, people who prefer to work alone are mentally ill, you argue over the "correct" way to implement methodologies written by sadistic frauds. You think dividing projects into milestones was invented by Glen Beck. You think software development is a social activity and you have the unmitigated temerity to call yourselves “engineers” as you work to develop a “personal style” that nobody else can read.

And you’re still working 60 or 80 hours a week.

Jettison agile, abandon scrum, forget TDD, and to hell with this Kanban thing too. The only thing scrum ever did for me was turn my 30 minute commute into a 90 minute commute for the privilege of attending a “morning standup” where most reported wearily that they were working on the same thing they had been working on the day before, a status update, what we used to do in email.

I have worked freelance since 2010 and I will never work onsite again.

Our industry is sick.

Written by

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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