Shahzad Bhatti

July 7, 2008

Reaction vs Preparedness

Filed under: Methodologies — admin @ 8:36 pm

I’ve had struggled with culture of fire-fighting and heroism and discussed these issues several time in my blog [1], [2], [3], [4]. Over the weekend, I saw Bruce Schneier’s talk on security. He talked about Hurricane Katrina’s devastation and said that politicians don’t like to invest in infrastructure because it does not get noticed. He showed how reaction is considered more important than preparedness. Another thing he mentioned was that investing in new projects is received better than investing in existing projects. I find that IT culture has very similar value system, where heros or martyrs who react (on daily basis) to emerging crisis and fires are noticed by the managers and receive promotions and accolades. The same culture does not value in investing to better prepare for disasters or emergencies. Unfortunately, once people get promoted they moved on and leave the pile of shit for someone else. Of course, the next team would rewrite rather than keeping the old system. In last two years, I had to rewrite two major systems where the previous systems were written less than two years ago. May be they will be rewritten by someone else when I leave. The cycle will continue…

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