Methods need theory

For someone in search of a software development method, the problem is not to find answers; it’s to find out how good the proposed answers are. We have lots of methods — every year brings its new harvest — but the poor practitioner is left wondering why last year’s recipe is not good enough after all, and why he or she has to embrace this year’s buzz instead. Anyone looking for serious conceptual arguments has to break through the hype and find the precious few jewels of applicable wisdom.

This is the start of an article that Ivar Jacobson and I just wrote for Dr. Dobb’s Journal;  it is available in the online edition [1] and will appear (as I understand) in the next paper edition. The article is a plea for a rational, science-based approach to software development methodology, and a call for others to join us in establishing a sound basis.


[1] Ivar Jacobson and Bertrand Meyer, Methods Need Theory, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, August 2009, available online.

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