Richard Bucker

The Great Equalizers

Posted at — Oct 1, 2013

This is an email I wrote recently.

SUBJECT: this is worth a reread it might help with the whole zero downtime issue
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization
I think that a more normal DB and an ORM layer will make stored procedures obsolete except for some rudimentary functions. But it’s still going to take some discipline along with some deep acceptance and understanding.
However one thing I have discovered about “things:
The internet became one of the great equalizers where anyone can profess to be as smart as Date, Coad, Yordon, Knuth and few will disagree.
I’ve also learned that Scrum, Kanban, and particularly Agile are also great equalizers. The team has a set point and all members have equal say. Even the most junior and uninformed members can significantly lower the set point.
It was in response to a comment made my a college student in response to a comment I had posted. The student tried to impose his opinion; not because he know more or had some clear and concise, non-subjective point… but because he said so.

At the time I was thinking that I would flame him into the ground, after all I was once a rockstar programmer. I decided to be nice and the thread died on it’s own. Thank goodness.

But what I realized is that there are a collection of individuals who are in this vein, poison the well, and leave things for others to suffer with. Programming needs an apprenticeship program. Not because our software puts people into space but because we use software to stop cars, pump gas, monitor hearts, run defibrillators, Formula-1 cars, payroll, taxes, smartphones. And so on. The bar to excellence is so much higher than most “time in” managers realize.