Friday, July 31, 2015

The Waterfall Model was a straw man argument from the very beginning

Over the years, I've read a lot of books on software engineering. Agile books in particular like to refute the "Waterfall Model". Every time I read about the Waterfall Model, I think to myself: I'm sure there must be companies out there that have tried this approach, but I have a hard time believing some software book would seriously propose it as the best way to write software. It must be the boogie man of software engineering methodologies.

I was reading The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and Operating Large Distributed Systems, and I came across this quote:

Royce’s 1970 paper, which is credited with “inventing” the model, actually identifies it so Royce can criticize it and suggest improvements. He wrote it is “risky and invites failure” because “design iterations are never confined to the successive step.” What Royce suggests as an alternative is similar to what we now call Agile. Sadly, multiple generations of software developers have had to suffer through waterfall projects thanks to people who, we can only assume, didn’t read the entire paper (Pfeiffer 2012) [p. 175].

I think this quote lends credence to my theory that the "Waterfall Model" has been a straw man argument from the very beginning. I know that there were companies that used it, and that there are companies that still do. However, I think this proves that no one ever wrote a book that proposed that the "Waterfall Model" was the best way to write software.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Tetris Over SSH

I wanted to try out Google Compute Engine, but I wanted to build something other than a simple web app. Hence, I setup a virtual server that runs tetris when you log into it, and I gave everyone the credentials :)

$ ssh -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -o CheckHostIP=no -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no tetris@ # Password: tetris

Here's the code. I set it up so that gotetris is the login shell, and the user doesn't have permissions to modify any files. Hence, it should be relatively safe to share with the world ;)