What Is It About Joel?
After reading over my last blog post, I wondered why my posts take such a virulent tone towards Joel Spolsky when I think he’s wrong. Looking around the web, I noticed I am not the only one.
I mean, I’ve never met the guy. He hasn’t killed any puppies that I know of, nor has he insulted my mother. In fact, I am pretty sure he doesn’t even know my mother.
Then I read this snippet of a great comment from Melissa in my blog…
Joel just likes to write with conviction, irrespective of the matter at hand. He probably has strong opinions about light butter/no butter/movie theater butter on his heat-expanded maize kernels, and he could probably write a persuasive as hell argument for his position and the more suggestable among us would immediately agree and get on their knees to show their appreciation for Joel’s relieving them of their obligation to think for themselves.
That’s it! Joel is an authority in topics of software, and like it or not, authority carries with it power, which carries with it responsibility (thanks Uncle Ben). He writes that BDUF is absolutely necessary, and suddenly hundreds of software middle managers across the country are thwarting their teams efforts to engage agile methodologies.
“If Joel says BDUF, then we do BDUF. We’re bringing back Ye olde Waterfall Methodology.
So it’s not that I think he’s wrong, it’s that he is so forcibly and authoritatively wrong. I’d love for him to try and make BDUF work with some of my current clients. A few weeks into it and I’d have to have the straight jacket and padded room reserved (Lord knows I’ve had a stay there).
So that explains my harsh attitude. Well… that and the arrogant tone he takes. That seems to get my dire up. Especially when he put down corporate developers.
In any case, one post mentioned why anyone is still reading Joel. Well as much as I like to get my panties in a bunch when he says something stupid, 99% of his writings are still top notch insightful and worthwhile. In every position I’ve been in, I would circulate links to various articles he has written to help improve software development practices. 99% of the time, he knows his stuff. It’s that 1% of the time I wish he’d just shut up.