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The industry's most outspoken and insightful critic explains how the software industry REALLY works. In Great Software Debates, Al Davis, shares what he has .
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The Great Debate - Joe Rogan, Graham Hancock, Randall Carlson & Michael Shermer - JRE #961

Therefore, you, personally, is out of the equation when it comes to debates. If they feel weak, stop the discussion, regroup and find good arguments to defend your ideas.

The Next Great Debate: The Role of AI in Software Testing

Another important thing: you need to be ready, when expressing your disapproval, to be wrong. Nobody is always right and being wrong is a sign of humility and a proof that you are open to learn new things. You need to be able to question yourself. This one works most of the time: when you defend an idea, simply quote somebody who agrees with you. This somebody should be important in the field, a big name like Martin Fowler or Uncle Bob.

Chances are that they have a lot of arguments going in your favor: quote them. More people you will quote, stronger your argumentation will be. I used to copy past some quotes from evangelists concerning different subject which are important and often source of endless conversations, like unit testing for example in my note system to have them when I need them. It makes sens: these people have a lot of experience, are passionate and put a lot of their time into development. Thus, their opinion is worse the consideration. Be careful though: not every good practice from evangelists will apply to your specific problem.

Use these arguments if it makes sens.


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Concrete data is always good, especially if the studies you reference explain precisely how the data was collected and analyzed. The source of truth should be a reliable one. When you read a book or an article where these studies are mentioned, take note of them somewhere to be able to find them easily when you need them. I note them in my note taking system most of the time, to be able to bring them on the table when needed. Dave, your colleague developer, thinks that doing unit test is useless? If you gather studies and evangelist argumentation which goes in your direction, you normally have everything to prove that testing is really important for the company you work for.

Studies are not the only source of data available. You can use static analysis tools to show that a project need to be rewritten or at least heavily refactored.

The Great Debate: What's more important -- hardware or software? | VentureBeat

You have a dependency graph where every single class depends on each other? The complexity of your application is beyond the roof and there are no tests to cover it? These are good arguments to prove that something needs to be done. We speak about rational, concrete data. More correlation you will have, more effective your argumentation will be. In order to be as precise as possible when I share my experiences, I write in a journal when I see weird bugs. I write precisely why the bug occurred, how one could have been avoided and the possible solutions. If somebody is ready to do the same mistake and debate with you, you can pull off your notes from your journal.

People like stories. Trying to stay concrete and rational is key. Again, purely subjective arguments have little weight. I covered mostly argumentation about things which happened in the past technical debt, legacy systems, bad features and so on and things which need to be fixed in the present.

This is one of the most complicated thing to do: the future is always uncertain and guessing on it is dangerous. Yet, companies need to predict the behavior of their customers and try to find what they need to do in the future. They need to plan their roadmaps. If you begin to argue with your colleagues or your management that this or that feature in your application is stupid because you know better, I advise you to find better arguments. I know and saw too many companies forecasting the future without any fact or data and making disastrous feeling-based decisions.

Choosing the Good Moment to Debate

If you participate in a debate to know if this functionality will please your customer, please try to find facts to support your hypothesises. However, I believe deeply that your job is not only to code but to use your knowledge to bring value to the company you work with. You are an intelligent human being, you can as well give advice which can help your company growing. If your management is ready to listen to their employee and take their opinion in consideration, of course. Trust me, you will feel even more useful at the end of the day if you adopt this mindset, and you will learn a lot.

What matters is, at the end of the discussion, that you need to take the good decisions for your company, at that point in time. Winning an argument as a software developer means bringing or discarding ideas to ultimately create value for your company. Adapt your thoughts accordingly. Creating a win-win situation following a debate would be the best outcome. No animosity, no bitterness, ideally everybody should learn something from it and it should ultimately drive everybody to take the good decisions.

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Just fly away and find a company you trust and share the values. What does it mean to be a software developer? Is it really it? The Benefits of Improving Your Debating Skill Imagine this: Dave, your colleague developer, thinks that creating a multi level inheritance tree to specialize a god class of 10 lines is a good idea. Debating can bring value and reduce technical debts.

It can avoid bugs and improve scalability.


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It will increase: Your communication skills. It can be painful as well, but, like failures, it can bring you a lot. Choosing the Good Moment to Debate Discussing and debating have definitely benefits. Debating takes time and cost energy. Choose your debates wisely. Developing the Skill to Argue Effectively There are some ideas which are worth discussing for, but you need strong arguments for them. Gurus and Other Evangelists Knows Often the Truth This one works most of the time: when you defend an idea, simply quote somebody who agrees with you. The Difficulty of Forecasting About the Future I covered mostly argumentation about things which happened in the past technical debt, legacy systems, bad features and so on and things which need to be fixed in the present.

What about the debates of what should be done for the future? To predict the future, one thing can really help: concrete data. Yep, again. Look at the complains of your users and analyze the data.

ujonubotef.tk Prototype quickly some functionalities and ask your customers what they think about it. When Do You Win?