Jeff Bailey
Written by Jeff Bailey

Learning resources, opinions, and facts about technology.

Date Driven Development – Deadly Cut 4

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Hello, this article is part of my Death by 1000 Cuts series. I shine a light on glaring software development industry problems. I'm confident I will have written 1000 articles someday.

Date Driven Development is a prime reason most software quality sucks. In the consumer software world, this is especially true.

Most modern software ships continuously; it ships with loose intent at the mercy of a deadline. This scenario is soul-crushing. Why do humans believe a date provides value?

The Deadline

Death marches instill dread in software development professionals. The infamous death march is a grim reaper in the memories of the damned. If you're unfamiliar, a death march forces software development teams to substitute life with work.

Woe to the software development professional caught in the death march. A death march should never happen.

Software development goals should be human-centered.

  • Create reliable experiences
  • Build rock-solid architectures
  • Value users

Unfortunately, that's not the modern software development world. As of today, the date is king.

Alternatives

Blizzard Entertainment defies the due date. Their products are a limited set of top-quality releases. Ask about the release date of a Blizzard product, and you’ll hear crickets. It defies Date Driven Development, and quality shines through as a result. They produce top-quality products with dates out of sight and out of mind.

The entire software development industry should do this.

Solutions

  • Focus on human needs
  • Test everything and be ready to ship now
  • Deliver software value; dates don't deliver value
  • Under-promise and over-deliver