Once Again on 40 Principles and Software Engineering

Y. B. Karasik
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

TRIZ-journal continues attempts to sell 40 principles to software engineering community. Ellen Domb contracted professors from unknown universities [1] and chief software architects from dubious companies [2] to back her in this quest.

She should have known that

"The ass will remain the ass,
Be he a prof or a chief software engineer.
Where he has to engage his brains,
He just wags his ears."1

It is amazing how these people do not understand elementary things. 40 principles are principles of solving low tech engineering problems (such as mechanical engineering, etc). Which problems in software engineering can be solved by employing flexible membranes or thin films (principle #30), for example ? None. But Ellen Domb et al. are stubornly trying to impose this principle on software engineers. They recognized analogy between thin films and ... decorator pattern [3] !!! Well artists may recognize analogy between this pattern and decorations. So what ? Why would software engineers have to buy all these analogies ?

They have the language of their own. This language, as any professional language, is best suited to their trade. Why try to impose an alien language on them ? Why appeal for "communicating complex software engineering solutions through the not-so-complex language of 40 principles" [3] ? Is it not the same as appealing for communicating complex issues of civilization through the not-so-complex language of barbarians ?

A legend has it that there was an inscription on the gates to Academy in ancient Athens: "Let no one enter who does not know the language of geometry." Software engineers have to erect similar gates against such intruders as Ellen Domb & Co.

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. John W. Stamey, "TRIZ and Extreme Programming", TRIZ-journal, February, 2006.
  2. Ramkumar Subramanian, "Applying TRIZ in Information Technology Outsourcing", TRIZ-journal, March 2007.
  3. Ellen Domb and John W. Stamey, "Describing Design Patterns in Software Engineering", TRIZ-journal, February 2006.


Footnotes:

1: quatrain by a noted Russian poet Gabriel Derzhavin:

"Osel ostanetsya oslom,
Khot' i osip' ego zvezdami,
Gde dolzhno deystvovat' umom,
On tolko khlopaet ushami."