I recently assisted a presentation of Rational Team Concert, and I am shocked.
It could have been, I am sure, some other product. I don't intend to bash RTC.
Only, here is a large vendor which spends large amounts of money (I assume) to produce something I believe and I hope can only be a terrible flop. Nobody will buy that, will they?
Only, they won't buy it for the wrong reason: because it costs money, and the market of ...CM/SCM/ALM/whatever has now gone such a way that nobody will anymore pay anything for that. Everybody knows that whatever allegedly useful there might be in that domain has to be free (like beer, not like speech).
No, my problem is elsewhere: this big company must have targeted a potential customer base, and beyond that, well, somewhere *users*. But who would *use* that?
It is the answer to that question which is frightening.
Pseudo-management. People who would be completely helpless faced to software development, yet in a situation of having some hope to survive this obvious fact in the context of some organization.
The kind of tools I am talking about is meant to hide incompetence, by creating a virtual reality from quantifying the activity of others (developers?) without needing to understand anything of what it consists in.
There are several problems bound to this.
This is not only useless, but lethal. It creates a reality made of amounts of resources, of milestones, of names, of tokens of various kinds, of percentages (passed tests ratios, coverage, numbers of lines of code changed, etc.), which takes precedence over the primary reality made of semantics and of symptoms. It eventually makes it impossible to analyze issues, to fix code, to discuss the compatibility of options and the propagation of changes.
The ultimate problem lies in the paradox that organizations which could put such a dangerous amount of power into the hands of structurally irresponsible people do not seem to fear facing quick bankruptcy. Quite on the contrary.
Stalin has come back?