A bit off-topic: "We're Not *Resources*"
This is a bit off-topic but it struck a chord with me. Mark Turansky posted an article on JavaLobby a few days ago which analyses the thinking that creeps into the planning process when you term software developers as "resources" - as arbitrarily exchangeable quantities in the process of developing and delivering software projects.
In the age of globalization with its in-, out-, and cross-sourcing beyond time zones and country borders it is easy to think of developers as "raw material" that you can apply to your manufacturing process like conveyor belts or assembly robots. But software engineering is arguably one of the most complex things humans are capable of doing. So in todays increasingly complex world with rapidly evolving requirements in terms of security, reliability, usability, and efficiency you need experts with deep and well as broad skill sets coupled with experience and the personality to match to be able to build software systems that deliver.
True, the law of ever-increasing productivity that has served us well for thousands of years doesn't stop at software engineering. Drag-and-drop design, high-level abstractions and interfaces, middleware, scripting, code generation, and similar technologies spare us the grunt work and now some of that work which previously required experts can potentially be offloaded to less skilled "resources". But at the same time the leading edge keeps moving forward creating new technologies and complexities that require expertise and the right balance of skills to understand, evaluate, and put into production use.
The opportunity for complexity and specialization in the software industry appears limitless as far as I can see (for better or worse). Anyone who clubs this fact into submission by using arbitrary "resources" and fixed durations in a project planning tool is setting themselves up for failure. As if the world hasn't seen enough disastrous IT projects yet ...
Find the article here.