Sunday, May 01, 2005

Software development companies will prevail

Eventually, software development will be done by software development companies. Some companies already get it, and they hire companies like ThoughtWorks to do development for them. The end result is a better product at a cheaper price.

Other companies that don't get it still do in house development. The problem with in house dev is that everyone involved on the project is overhead. Therefore, corners are cut, roles that are required are not filled, and quality suffers. Often many junior employees are hired because of cost concerns. The result of the cost "savings" is bad code, which costs quite a bit to maintain. Additionally, the turn over rate of the talented developers is higher because there is always a better opportunity around the corner. In the end, technology evolution kills the project and all the failures are swept under the carpet as version 2 is built in the latest technology.

A hybrid approach where a company like ThoughtWorks is brought in to work with the in house team can also work. Then, the maintenence can be done by some of the original developers. Also, the heuristics of the software development company can be transferred to the in house developers.

I've been seeing this trend for several years; however, since technology evolution hides the project failures, in house only companies fail to recognize the problem. The process will be slow, but software development companies will prevail, eventually.
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