James Richard Tyrer speaks out:

“Someone posted that TQM had to be forced on people. Possibly, but the question is whether after it is forced on them that they ever want to go back to working without it?”

I’ve been a professional software developer for more than ten years now, and I’ve been through all the fads, all the processes, all the acronyms. The only ‘process’ that ever gave me any pleasure was extreme programming, and even then only the pair programming with a congenial colleague part. Yes, having experienced the kind of top-down, heavy-handed programmer-shackling that TQM and the other acronyms stand for, I say: never again.

The problem, James, with TQM is not the Q, it is the M (and the T a bit, because Total reeks of totaliarism). If I am donating my time and my work as a volunteer to an open source project, I’ll be damned before I’ll allow myself to be managed. Especially by someone who hasn’t earned my respect at all. And there’s no way, short of taking away my CVS account, you can force me to comply.

If someone whose work I admire tells me to fix this, do that, or pull up my socks and start producing better code, I’ll probably heed him or her. But that’s the only kind of management I’ll accept.

Suggestions, snide remarks about lack of commitment, snipes and other pointy-haired behavior won’t influence me in the least. Which translates to: if you want to have real influence, James, learn C++, and learn it well. Impress me. With something more substantial than flaunting an acm.org email address.