Friday, September 08, 2006

The Rise of Anarchy

At the end of the second millennium, Gregorian time, there was one major method that ruled the software industry. This method was known as the Common Rigid Artificial Process: CRAP. CRAP was a unification of three moderately successful competing methods that specialized in Object Oriented Design. The competition kept their methods from becoming overly bureaucratic.

At some point in time, the founders of the three methods, the Three Bandidos as they became known, decided that they would profit more from creating a monopoly than from competing. They assembled their methods and it became CRAP.

CRAP dominated the industry, because the three bandidos were hugely successful in both modeling and marketing, and all the major industries quickly switched to it.

Now the healthy competition between the bandidos was gone and they relished in bureaucracy. Thousands of people were using CRAP without getting anything done. If you asked anyone what they did today, they would say they produced some CRAP document that was required by the method and at the end of the day no one remembered what the goal was in the first place (to produce software). The bandidos didn‘t mind, since their goal was to make money and not software and they became wealthier and wealthier. Their future looked bright.

A New Beginning

But at an AA meeting in Utah a number of anarchists started a reactive movement against CRAP. They were fed up with producing artifacts of no value instead of real working software. They wrote the Anarchistic Manifesto and created the Anarchistic Alliance. They called it the Anarchistic Alliance so they could keep referring to it as AA in their correspondence, since they were afraid of repercussions from the CRAP affiliates.

Because they were anarchists, they could not agree on one single method that should suit all. Instead they decided to let everyone define their own method as they saw fit. The important thing was that the method had to be built on individual cooperation, instead of totalitarian hierarchies. Every individual had to take responsibility for what they were doing! No one could tell anyone else what to do! When large systems had to be produced, it had to be done through the voluntary formation of teams that would voluntarily cooperate with other teams. Informal leadership would be the rule, instead of the assigning of roles.

Before the CRAP people could do anything about it, the anarchist had infiltrated much of the small businesses that were now being targeted by CRAP. The anarchistic methods worked so well that there was no one willing to give them up in favor of CRAP. To stop the spreading of the anarchistic methods, CRAP started to make unfounded claims of how they could be used. Since they were currently only used in small and a few medium businesses, CRAP propagandist claimed that the methods would not scale. This claim was successful at first, since many people in the major industries had invested considerable amounts of time on becoming experts of the CRAP bureaucracy.

The Turning Point

Even though the propaganda worked for a while, many of the medium businesses that used CRAP went bankrupt. They did so because the software they produced was expensive and inferior to software produced by smaller but more effective firms. Soon, all the medium businesses threw CRAP out along with CRAP consultants.

At this time the large industries were still unaffected by the anarchists. They were buried too deep in bureaucracy and were also dependent on CRAP tools. This is where the CRAP people made a fundamental error. Instead of keeping up appearance and continuing to claim that anarchistic methods does not scale into large businesses, they flip-flopped. They claimed that CRAP was anarchistic! What a gargantuan mistake! Instead of making the medium industries move back to CRAP, it made the major industries realize that they had been fooled all along!

The major industries threw CRAP out as soon as they could. The expensive CRAP tools were replaced by cheaper and better alternatives and the rest, as they say, is history!

1. Anarchy, contrary to popular belief, means "absence of ruler" and not chaos.

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