Warning: balanced view of SEMAT spotted

30 Apr 2010

The SEMAT initiative appears to have caused a great deal of heat and noise in the blogosphere and on Twitter, without anyone really saying anything very insightful. One group of posters (primarily from the Agile community I think) have already decided that SEMAT is wrong headed and dangerous, while another (primarily from research groups and industrial systems development as far as I can see) have decided that it’s going to save the software development industry.

This is all depressingly familiar in the software development area.  Before the initiative has produced a single deliverable, people have already made their minds up as to whether it’s going to be a good or a bad thing.

However recently I noticed that Jason Baragry has written a nice balanced commentary on SEMAT which I enjoyed reading.  I think he summarises things nicely when he says:

We each have a worldview through which we understand our domain (in this case software development). Those world views can be incommensurable like the pro- and anti- software engineering camps. But there is no right or wrong answer answer here. The only thing that matters is whether or they provide useful suggestions for improving our discipline.

It’s well worth a read.  I’ve been meaning to write something similar on SEMAT myself, but I think Jason says it all better than I could.