[tpm] You may think I'm a reactionary curmudegeon

arocker at Vex.Net arocker at Vex.Net
Sat Aug 31 10:45:34 PDT 2013

for my challenge on Thursday to the idea of Pair Programming (and you
could well be right), but I believe the Devil's Advocate is a role that is
seriously underestimated in most projects. The Catholic Church invented
the idea, appointing someone who's job it was to uncover anything bad
about a candidate for sainthood, so that they didn't canonise anyone who
might subsequently prove an embarrassment. It's a thankless task ("Not a
team player"), but every project needs one.

Over the decades, the IT trade has been prone to diverting itself from the
mundane business of problem-solving by fits of enthusiasm, (often recycled
ideas dragged up in new guises). Sometimes these ideas are good, sometimes

Any good new idea should be able to withstand reasoned criticism. Even the
best ones often have features that can be improved by examination, and
weaknesses that can be mitigated if they are identified. It's much easier
to have confidence in a concept which has been thoroughly examined. That's
why we have Loyal Oppositions, and defence lawyers, even for the blatantly
guilty.  Anything resulting from the post-prandial euphoria of a couple of
over-refreshed suits needs to be shot down before it's allowed to do any

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