I want be an average software developer

Several years ago my sister called to tell me about my niece.  My niece, who was in 2nd grade, had taken some standardized tests and  she scored average.  My sister was distraught.  I tried to explain there is nothing wrong with average.  Average means there are 50 percent of the below.  Yes, my sister responded, “but it always means there are 50% above too.”

I am surprised at the number of people who write me asking what is the average productivity rate of software development.  The average productivity rate happens to be 42.  It is if they want to strive for the numerical average.  They are asking, “We know we are not very good, so we want to become average.”  These same organizations benchmark against average software organizations instead of best in class organizations.

The other day when I left my house to catch a flight my wife kissed me good bye and said, “Have an average trip.”   No she did not really say that.  She said, “Have a great trip!”  Software development organizations should strive to become great not average.   The leaders of software organizations need to understand what are the specific things best in class organizations do.  They need to be asking the question, “What are those specific things they do that are different from average and especially worst in class software development organizations?”

My niece recently graduated from Marquette University with honors and will be attending dental school.  It turns out she is above average after all.

Have an average weekend!

Read more at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development

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