May the Force Be With You

I don’t know why I waste my time teaching statistics and quantitative methods when I could be teaching people how to use the force instead.  Do you remember how Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ben), teaches young Skywalker how to use the force?  Luke is training against some type of floating ball.  Of course Luke can’t hit the small beams coming at him from inside the floating ball.    Obi-Wan blindfolds young Luke with a helmet and says, “act on instincts.” Obi-Wan encourages Luke to ignore his eyes. Once Luke is blindfolded and uses the force he is able to hit all the small beams coming at him. In software development we call act on instincts expert opinion.  It seems like software developers use the force.

Too often when  someone  is asked, “How did you come up with your estimate?” they reply, “expert opinion.”  They are acting on instincts instead of using quantitative analysis.  Don’t get me wrong often instincts can give you insight into estimates and understanding projects status, but it should not be a substitute for quantitative methods.

The best part of the movie Star Wars Episode IV is when Luke is making his final approach to destroy the Death Star.   He is flying at a couple times the speed of sound and he has to hit a small target which is about one foot by one foot.   Time is running out and all the other attempts have failed to destroy the Death Star.   Luke hears the voice from the other side (Obi-Wan), the voice says, “Use the Force Luke.”  Luke looks around and thinks about it and the voice tells him, “Luke trust me,” so Luke turns off all the quantitative instruments.  Of course, Luke launches his rockets guided only by instinct and they are right on the mark and the Death Star is destroyed.  My advice is when creating an estimate, or when asked about project status it is best to let the force guide you.  When asked how you came up with your estimate simply respond, “The force was with me” and refer them to the Star War movies or this blog.

Just imagine how your next performance review could be worded.  In the Stars Wars movie Darth Vador says about Luke, “The force is strong with this one.”  Now wouldn’t it be great if your boss would write that about you.  That is something you could put on your resume.

Read more at Reboot! Restarting and Rethinking Software Development.


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  1. […] View original here:  May the Force Be With You « Quips On Software Development […]

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