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UML, MDA, & Code... Oh My! 
From yet another LinkedIn discussion:


It seems that the more companies try to turn software development into a mere assembly-line process, the faster their software falls apart. While code generators can indeed pump out that software, I have discovered that there is ever an art to using them -- let alone tweaking and / or maintaining the artifacts they create!


Even before the advent of MDA, as we watched the never-ending horde of newbee code-bangers overrun the decks of enterprise software development, most were not surprised to see the perpetual fire fighting (let alone legal nightmares) that many a self-depricating, cut-and-paste-folly, created.

Cost, Qualty, & Time: Pick 2?

So it goes within the MDA camp today: Today more than ever, the "fast" and "cheap" selection of the classic "pick two" dilemma never seems to produce that multi-generational "COBOL" -type of rock-solid longevity. Add to this observation the vendor-lock that MDA tools always seem to slip into their products, and you will clearly see that the lack of a level playing-field between MDA, (let alone BPEL and SOA!) -products virtually ensures that the future of your software remains out of your control. -Over time, and in one way or another, today more than ever most have come to appreciate that software development remains an art form... one that few ever seem to master!


But certainly the advent of an object-oriented, or (arguably) a "noun verb" way developing software, as enforced by many MDA tools, can improve the way a ''code-monkey'' thinks. Yet it is time alone that teaches anyone that software quality and longevity are more about good processes, proper domain analysis, and patterns, than mere tool selection and code generation!

In short, the process of turning mere "knowledge" into wisdom is something that NO tool " MDA or otherwise - has been able to deliver to date. Today as always, a fool with a tool is still a fool.

Whet Work...

Yet when we first arrive into this world, such fools we all be! -But even well after we all learn not to wet ourselves in public, I believe no mater what tool set you choose to clothe yourself in, that rock-solid, professional software development takes time " and talent!

So is MDA a threat? --Not if you fully embrace it. In software development as everywhere else, one truly tends to get only what one pays for. -There will always be plenty of room at the top!

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Attention Open Source Authors: If you have not been keeping up with the latest motivation behind the GNU General Public License (GPL 3), then you might want to tune-in to the current debate, as sparked by TiVo's success.

Having supported Richard's movement in code, prose, and affection since I wrote about Mr. Stallman (via The Fortworth Star Telegram's STARTEXT system) decades ago, I believe that the sentiments of Linus Torvalds are presently more in keeping with the problems targeted by the original GNU Manifesto.

Decide for yourself:



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Hourly Rate Calculator 
I woke up this morning with an idea: Why not cobble together an hourly rate calculator? One to go a long with that "What To Charge" article?

So here it is: If you would ever like someone else to do the math for you, then just use this consultant's CalcYouLater.


R.A. Nagy

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