EppsNet Archive: Bertrand Meyer

10 Best Questions to Ask at the End of a Talk When You Absolutely Have To


From Bertrand Meyer: You know the feeling: You’ve accepted to chair a session at a technical conference, you’ve managed to keep the speakers on time, and a talk has just finished. “Any questions?” asks the speaker, met only by stunned silence. It’s your job as Chair to fill in, and you have no idea what to ask. Here, as a service to the community, is the list of the Ten Best Questions To Ask At The End Of A Talk When You Absolutely Have To: 10. When do you come up for tenure? 9. This doesn’t look like PowerPoint. What presentation software are you using? 8. Very interesting theorem you just proved on the last slide. It’s lemma 2 in chapter 1 of my 1977 thesis. 7. I like your accent. Where did you learn English? 6. Who does your hair? 5. On slide 2, what did Lambda stand for?… Read more →

Two Simple Rules


More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined. — Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month As a corollary to this, I’d say that lack of calendar time very often forces us to admit that our projects have gone awry. Denial is a viable strategy when delivery dates are far in the future, but when the deadline is staring you right in the teeth, the time for sunny optimism is over and the time for the Day of Reckoning (DoR) meeting is at hand. I attended one such DoR meeting yesterday afternoon . . . This particular meeting broke down into a battle between the Designers and the Implementers. The Designers — who happen to be the more senior members of the team — felt that they had written the specs in such excruciating detail that the system should pretty much have coded… Read more →