Pure Danger Tech


Stimulus as Software Project

06 Feb 2009

The whole economic stimulus package thing just feels wrong to me. And it’s not the whole debate over “spending” vs “tax cuts”, blah blah. It feels wrong to me because it reminds me of some huge software project with a massive Gantt chart that’s supposed to end in two years. And in my gut, I know that software projects like that fail. Often in a big spectacular way, but if not then in thousands of small ways by building systems that aren’t what users need, cost too much, run late, whatever.

Everything I know about software development tells me that what we need is agile stimulus. Pick 100 things, and try them. Assess the results, double the ones that work, drop the ones that don’t. Repeat. If I remember right, FDR tried a zillion different things until something worked.

I know the economy is hosed and all, but this whole plan just feels like a crazy expensive project doomed to failure. Am I crazy?