Call for Papers

The Rise and Fall of Software Recipes ( Vortrag )

Recipes Beyond Software and the Toxic Application of Metaphors

Referent: Darius Blasband, Raincode
Vortragsreihe: Software Engineering Management
Zeit: 01.12.16 17:35-18:15
Co-Referenten: None




Software Engineering Management






Software recipes are meant to implement transitive intelligence: they are well structured and well-documented fragments of good practices that can be transferred and used by less experienced people to achieve something otherwise taking years to master. Recipes have seen many successful applications from healthcare to cooking, from piloting an aircraft to identifying an insect. However, they hopelessly fail when applied to software engineering. All software development processes defined so far, from waterfall to agile, from formal methods to rapid prototyping, are based on dogmas and drowned in folklore. In his first talk at ESE Kongress, the author of "The Rise and Fall of Software Recipes", Darius Blasband, will elaborate on the downsides of current software engineering practices and reflect on the current state of software engineering as an industry.


Software Recipes, a short definition
Recipes beyond software
Of the toxic application of metaphors
When not about people

How to evaluate?
The pervasive toxic effect of processes

Agile methodologies
Agile: no nonsense
Agile: The folklore
Agile: the lack of accountability
Agile: the lack of vision
Agile: not a methodology!
Agile: giving up by dogma

Then what?
Concentrate on the deliverables
Of code
Of dogma
Of common wisdom


Nutzen und Besonderheiten

Any activity advocated by recipes can be useful in some adequately chosen context. But when applied systematically as recipes should, they cost incommensurably more than whatever they deliver. Dogmas are non-value & in software methodology trying to guide continuously teams by a list of principles costs money & time. Part of this cost is tangible, with training, tools, time spent in meetings, and more. The intangible part is more pervasive. It comes from the loss of flexibility induced by any formal division of a task into sub-activities, & from the burden of checking for things just because they are on a checklist. Intrinsically, every piece of software we build is different from the one that was built before. It differs functionally & technically:the environment, the hardware power, the software infrastructure we build on. The software we build today differs from what the same team developed last year. What matters on top of all is code. Well-written & well-structured code.

Über den Referenten

Born in 1965, Darius has a master’s degree and a PhD from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His focus is legacy modernization, articulated around compilers for legacy languages. Darius is the founder and CEO of Raincode (, main designer and implementer of its core technology, an acclaimed speaker in academic and industrial circles.