I’ve run across this a few times now, and it baffles me. Let me start by saying, “I Am Not Good With People(tm)”. I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture, but I can’t read people and don’t understand motivations well. So there’s that.

The thing that baffles me is the ability for some people, usually in management, to legitimately believe that development teams can just … “go faster”. That they can go ANY speed other than the speed they’re going raises an eyebrow, but faster? I mean sure, for a short time, at the cost of any number of quality measures, but most devs I have worked with either go unacceptably slowly because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing, or as fast as they can because they do, and they want to get to the next thing.

Too, when someone expects development to go faster, they just totally miss the fact that the speed we’re going now is what got us to where we are. And the reason we’re NOT going faster than we were is because of scale. We have more code now, with 2^n interactions between units where n is only getting bigger. More stuff to break, more interactions to fail in novel ways, more stuff to remember, more downstream effects of going fast up to now.

I worked with a Product guy for some years whose answer to everything was, “creative thinking”, as if development isn’t already at least partially a creative endeavor. And to him, that was all it took. Just more “creative thinking”.

I don’t understand why some layers of non-technical people think developers are infinitely creative or we have this inexhaustble supply of productivity that we can just turn on. Do you think we wouldn’t have done that already if we could?