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    For the last years, I’ve been testing out the postulate that the higher you look inside an organization, the less understanding there is of software.

    And from the other direction, I’ll postulate that the lower you look inside an organization, the less understanding there is of business.

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      Not only that, but this is the way it aught to be. Executives don’t need to know that much about the details of software, they just need to know the right people in and out of their org to talk to.

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        This article is not great, but I think executives actually do need to understand quite a lot about whatever it is their business does. If their business involves software in some serious way, they’ll need an appreciation of what it is and the general lifecycle.

        Of particular note is that software project estimation is notoriously challenging, especially when the software in question solves a new problem or solves an existing problem in a fundamentally new way. Executives that don’t have a visceral appreciation of how challenging this is, and the sort of issues that crop up, are not going to be able to evaluate the quality of advice they receive from their staff and are going to make poor decisions.

        If your business was making socks, or building bridges, or shipping cargo, I would expect a competent senior executive to have a sound handle on the complexities of those undertakings. I would expect them to have considered opinions about what kinds of strategies are risky or conservative. Software isn’t really any different, whether your core business is selling a software artefact, or whether software is just a critical part of how your business functions.

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      Too bad that this blog post doesn’t go into any detail about it. What did they have trouble with, exactly?

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        Executives not understanding software sounds condescending.

        The rationale presented here for learning about software is vague. If it was forced in middle of everything else, you would have had very little motivation to actually learn anything. If that’s the setting then I see how it could be a disaster.

        Digitalization and Industry 4.0 sounds like growing long teeth and drinking your clients dry. Hopefully it’s not that.

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          Digitalization and Industry 4.0 sounds like growing long teeth and drinking your clients dry. Hopefully it’s not that.

          I would argue that “learning about software” is exactly the antidote required for not getting bled dry by parasitic software companies. If you know enough not to be dazzled by fancy terms you will (hopefully) recognise when someone is trying to sell you snake oil or trying to get you in a vendor lock in.