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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Taking software development on faith

TOPEKA, KANSAS, APRIL 1 – Speakers here at the Faith-Based Development Conference have demonstrated a software development methodology based on the concept that if you believe the code will work properly, it will work properly.

“All you have to do is believe, and we do this all the time,” said Ebenezer Scroom, CEO of Faith-Based Software Development Inc. (FBSDI), which sponsored the conference. “We turn the car key and believe that our engine will start… and it does. We push bread down into the toaster and believe that toast will pop out… and it does. We write thousand of lines of C# or Java, click the ‘Build’ button and believe the application will execute correctly the first time. In his heart of hearts, every developer believes this! The good news is that if you follow the principles of Faith-Based Development, your app will work the first time.”

Scroom cited anecdotal studies that demonstrate the power of Faith-Based Development to cut costs, shorten development cycles, improve software quality, and so on. “These results have been validated by industry analysts,” he said, “who were duly impressed when we hired them to author white papers and conduct webinars for FBSDI.”

There are four pillars of Faith-Based Development, explained Scroom, all of which can be easily implemented by tools sold by FBSDI. A project begins with Faith-Based Modeling, where architects use UML to document what Scroom calls “Faith Cases.”

Next, Faith-Based Coding relies on plug-in modules for Visual Studio Team System and Eclipse. “If you have faith that your syntax is right, then it’s going to be right,” he said.

The third phase is Faith-Based Testing. “This is perhaps the easiest part to learn.” Scroom said. “Developers are used to firing up their automated test suites, closing their eyes and praying. What we now know is that it’s the quality of the prayer, not the comprehensiveness of the test harness, that really matters.”

Finally, he said, it’s time for FBSDI’s Faith-Based Build and Deployment Services to bring together the final assemblies and push them out to the data center in one irrevocable operation.

“If you believe the software will be perfect the first time, there’s no reason to implement a phased rollout,” Scroom said. “If you have faith, you will succeed. If not… have I mentioned our professional services division?”

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