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Chapter 7. Cowboy Coders > Maverick Maturity

Maverick Maturity

Maturity is a central issue for the field of software development. Methodologists are wondering how long it will take for software engineering to mature as a discipline, managers are concerned about the level of “process maturity” in the approaches to development used within their organizations, and project leaders wonder about the maturity of the individuals whom they are called on to lead.

One large corporation surveyed their software development groups to determine how much and at what level of sophistication groups were making use of established systematic or disciplined software engineering approaches. The most advanced in their use of software engineering methodologies were the MIS and business information departments. Engineering support groups were intermediate in their use. Rock bottom last were—you guessed it—the people who wrote the operating systems, compilers, and utility software. Surveys of CASE tool penetration show similar patterns. Where engineering discipline and process maturity count most, software development is a wild-west side show dominated by coding cowboys.


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