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United States Software IT

US Requirement For Software Dev Certification Raises Questions 228

Posted by samzenpus
from the outsatnding-achievment-in-the-field-of-excellence dept.
dcblogs writes "U.S. government contracts often require bidders to have achieved some level of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). CMMI arose some 25 years ago via the backing of the Department of Defense and the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. It operated as a federally funded research and development center until a year ago, when CMMI's product responsibility was shifted to a private, profit-making LLC, the CMMI Institute. The Institute is now owned by Carnegie Mellon. Given that the CMMI Institute is now a self-supporting firm, any requirement that companies be certified by it — and spend the money needed to do so — raises a natural question. 'Why is the government mandating that you support a for-profit company?' said Henry Friedman, the CEO of IR Technologies, a company that develops logistics defense related software and uses CMMI. The value of a certification is subject to debate. To what extent does a CMMI certification determine a successful project outcome? CGI Federal, the lead contractor at Healthcare.gov, is a veritable black belt in software development. In 2012, it achieved the highest possible Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level for development certification, only the 10th company in the U.S. to do so."
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US Requirement For Software Dev Certification Raises Questions

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  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:27PM (#45823369)

    'Why is the government mandating that you support a for-profit company?"

    Works for Obamacare.

  • Proof! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:31PM (#45823401)

    That CGI "achieved the highest possible Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level for development certification..." more than proves that the entire model is useless!

  • by russotto (537200) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:35PM (#45823437) Journal

    CMMI was always SEIs way of trying to reduce programming to bricklaying (only with a lot more paperwork), leaving academics like them as the only real thinking people in the process. It can't work and will never work.

  • by icebike (68054) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:52PM (#45823551)

    You can choose not to have a driver's license.
    You get fined for not having health insurance.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:58PM (#45823597)

    The question in the summary left out an important word:

    "Why is the government mandating that you support a [particular] for-profit company?"

    This would be a lot less of an issue if the company in question didn't have a monopoly on providing the required certification.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:02PM (#45823617) Journal

    There was a social contract your Obama support ilk changed the rules and just expect the rest of use to go along with your tyrannical theft of the freedom we thought we had. Its you people that should get the hell out, go build your workers paradise somewhere else; write back with how well it works out for you.

  • by david_thornley (598059) on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:15PM (#45823741)

    If you're not using code reviews, chances are your code sucks. I don't see any need to pay somebody big bucks to tell you that. Similarly, coding standard violations increase the chance for bugs, and it's worth making code conform.

    In my experience, with very good people, we find a lot of bugs in code review. If you're not finding bugs, either you're superhuman or you do need instruction in code review.

  • Re:Proof! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tricorn (199664) <sep@shout.net> on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:19PM (#45823787) Journal

    I remember working on a product produced by a company that proudly trumpeted their Six Sigma certifications. Had a problem with a board that was sold with the explicit feature of being able to do read-modify-write bus cycles on shared memory (each board had a section of on-board memory that could be shared with the other boards across multibus).

    Unfortunately, it turned out that the target board would get memory corrupted when you did that (interfered with refresh cycles, I believe it was). Once I figured out that was happening, I contacted the company.

    Six Sigma is all about repeatable and documented processes. Well, they documented it all right. They documented that they had no idea what was wrong, that the person who had designed the hardware had retired, and that they had no one there who was qualified to even understand what I was talking about. I guess since the problem with the board was repeatable, that justified their Six Sigma level! They continued selling that board, with the same claim of capability, for several more years.

    Ever since then I've had little respect for that type of certification - worried more about the proper process than about the actual results.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:54PM (#45824159)

    There's a big difference between " a for-profit company" and " this specific for-profit company". Even as someone who wasn't a fan of Obamacare, I can appreciate that mandating that everyone procure insurance from a company of their choice from among a wide selection of companies who are all competing against each other for your money is one thing, and that mandating that everyone get certified by the one and only company that the government has declared we must use and who has effectively been granted a monopoly by the government is something else entirely.

  • It's a joke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:13PM (#45824943)

    I have 30 years IT experience, last 15 as "design lead". Big projects, small projects, lots of programming.

    My company bought in IBM on a project, and I was told I was going to be working under a "Certified Master Architect". Great! This was going to be great learning experience, right?

    Day 1, in walks this 22 year old kid, freshly graduated. And, by virtue of the fact that IBM corporate had some certification, all their designated architects automatically became "Certified Master Architects".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:37PM (#45825119)

    Actually, it was a great idea. The idea that insurance cannot refuse anyone for pre-existing conditions and have to price insurance to actually cover the masses actually fixes a whole host of issues with the way it used to be. Just read about people that have been trying to buy insurance or too scared to use what they had bought due to pre-existing conditions clauses. I don't much care for the rest of the law, but this one facet made it bearable.

    The argument that you are no longer free to freeload doesn't bother me. Yep - if you didn't have insurance, you're a free-loader, unless you could self-insure (in which case you didn't care about this law in the first place) Why? Because you fell off the curb and hit your head, resulting in a few hundred grand of hospital care while you're in a coma, or anything like it. i.e, accidents you are at fault for, or no one is, and yet you will still expect to get care. Insurance covers that percentage.

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:39AM (#45826299)

    That's some pretty harsh fucking judgment you have there.

    Way to blame the victims.

    The whole point to insurance is spreading the risk. Somebody is going to get sick at some time. I do have pre-existing health conditions, and guess what? CANCER IS A PRE-EXISTING HEALTH CONDITION YOU JERK.

    So don't speak down to me.

    I'm fully willing to help pay for my share of the risk. However, you need to face one simple fact:

    THERE IS NO WAY ON GODS FUCKING GREEN EARTH THAT ONCE SOMEBODY HAS SOMETHING HAPPEN TO THEM THAT THEY CAN AFFORD THEIR HEALTH.

    How many good people (in your estimation apparently) were paying contributors, only to get really sick, and then go bankrupt due to medical debt? Even when they had insurance? How about afterwards if they survived the crippling debt? Everybody is a walking pre-existing condition at some point. Get over it and stop blaming the victims for getting sick, and for sure, stop punishing them.

    Getting sick doesn't just ruin your health (and possibly kill you) it completely guts and destroys you financially.

    So before you go calling me a freeloader again buddy....

    1) FIX THE FUCKING ECONOMY. I'll pay for my insurance, but dammit, you have got meet me halfway. You can't demand something and then refuse to give people the ability to do it.
    2) FIX THE FUCKING MEDICAL INDUSTRIES. The reason why I can go under, lose my houses, go bankrupt, is because a medical operation can actually cost a million dollars. That's beyond ridiculous.
    3) TAKE PROFIT OUT OF THE FUCKING EQUATION. This is a big one. If you want to force it on everybody, than you need, NEED, ABSOLUTELY NEED, to reduce the costs and make it as efficiently as possible.

    I've seen those stats. The US spends many times more person for health care and actually receives less than 80% of the same benefit that other Western countries do. That's with nearly 5 times more money being expended!!!

    Here is what you don't understand, and neither does that other asshole.

    YOU CAN'T AFFORD HEALTH CARE IN THE US.

    There. The Truth.

    Minimum wage does not even begin to cover basic living costs, and health insurance companies fuck you at every turn.

    You ever hear that saying you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip? Same thing here. You can't demand that the working poor pay for health insurance when the middle class can barely afford anything either.

    I know young people that turned down medical insurance because they could not afford their half. You seem to want to drag them through the mud for it.

    That's great. When it comes to deciding which one of the absolute necessities needing to be sacrificed for that health insurance, are you going to do it? Are you going to tell them that they need to go hungry for a few days? Have the power shut off to their overpriced apartments/shacks? Lose their vehicle so they can still spend over a hundred a month taking the bus?

    That last one surprised the hell out of me. I moved from a much smaller place back to a city after giving up my car. Biked to work for a year or two. The actual costs of bus fare were $4 PER DAY. That's $120 per month. Take that out of minimum wage and push their faces in the dirt huh?

    You just don't get it. You can force it all you want upon me and others that are on hard times. Unless you fix the fucking economy I will never have the money to survive, and if you penalize me in the coming years by absorbing my tax refund, you only push me under slowly.

    So pass your fucking Obamacare and shove it down our throats. Not saying it doesn't have benefits. For Christ's sake, at least have the fucking decency to hike up minimum wage the amount needed to pay an average insurance policy.

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore

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