25 Bubbles: Information Technology

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1. Service Oriented Architecture will create more problems than it will solve

2. Relational databases have reached the end of their innovative value

3. Object oriented programming is based on a fictional ontology

4. Unified Modeling Language is incapable of abstracting systems

5. Current enterprise architectures are conceptually naive

6. The world wide web is 80 percent data slum surrounding 20 percent data excess

7. The majority of communication on the internet has no goal or purpose

8. Business uses information technology to demonstrate due diligence and then ignores it

9. Merging scientific databases is useless because they have no consistent metrics

10. The central processing unit is an inefficient and ineffective brute force antique

11. Data has never been accurately and precisely represented, understood or stored

12. We do not understand the information technology of genetics

13. We do not understand the information technology of chemistry

14. We do not understand the information technology of physics

15. Information technology is simply a popular metaphor not the reality of the universe

16. Computerized climatological models have no predictive capability at all; our understanding of climate change is hindsight

17. Weather prediction is based on satellite images not computer modeling

18. Computer scientists have no idea what consciousness is nor does anyone else

19. Business models and data models are like oil and water
20. Silicon Valley and every corporation affiliated with it will not save the world

21. Science does not have its rightful place in information technology

22. Little information technology involves design, most of it is craft

23. Calling a programmer an engineer does not make a programmer an engineer

24. Calling a programmer a designer does not make a programmer a designer

25. There is hope, but the people who got us here definitely will not get us there

Design versus Craft

I was following a thread on A List Apart when one respondent piped up and questioned the looseness of the definition of “design” on the web. He was quickly silenced. I had the same thing happen to me at designers talk for suggesting that most of the websites presented in the forum were mostly craft and actual design was being criticized for being unconventional.

Design and craft are clearly separate. Design is the planning of the artifact and craft is its development. Design has four perspectives: Conceptual, Contextual, Logical and Physical. Craft has four phases: Base Functionality, Advanced Functionality, Functional Trim and Transition.

In the world of websites the division between design and craft has been blurred because the person doing the planning is also doing the development. However, most websites are not designed. Design implies innovation and deviation from established conventions to create a new convention. Most websites are based solely on established conventions and never find their way out of the box. There are many web craftspersons, but few web designers. If we hearken back to Pareto we can say that twenty percent are designers producing eighty percent of the design and eighty percent are craftpersons producing twenty percent of the design.

So, I say to all the “web designers” out there, most of you are craftspeople with little design sense at all. It’s about as legitimate as Google calling its programmers “engineers” or Phil calling himself “doctor”. The terms have lost their weight.

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