Good engineering is dead - need help finding the exceptions

Working in the computer field has so many great aspects. Finding projects to work on where quality, integrity, correctness and elegance are highly valued seems extremely difficult.

There is a really good description of the agile method in “A Plea for Lean Software” by Niklaus Wirth:

Time pressure is probably the foremost reason behind the emergence of bulky software. The time pressure that designers endure discourages careful planning. It also discourages improving acceptable solutions; instead, it encourages quickly conceived software additions and corrections. Time pressure gradually corrupts an engineer’s standard of quality and perfection. It has detrimental effect on people as well as products.

It also lists a tenant current projects seem to hate:

The belief that complex systems require armies of designers and programmers is wrong. A system that is not understood in its entirety, or at least to a significant degree of detail by a single individual, should probably not be built.

Any recommendations on projects that adhere to the highest quality in design and implementation in the fedora ecosystem?


Thanks to all of you who took the time to read this.

Not a single example of a project that uses good engineering practices in fedoraland offered up by the fedora community. Fascinating.

I fully agree with your points of how engineering projects should be specified, planned, and executed. When I started work I was held to very high standards in all regards. The standards were high then because the customers for electronics and software were corporations and governments. They demanded high quality and reliability. In the last few decades most of the electronics and software produced is for ordinary consumers. For the most part ordinary consumers have no standards beyond price that they apply to their purchases. Unfortunately I have witnessed the degradation in engineering standards over time. I have even witnessed degradation in how engineers are taught in schools.

The ordinary consumers who use computers and other electronic items that require software seem to be quite tolerant of bugs and other malfunctions or use difficulties. Companies that make such things see this and always want to provide something new to dazzle the customers and increase sales. So their main motivating factors are cost and time.

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The part of my career where containerization in kubernetes became popular is where I saw the greatest degradation in quality and reliability standards and it was while working on government programs. There have been numerous big time failures that have resulted in some concern over the state of the situation and many improvements keep coming. But it doesn’t seem to be anything other than bandaid fixes being bolted onto a not well engineered starting point.

There are very capable graduates coming out of schools in spite of educational decline. Some of them may rise above the temptations of fame and fortune and change the course benefiting all humanity.

The decline in quality is not limited to one field. In general, the quality of products and services is simply low. Of course the end consumer is to blame for accepting it but even in that regard there are trends on the internet where there are attempts to vilify consumers complaining. One has to wonder who’s behind these bizarre trends influencing the young and impressionable.

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I am hopeful that these types of discussions will help elevate consumer competence and force quality improvements.