[erlang-questions] Convincing industry to use Erlang

Joe Armstrong <>
Sat Nov 27 19:47:01 CET 2010


On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Banibrata Dutta
<> wrote:
> As Alain rightly said, Joe you just managed to condense couple of books, and
> I'd say a semester's worth of study on Solution Selling and Agile
> development.

Funny thing is that I haven't got a clue what all this agile and scrum stuff is.
Somebody did describe agile to me and I thought "that's what we've
being doing for years"
- I *do* know that the word "agile" has magic powers when used against
management.
And "the value proposition is ..." - this is also a magic expression.

Say: "the value proposition is that instead of spending time and money on a
paper specification, why not use less money to build a working
prototype and use
the code as the specification ..."

On several occasions I've seen people just start work on a project
without prior approval
doing the work in their spare time, they just assumed that they would
get the job and that
a contract was something that would just "happen" if they did the right thing.

Actually basic psychology is involved - if you work on their project
for free and give them
the results this is a "present" that they did not expect nor ask for.
Basic human nature
expects some kind of response - this is what Cialdini calls
"reciprocity" (read "The psychology of persuasion") there is a
wikipedia reference here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini#Six_.22Weapons_of_Influence.22

If you do a lot of work for free they reciprocate with a contract ...

/Joe

> Essentially that's all you need to know. Rest you'd probably
> figure out on the way. All of this applies to other languages as well, and
> had this been a bulletin-board style discussion forum, I'd have voted for
> this to be a sticky !!
>
> On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
>>
>> As soon as you know *anything* about the requirements of the system
>> start building
>> a prototype - show the customer the prototype.
>>
>> At the next meeting say "I don't really know what your problem is but
>> I've built a little
>> prototype to test my understanding ..."
>>
>> Do not tell them "your problem is easy" (never, never, never (even if
>> it is), this is
>> always perceived as an insult)
>>
>> Offer the customer a fixed price, fixed delivery time, pre-development
>> prototype.
>> The cost of this should be less than the cost of making a requirements
>> specification.
>>
>> Do not make an offer for the final product - say "I cannot I do not
>> know enough" -
>>
>> Try to deliver a working prototype within three weeks - even if they
>> don't pay - do it anyway.
>>
>> Assume you will land the project and start working on it today.
>>
>> Don't sell the final product - but the next step - which should be
>> small understandable, cheap
>> and quickly delivered. Tell them this is "agile" and you are a "scrum
>> master" - they will love this
>> you don't have to know what the words mean - these are just magic
>> words that need to be said.
>>
>> Do not use words like "functional" "proof" etc. these have bad karma.
>>
>> Start building the prototype as soon as you read this mail.
>>
>> This approach has worked many times.
>>
>> You're selling time-to-market and low-development costs - they will be
>> skeptical - you
>> will do this with 10% of the effort needed for Java/C++ - but they
>> will not believe you. So
>> go do it ...
>>
>> Cheers, and congratulations on landing the project :-)
>>
>> /Joe
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM, Paulo Alexandre Ferreira
>> <> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > You better not try to sell  Erlang, or any language to managers.
>> >
>> >
>> > You should try  selling a reliable, robust, fault-tolerant, code
>> > verified  system.
>> > You will do code upgrades without stopping the system.
>> > You can offer proofs the system is correct.
>> >
>> >
>> > They don't want Erlang.  They don't care about Erlang.
>> >
>> > You will use Erlang to build the system they want.
>> >
>> > The advantages of language X,Y or Z are the stuff programmers care
>> > about.
>> > Managers care about  different things like  costs, down-time,
>> > reliability.
>> > Focus on that.
>> >
>> >
>> > My apologies if I sound  a little bit grumpy.
>> >
>> > Paulo Ferreira
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > erlang-questions (at) erlang.org mailing list.
>> > See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
>> > To unsubscribe; mailto:
>> >
>> >
>>
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>
>
>
> --
> regards,
> Banibrata
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/bdutta
> http://twitter.com/edgeliving
>


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