Feeds

Stuck in a dull conference? You need Verity's survival guide

Getting your own back on technical seminar speakers

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Pattern: Fizz-Buzz

Motivation: Speaker needs to add credibility to whatever programming technique he is pushing

Intent: The key has a strong awareness of which words and phrases are currently fashionable.

Implementation: This brief extract from a recent talk demonstrates the point:

Talk giver, hitting a climax: ...so you see, you can use this approach to inject a functional approach into an existing framework.

Delegate, raising arm: Isn't that very object-oriented?

Talk giver, hastily: Oh, no. It's not object-oriented. It's not object-oriented at all. It's very fluent and lightweight.

Delegate subsides, satisfied and impressed.

Examples: Long ago, the writer heard Bjarne Stroustrup himself complain that "object-oriented" had become a marketing synonym for "good". Many clichés have coursed through the culvert since then, and now it has become a coded term for "old-fashioned" - which is pretty much the same as "bad", to one decimal place.

It is not enough, then, for a speaker to speak in buzzing-words and fizzing-phrases. The key is to be aware of how much of their credibility remains to be spent, and to avoid worn-out terms loaded with non-technical debt.

Here is a small kut-out-'n'-keep table of examples, current as of writing, to get you started:

Buzziness of Buzzwords, May 2012
Jargon Credibility
(1.0 best, -1.0 worst)
agile -0.17
design by contract -0.82
data-driven -0.76
fluent 0.97
functional 0.95
injection 0.65
inside-out/outside-in 0.32
lightweight 0.57
native 0.81
object-oriented -0.84
pattern -0.13
performant -0.21
pushback 0.77
seam
0.93
technical debt
0.16
test-driven
0.12
top-down/bottom-up -0.72
unit test (as noun)
0.36
unit test (as verb)
0.43
virtual
-0.53


Observation: What's that Sooty? This whole article depends on the jargon word "pattern", and you have shown it to be a spent force?

Aaargh, you got me. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?