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Application Lifecycle Management Puzzle Solved


ALM Video on YouTube that you must see.

Bugger all - they removed it :-(


Truth: Application lifecycle management is just another phrase that means "software development". It's when we use source control/versioning systems, IDE's, bug reporting, wiki-like communication systems, forums, mailing lists in an organized manner to manage a software project.

If I can take a forum posting or an email and automatically turn this into a bug report using an integrated tool that does that for me (instead of having to manually enter it twice), this is a form of automation. Why are we calling this ALM and not simply automation or software development tools? Because companies want to have a phrase that they can coin and pretend to own or have patents on.

If the IDE, forums, email, version control (such as SVN/CVS/Starteam) are integrated enough, then we have something what they call LifeCycle Management. If there is enough automation in place, this also helps it become life cycle management. If software development is less fragmented and more organized, this is also a form of life cycle management.

Application Life Cycle management is very vague, and it has been around far longer than computers existed. Managing a science project properly in an organized manner is a form of automation/management. Therefore ALM is just a fancy term for "managing software using more automation". It isn't a breakthrough technology or a breakthrough invention like so many managers make it sound. It is just a way of saying "we are managing this software project better now that we are using more automation and our tools work nicer with each other".

When developers choose open source software management tools such as SVN/CVS/Eclipse, the tools aren't as well integrated in some cases than software that is purchased from a proprietary company like Borland/Microsoft. But in some cases the open source management tools are good enough - they just don't have all the extra abilities of the corporate proprietary software. In other cases the open source software has more features and more useful tools than the proprietary ALM software.

Why didn't they just tell us what ALM was in-the-fucking-first-place, and we wouldn't have wondered what ALM was for 5 years?

ALM has been around for ages - IBM and other companies are just starting to "coin" the term so that they can pretend they are inventors of the technology. ALM is not an invention - ALM is not a technology - it is just a vague way of saying "managing a project by integrating tools together".

If they would have been honest and just TOLD us this in the first place, we wouldn't have millions of software developers saying "What the blue flying fuck is ALM?".

The reason they haven't told us what ALM is, is that they are afraid SMART PEOPLE will figure out that ALM is just a vague meaningless term. Integrating two, three, or four tools together and monitoring the progress of a software project increases the quality of software - but it is not a technology that one can patent or invent. Anyone can implement ALM since it is so vague - anyone can cook supper because cooking supper is not specific. I can cook pasta better if I use certain tools together. Maybe they are trying to patent ALM, which is kind of like trying to patent cooking.

Cooking is not something that we can just patent and claim "that's my technology". Likewise, ALM is so vague (like cooking) that no company can claim rights to ALM. Yet here we have all these companies trying to say "we are an ALM company". Instead of saying that you are an ALM company, can you just please be fucking honest and tell us that you make source control tools, IDE's, project monitoring tools, communication tools? We might even buy your software if it really does integrate together well - but please stop fucking hiding behind the phrase ALM because it is meaningless.


Application lifecycle management is NOT a key process guidance content which rearchitects the framework using proven governance server processes and configurable system control going forward. (fuck off, buzzword man)

Application lifecycle management IS about integrating source versioning tools such as SVN/Starteam/CVS, IDE's, email systems, website communications, bug reporting, and other useful tools. (thank you, honest man)


Open Letter to the Corporations who advertise ALM:

Dear Software Corporation et al,

All you had to do is be honest. ALM would have had a better reputation with software developers if you would have just used proper English to explain it.

We urge you to reconsider how you represent ALM in the future. Please be more responsible and honest in the future, and we (software developers) will understand what the fuck you are talking about.

Respectfully yours,

Software Developers



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