Lumping Organizational Experience
Monday, November 28, 2005
Should a corporation lump organization experience into one whole number? Can any corporation have "100 years of Java experience"?
The thought just came up to me while reading some details on Nadler's Congruence Model, or fancy talk for corporate alignment of different things: training, strategic goals, task assignation, etc., etc.
The thought of accumulating organization experience is ridiculous, but it's worth thinking about it. Why is it wrong?
Assume Company X employs ten Java developers and each claims to have ten years of experience writing Java applications - These developers have worked at different companies for the last ten years. In terms of work years, we can claim that the corporation has, indeed, one hundred years of Java experience. I.e., each developer has worked with the technology for that long; each developer has mastered the language; Company X is doing nothing wrong by claiming one hundred years of Java experience.
Of course there is a fallacy in Company X's argument - We need to take into consideration all the knowledge overlapping. Just because our ten developers know how to use Threads in a program, it doesn't mean that our corporation is ten times better at writing multi threaded applications. It's the "Mythical Man Month
" of yesteryear.
Why am I even writing about such silly things? I was bored, so there :)
BTW, I've been playing with Java since it came out in 1995. However, I don't claim to have ten years of Java experience. O, how sweet memories I recall of my first copy/paste Java applet - Java Applets were ahead of their time.
BTW2, I've seen such claims from some companies: "Over 40 years of management experience put together." Do you believe them? What does it even mean?