Summary: Software Experts

This is a summary with links to my posts on software experts. For medical experts see this:

The hype about experts is so extreme, it’s important to take a bit of time mocking it. After all, experts confirm that experts are super-smart and never make mistakes!

Medical doctors considered blood-letting to be a standard part of medical practice until well into the 1800's. They continued to weaken and kill patients with this destructive "therapy," even as the evidence against it piled high.

The vast majority of software experts strongly resemble medical doctors from those earlier times. The evidence is overwhelming that the "cures" they promote make things worse, but since all the software doctors give nearly the same horrible advice, things continue.

The Wannacrypt ransomware attack caused havoc world-wide in major corporations and government institutions. It's a textbook lesson in a number of subjects including the worthlessness of most Experts and the rank illiteracy of otherwise highly educated journalists about computing.

Governments are filled with Experts, particularly on important subjects such as security. In 2017 the US government declared that the Russian government hacked important US entities. The official report was filled with impressive-sounding evidence that demonstrated the incompetence and/or duplicity of the agencies that issued it. The majority of the US press simply echoed the nonsense.

Big Data is one of those subjects that is widely touted but opaque to most people. It’s a classic forum for Experts to have their statements taken as infallible. A famous expert in Big Data and elections made an error in a recent election that clearly illustrates typical Expert behavior of seeking an outcome instead of the truth.

Experts and anointed authorities of various kinds, both academic and commercial, have been the front lines of resistance to innovation for centuries. They are the firewall keeping rogue ideas outside the environments they oversee, protecting them from bad influences that their naïve but innocent charges might inadvertently adopt.

Groups like Gartner sell expertise as a service. Go to them if you want to know the best thing to do! The real value of such groups is to help executives avoid risk and avoid blame when things go wrong. Innovation? Industry-acknowledged experts are not the way to go.

If you're doing something new and want to do it right, it's natural to seek the help of someone who's been there and done that. If you want to do the thing in an innovative way, that's all the more reason to seek expert help. The trouble is, however useless experts are in general, they’re worse when it comes to innovation. The history of manned flight is a good example.