lunes, 10 de diciembre de 2012

Developer Science: Analysis Framework

Alexis Tocqueville

The art of association then becomes, as I have said before, the mother of action, studied and applied by all.
Alexis Tocqueville, Democracy in America

At every moment in the history, human communities have been a way to spread the knowledge. Randall Collins has shown in his amazing book The Sociology of Philosophies, the effects of the communities of philosophers and scientists in the development of the philosophies. The foundation of institutions such as the Royal Society has been influenced by networks of people surrounding specific individuals such as John Evenly or Giovanni Domenico Cassini. Those days, the communications were in Latin and by postal mail, but the networks of people were very similar way to nowadays.

Recently, users and programmers of mainframes IBM OS/360 and mini computers, such as the PDP family, created a community about these technologies. The first versions of UNIX were distributed also in a dedicated community of academic centres. You can get a great story about these times taking a look of the classical The Mythical Man-Month, by Frederick P. Brooks.

Certainly, communities have flowered around software production as in no other technology or science. It might be the reduced needs of capital (CAPEX), have lowered the barriers for newcomers, students, freelances and fans of software development, skyrocketing the production and fostering the innovation. Moreover, FLOSS licences and Internet as a platform have created the perfect ecosystem for one of the most successfully open innovation experience.

Currently, the developer concept includes not just programmers with high technical skills, but also other people with low or even null technical skills, contributing to the open innovation process. The analysis of the technological, sociological and economic effects of  this knowledge management for open innovation arena and technological transference between different stakeholders, bring us to a new expertise area which we could call Developer Science or DevSci.

Understanding properly the developer communities requires an analysis of the historic development during the last three decades. Assuming that alternative views are acceptable, a proposed analysis framework is presented below. In my experience, it is very useful to design strategy for a developer program i.e. technology transference in open innovation scenario.

sábado, 1 de diciembre de 2012

Mr. Kahneman and behavioral economics

Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman

It is difficult to find a book where the author blends a beautiful story of personal commitment with the science, a great discovery which changes the fundamentals of the economy, defeating the monetarism, and finally, a new trend on public affairs which starts a revolution on politics and economy of public goods.

In "Thinking, fast and slow" Mr. Kahneman is a storyteller that from the epistemological point of view, shares with the readers what he and his friend Mr. Tversky have been doing for a a whole life: finding questions and trying to answering them. Even though the book is not a biography, the author includes small snippets of his life, showing a undeletable commitment with the science. And everything seems to be so quite, so peaceful, just walking around during many hours at day, just talking with Mr. Tversky about the human and the rational decisions. Their experiencies should be a mandatory subject for every young researchers. Even I would say more, a mandatory subject for every STEM college.

From a scientific point of view, Mr. Kahneman and Mr. Tversky, across many years, were profiling how the humans think, finding at the end a new rational human being, with a richer concept of “rational’. As he said in his conclusions, it isn't a matter of irrationality, but just a richer concept of rationality. The remembering self and experiencing self bring a new schema for marketing and even more important those concepts could mean the end of the monetarism and the idea of the markets as we have been knowing so far. The contributions to the economics, psychology and sociology are endless: analysis of heuristics and biases, prospect theory, his contribution to the happiness theory or his model of rationality (System1/System2) are so important that it is worth to read the book at least a couple of times.  Every activity we do in our life has been affected by his scientific work. Every manager/entrepreneur/technologist  should read at least the chapter The Engine of Capitalism.

Finally, the Conclusions chapter contains one of the most interesting insights about public affairs that I never read before. Barely Mr. Kahneman exposes how, the new idea of rationality means the end one of the pillars of the monetarism. Even more, taking account the current situation about the economics and the disastrous effects that the debts have produced in the world, many people are thinking to bring back the Nobel prizes of Mr. Friedman's and the rest of the Chicago School. But more important than that, it is the actions taken by English Government enlightened for Mr. Kahneman and many others: the creation of the Behavioral Insight Unit or Nudge Unit. Don't miss their blog for more information.  Hopefully this will help the renewal of the many traditional politics, without answers for the current times.

Therefore, this book is totally a revelation.