Not playing games, but serious software engineering

Disclaimer: this story has something to do with real life, but not much. This text was to include some humour and fun, but I really don’t know about those anymore. Find out yourself !


On January 2016 our PERV-leaks journalist (“tutkiva PERV-journalisti” in Finnish) tried to find out and locate the origin of rumours, according which at some TUT Software Engineering course they just play cards and throw dice during weekly exercises. Good heavens ! Such actions, if they actually happened, could not be part of any kind of
serious academic education at all !

After several try-outs, our relentless journalist finally found a potential happening at a remote classroom TB207. It was late Wednesday afternoon, and there were several colourful balloons on the floor of that lecturing room. What an earth had been happening there…??

The smart journalist had disguised himself with the old and good set: false beard, wig, and sunglasses (with a small camera on the frame).

After about a quarter an hour of academic nonsense (journalist was almost falling asleep) by the assistant (who, by the way, spoke barely understandable Finglish), students were divided into small groups of 3…4 persons. And then, yes and wow, the journalist had to bang his head to table surface to make sure he was awake; course assistant delivered a deck of cards and three dice to every group. And from a separate plastic folder there was to came more surprises; colour A4-size papers to fold hats, and tens of balloons. Would you believe, blowing balloons and folding hats are teached at TUT ! Kindergarten stuff ! I have heard about leather “coding helmets” on professors’ desks, but paper hats on software engineers sounds, and actually is, just ridiculous.

There are many easy but wrong methods to divide tasks, but you can't name the best one because every team consists of individuals with different skills.

There are many easy but wrong methods to divide tasks, but you can’t
name the best one because every team consists of individuals with
different skills.

Course professor who invents weekly exercises (WE), or course assistant who executes WEs, must have been gone mad. Software Engineering is such an essential serious science to all business areas nowadays, that no valuable time should be put on any secondary tasks. If students just learn to shuffle deck of cards, and throw dice, instead of complex methodological theories, Finland would run bankrupt soon after those students graduate. Oh boy ! Such primitive playing skills may only be needed at… hmmm let’s say politics.

But for some strange reason, perhaps because of the late evening, students there looked like they enjoyed that stupid nonsense. (Editorial note: perhaps anything is better than doing real weekly exercises.) Would some idiot believe that playing is better than thinking? You should be ashamed ! By that way TUT’s teaching is moving closer to standard European education; maybe future TUT will teach less than in the past years. We all are doomed !

The right process and teamwork are essential for success.

The right process and teamwork are essential for success.

Wild urban legend insists that on some other weekly exercise the project size is estimated by throwing numerical cards to table ! So-called “agile professionals” seem to call that kind of absurd and pitiable actions “Planning Poker”. PERV-leaks journalist try to find that rumour out some later time. First he has to find out some eyewitnesses, to get a confirmation where to start investigation.

This report was written down by Tensu, according to interview with the PERV-leaks journalist at his ICT-safe home cave somewhere in dense backwoods of Herwood.

Pictures are taken from OTM course WE1. Those may, or may not, belong to this story.

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