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What Developers Can Learn From Anonymous 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-attention dept.
snydeq writes "Regardless of where you stand on Anonymous' tactics, politics, or whatever, I think the group has something to teach developers and development organizations,' writes Andrew Oliver. 'As leader of an open source project, I can revoke committer access for anyone who misbehaves, but membership in Anonymous is a free-for-all. Sure, doing something in Anonymous' name that even a minority of "members" dislike would probably be a tactical mistake, but Anonymous has no trademark protection under the law; the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success — in part due to the lack of central control. Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements."
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What Developers Can Learn From Anonymous

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @08:50AM (#41135727)

    What the group has to teach is simple: If all you want is to disturb the normal process, and highlight certain aspects, then you don't need much organization.

    Wake me up when anonymous actually produced something non-trivial.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Everything I need to know about Anonymous I learned in Junior High School.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Were you the asshole that smeared shit all over the walls?
    • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:06AM (#41135857)
      Exactly. Destroying anarchistically random stuff all over the Internet and putting the label "Anonymous" on it, not much sophistication required.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#41136151)

        Actually this is incredibly hard, no matter how you put it. Humans, and I mean every one in the species, are by nature social creatures. We all, not crave, but need attention, approval to some degree. Pulling off stuff like that but resisting the urge to stamp your name on it, or even a nickname is quite incredible.

        My only issue with them, is that they make it easier for politicians to push people into using real credentials on the net. I enjoy my anonymity, we might lose that sooner or later, but I would have prefered it was later.

        As for what they do ... well, banks are supposed to be secure, isn't that the reason people trust banks, why they deposit money there? If they start losing customers, it's not because the customers saw their data online, but because their false advertisment for security.

        Politicians ... well, they're representatives of the people, there's this thing called transparency, if the guy I voted for, the I NEED to know about it, even if it reveales personal aspects of his personal life. Isn't this what democracy is about? Needs of the many over the needs of the few?

        In the summary it says "the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor." for religion or politicals this is called doctrine. As long as they don't make the mistake those two do, of focusing on a few individuals or something more than the basic idea, the movement will keep on going virtually unhindered for years.

        What they're doing is wrong, but there's no other alternative, police, and other law enforcement bodies are useless in these situations, and the press ... well, the term yellow journalism appeared two seconds after the term journalism was created.

        • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Monday August 27, 2012 @10:27AM (#41136399)
          Banks are supposed to be secure .. and a responsible person would notify the bank if they found the door unlocked instead of giving out private information to strangers on the street.

          Politicians are representatives of the people. Their personal lives are not important, only what they do when on the job. Other people have jobs, should their employers have access to their private lives???

          Anonymous gets all the attention they need within their own group and by the publicity they generate. Kind of like serial killers who thrive off the publicity and kill more so they get more attention. 'They' know who they are, and they know people are talking about them. It's not necessary for them for people to know their name. In fact, it's the secrecy that is so attractive, doing something wrong, and talking with your buddies about it but knowing your buddies aren't in on the secret.

          Anonymous is a terrible model. For one, it requires fanatical devotion. How many programmers out there are going to get that fanatical about rewriting 20 year old COBOL code??? I'm sure it works great for open source products where people can get excited about what they are doing. But for the other 90% of tasks out there, I seriously doubt it will work.

          I seem to have a different idea of the fun stuff I want to work on than what my boss wants me to work on. Without his telling me what to work on, it's doubtful the stuff he finds important would ever get done. Oh wait .. I work on the stuff he finds important because if I didn't he would fire me.

          Seems to me like Anonymous is more like the establishment than they are willing to admit.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dodgy G33za (1669772)

            When a politician stands on the podium with their wives and children, it is them that have brought them into the discussion. When they preach conservative "family" values that effect the whole of the electorate, but are happy to sleep with hookers, then no, they do not have a right to privacy. Same with those that preach morals from the pulpit or the vatican balcony and then don't report the kiddie fiddlers to the police.

            The thing is, those is public office often get additional protections (killing a cop is

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              When a politician stands on the podium with their wives and children,

              That is quite unique American. I don't know of any other country in the world where they do it all the time like that. Wives/husbands and children are usually intentionally kept far out of the limelight.

              • Not true.

                Google "kevin rudd and family" and you will see the Ex-Australian Prime Minister at Labor party conferences with his family.

                Put "tony blair and family" into your favourite search engine and you will see them posing outside of no.10 Downing Street.

                You can try "angela merkel and her family" or "nicolas sarkozy and family"..... well, I could go on but you get the picture?

          • by cream wobbly (1102689) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:21PM (#41137751)

            Anonymous is a terrible model. For one, it requires fanatical devotion. How many programmers out there are going to get that fanatical about rewriting 20 year old COBOL code??? I'm sure it works great for open source products where people can get excited about what they are doing. But for the other 90% of tasks out there, I seriously doubt it will work.

            I think you missed the point. The conclusion from TFA:

            We can also see this in server architecture. There are still clustering platforms managed through a central server -- the weak point in everything from Hadoop to WebSphere. Yet we're watching the evolution of these architectures away from central control. This results in less predictability in some circumstances, but makes them more robust in the long term.

            That metaphor is transferrable to the management of software projects. Yes, setting expectations, establishing norms, and spurring motivation can have great positive effect and avert crises. I am not advocating for anarchy. But the loose affiliation model of Anonymous, an organization notorious for wreaking chaos, has more to teach than many of us would like to admit.

            The comparisons being drawn describe the political "cell" to a tee: i.e., loosely coupled atomic groups that aggregate to form a greater work. What makes Anonymous unique among political movements that operate in this manner, is that there is no "Dear Leader" -- no visionary from whom to take praise.

            And yet there is in existence a developer model that fits this "cell" structure, albeit with smaller cells than extremist groups: that of the FLOSS world, where there are a clutch of "Dear Leaders" to follow; each with "enemies" to crush.

            In other words, nothing at all like Anonymous -- but exactly like GNU.

        • Isn't this what democracy is about? Needs of the many over the needs of the few?

          That alone marks a failure of democracy. We only need to know everything about the politician due to his desire for authority. It has nothing to do with the 'needs of the many'. Transparency is a merely a fundamental cost of authority. Making sure they pay up is not wrong. They are causing no real harm to society. They are only throwing pies into the face of authority. A good thing.

        • Actually this is incredibly hard, no matter how you put it. Humans, and I mean every one in the species, are by nature social creatures. We all, not crave, but need attention, approval to some degree. Pulling off stuff like that but resisting the urge to stamp your name on it, or even a nickname is quite incredible.

          Not really. Humans are called "social creatures" not just because we crave individual attention and social interaction. "Social creatures" are also those who form societies [tribes|clans|gangs|

        • I find it interesting how democracy, a selection of one of two similarly leaning people by a minority of the populous, is considered so superior to a group of smart people trying, no matter how misguidedly, to educate people about how broken the system is.

          • You mischaracterize democracy. Our elected officials are put in office not only by those who vote and those who vote against, but also by those who choose to abstain. Voter abstinence is a valuable part of democracy. Without out it, the will of the government is thrust upon the people, and that is not democracy. It is your duty to vote, but abstinence should not be penalized.

            In addition, it is vital that the populace of a democracy be allowed to air grievances. However, that should be done in accordance wit

        • The members of Anonymous get their attention and recognition from their peers. They know it was them who put that 'Anonymous' stamp up there. Peer approval is much more satisfying than approval from random unknowns. So its not incredibly hard, its incredibly easy.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Basically how to be a criminal, go dumb dumbos.

    • by poity (465672)

      It doesn't seem like the author has convinced himself, either.
      FTA:

      I've seen a lot of organizations function with neither shared vision or a plan. I've yet to see a successful software project without both.

      If you read all the way to the end, you'll realize it was just an attention-grabber intro that didn't get analyzed all that much (cue infoworld rubbing their hands together and grinning), and that he's just against managerial interference when a group of devs are working well together. Well, no shit...

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      the quantity is also very important - if you have a team of 10 developers, you can't let them just go off working on their own thing hoping it'll come up with your customer's exact requirements.

      Now, if you had an infinite monkey cage, then your options are more flexible and you can use the same development style as Anonymous.

      But.. there is a way it does work - if you have a small team, of senior people, who are committed to your development goals... then you can put them in a room without supervision and te

    • by kgskgs (938843)

      I agree to the parent.
      I agree in exerting control in moderation. However, the difference between what anonymous is doing and what a big corporate team of developers is doing is between doing a hit and run and driving a car for a long distance over a long time. The second task definitely needs a lot more control and management infrastructure in place.

    • by Githaron (2462596)

      Wake me up when anonymous actually produced something non-trivial.

      I would venture a guess that most Anonymous members do not do much beyond running canned scripts. You have to wonder what they could do if a majority of their members had real skill.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Exactly, in most corporate environments you have to go through so many bosses (most of which shouldn't be making technical decisions) before you can ever get anything done.

    • Exactly, in most corporate environments you have to go through so many bosses (most of which shouldn't be making technical decisions) before you can ever get anything done.

      Citations please. True that those organizations exist, but in my experience, they are the exception rather than the rule. Obviously, saying that most companies are like that makes good stuff for posting in teh slashdotties water coolers, but c'mon.

  • by melonman (608440) on Monday August 27, 2012 @08:52AM (#41135745) Journal

    I was reading "The mythical man-month" only this weekend, which starts with the observation that "everyone knows" that two kids in a garage can do more than a corporate development team, and then points out that, if this was actually true without caveats, corporations would hire two kids in a garage every time. There's a difference between producing a standalone program and developing/maintaining a product system.

    • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:31AM (#41136025)
      What you've just said is something many entrepreneurs find out too late: that ideas are dime a dozen, and execution is what really differentiates successes from failures. Strong organizations differ significantly from "two kids in a garage," in that they have people who are experienced in execution and all it entails including: capital management, marketing, legal, supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, personnel, security, infrastructure etc. These things all need to coordinate with R&D and work on specific timelines to sync with departments, and this is all happening in parallel. Two guys in a garage operate serially, so management isn't really needed.

      I know most people here are developers, so most of us see the world in developer-colored glasses, so saying things like "Just hire good developers and let them loose and they'll churn out good work and you'll be a success." is just plain wrong. They'll do what good developers do: develop. And that might be enough to make a good product (or in some cases a good prototype or preproduction product), but it's not enough to make a successful product. This is also why the "two guys in a garage" stories are few and far between; their efforts were met with a good deal of luck and happenstance which drove their success. Right place, right time sort of stuff. Everyone else with the next big idea in their garage met with failure because they lacked execution.
      • Everyone else with the next big idea in their garage met with failure because they lacked execution.

        Exactly. Every time someone says something like "believe in your dream and you'll make it", it's because they did so and happened to make it, or heard it from someone who did. It's a self-selecting sample, because you never hear from all those people who did believe in their dream and never made it. They are the vast majority.

        But humans are natural optimists - we have to be. So we like to believe those things are true, even though I'm sure deep down we know it's fantasy. And deeper down, know that fantasy i

    • TMMM is right but not for the reasons you cite. I have often extolled the merits of using a more or less autonomous team of highly skilled developers instead of following the corporate habit of using a closely managed team of so-so, interchangable programmers, preferably outsourced to some cheap-labor outfit in India or China. Few corporations want to go that route, but not because the autonomous team would be more expensive, or produce poorly maintainable and undocumented code, unfit to hand over to a su
    • by alen (225700)

      there are always lots of people in the garage making up similar ideas. why did apple come out on top in the 80's? what about MS? why is youtube so popular and the other video sites of the time are history.

      corporate money and connections to take the idea to the next level

    • by fa2k (881632)

      I was reading "The mythical man-month" only this weekend

      Is it bad that I always read that as "The mystical moth-man"?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This has to be the most far-fetched argument ever made in the history of mankind.

    Also, using the sentence "success" and "Anonymous" in the same sentence makes you seem insane.

  • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Monday August 27, 2012 @08:59AM (#41135801) Homepage

    the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success — in part due to the lack of central control. Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements

    This is standard common sense, and the negative effects of over/micro-managing and red tape are recognized (and felt) not just in software but in all endeavours (even within families.) We know what to do about that in all forms of organizations and projects.

    That people and project still fall far from the well-known solutions, that has more to do with human behavior, team dynamics and the economics of the incentives/rewards, disinsentives/penalties, (whether tangible or psychological, subjective or objective) than anything else.

    Anonymous, with its faceless nature (that precludes the realities of disinsentives and penalties), and incoherent goals, has nothing to teach us or anyone engaged in a real-life project or mission subject to incentives and disinsentives, and the realities of identifiable human relations.

    The article might be good to drive traffic (ZOMG, Anonymous in teh titl3!), I'll give the author that </journalistic-attention-whoring>

    • the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success — in part due to the lack of central control. Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements

      This is standard common sense, and the negative effects of over/micro-managing and red tape are recognized (and felt) not just in software but in all endeavours (even within families.) We know what to do about that in all forms of organizations and projects.

      That people and project still fall far from the well-known solutions, that has more to do with human behavior, team dynamics and the economics of the incentives/rewards, disinsentives/penalties, (whether tangible or psychological, subjective or objective) than anything else.

      Anonymous, with its faceless nature (that precludes the realities of disinsentives and penalties), and incoherent goals, has nothing to teach us or anyone engaged in a real-life project or mission subject to incentives and disinsentives, and the realities of identifiable human relations.

      The article might be good to drive traffic (ZOMG, Anonymous in teh titl3!), I'll give the author that </journalistic-attention-whoring>

      Micro-management shouldn't be the object. The object should be to develop a system to distribute best practices. This could apply to Anonymous or to software development where more experienced workers can share their best practices with less experienced workers. The other is to focus on the process of making critical decisions. The problem of decision making can only be solved by developing a methodology of decision making along with some basic rules to follow when making certain types of decisions.

      If this

      • the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success — in part due to the lack of central control. Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements

        This is standard common sense, and the negative effects of over/micro-managing and red tape are recognized (and felt) not just in software but in all endeavours (even within families.) We know what to do about that in all forms of organizations and projects.

        That people and project still fall far from the well-known solutions, that has more to do with human behavior, team dynamics and the economics of the incentives/rewards, disinsentives/penalties, (whether tangible or psychological, subjective or objective) than anything else.

        Anonymous, with its faceless nature (that precludes the realities of disinsentives and penalties), and incoherent goals, has nothing to teach us or anyone engaged in a real-life project or mission subject to incentives and disinsentives, and the realities of identifiable human relations.

        The article might be good to drive traffic (ZOMG, Anonymous in teh titl3!), I'll give the author that </journalistic-attention-whoring>

        Micro-management shouldn't be the object. The object should be to develop a system to distribute best practices.

        First, best practices care about a lot of things beyond management. Secondly, best practices cannot be defined without first having something to compare (favorably) across an spectrum of things, and not just one spectrum, but a multiplicity of them (coding, process, management, etc.) In the management spectrum, micro-management sits on the polar opposite of management-related best practices. Ergo, one cannot describe or study best practices without first identifying and understanding the pathological case o

        • by elucido (870205)

          But herein lies the problem: anonymous and software development are not comparable, not unless you want to stretch the definition of problem statement. But that's just Reductio ad Absurdum just to fit an argument.

          Anonymous could be reduced to an algorithm and so can software. Another aspect they have in common is both usually depend on continuous optimization.

          Which problem of decision making are we referring to here?

          Just gathering a mass of emotional people does not produce good decisions without direction. Not all programmers make good design decisions and if you look at open source software you'll see a lot of great software ideas designed horribly. Napster was an example of a great idea with a horrible design.

          How does this draw lessons for software development, and to general projects and missions with identifiable players? Is it a legitimate argument that requires Anonymous as an example (which is what the article says, remember the topic)?

          I think it's more Anonymous can learn something from the soft

      • by zentigger (203922)

        What you are talking about is really just parliamentary procedure: adopt a "body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies" -Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

        Most governments of the world today practice this in some form or other. You generally have the politicians who go about making the rules and the bureaucrats that are responsible for the implementation of those rules. Same goes for most corporations: Board sets policy

  • And in the new version of Anonymous they need to agree on a process or methodology for deciding which ops to take and not to take, on deciding which principles to adopt and which not. Basic concepts like decision theory, a weighing of pros and cons, or benefit and risk, a set of principles from which to base everything around in language which is more concise, specific.

    Anonymous is a good idea but unless it's continuously updated it's going to become outdated real fast if it isn't already. The same could be

    • And in the new version of Anonymous they need to agree on a process or methodology for deciding which ops to take and not to take, on deciding which principles to adopt and which not. Basic concepts like decision theory, a weighing of pros and cons, or benefit and risk, a set of principles from which to base everything around in language which is more concise, specific.

      Anonymous is a good idea but unless it's continuously updated it's going to become outdated real fast if it isn't already.

      I put it to you that their loose system is ever changing and evolving already, and that your assessment was invalid before even contemplated writing it down.

      I see that despite everyone's brains being a loose collection of self organizing neurons, you're still shackled by the antiquated concept of top down structural design. Are you a Moron, or merely a Fool?

      • by elucido (870205)

        And in the new version of Anonymous they need to agree on a process or methodology for deciding which ops to take and not to take, on deciding which principles to adopt and which not. Basic concepts like decision theory, a weighing of pros and cons, or benefit and risk, a set of principles from which to base everything around in language which is more concise, specific.

        Anonymous is a good idea but unless it's continuously updated it's going to become outdated real fast if it isn't already.

        I put it to you that their loose system is ever changing and evolving already, and that your assessment was invalid before even contemplated writing it down.

        I see that despite everyone's brains being a loose collection of self organizing neurons, you're still shackled by the antiquated concept of top down structural design. Are you a Moron, or merely a Fool?

        Version numbers allow people to track the progress of revision in case something goes wrong and we want to know who was responsible for those revisions. To avoid math and science is to shy away from the truth of the matter and to call me a fool is to offer nothing of contribution.

    • There is an 'Anonymous Cyber Constitution.'

      http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/030/662/rules.jpg.jpg?1260852319 [kym-cdn.com]
  • by yuriks (1089091)

    This sounds a lot like the Valve model: Hire awesome people and let them set their own goals, with little to no management.

    • by ghostdoc (1235612)

      I had the same thought. After reading their introduction manual, it seems they work by the same model.

      In theory this should work.. hire bright, motivated people, set them broad goals to achieve, don't let anything impair their motivation or the ability to achieve their goals, and you should out-perform conventional top-down management structures by an order of magnitude.

      It'll be interesting to see how it works in practice as Valve scales up. So far so good, but they're about to come up against the likes of

  • the established powers that be in finance & govt need a nemesis to keep them in check, because the checks & balances meant to minimize corruption in the banking & investment and govt has failed miserably.

    Kudos to Anonymous!
    • the established powers that be in finance & govt need a nemesis to keep them in check, because the checks & balances meant to minimize corruption in the banking & investment and govt has failed miserably.

      Kudos to Anonymous!

      The problem with Anonymous's design and I'll say it again, they need to thoroughly separate the think tank philosophical ethical debate theoretical portion from the practical operative coding hacking portion. Meaning if an Anonymous Cyber Constitution were to be developed then everyone should be able to Facebook like it to approve of it and it should be on a wiki so it can be continuously updated and debated as new information comes in. There should be constant debate about certain subjects regarding philo

  • I remember a /. comment from a week or two back that mentioned a colleague/peer who was told he had to submit reports on the number of new lines of code produced every week. Through editing and refining the software, he ended up with a net loss of 20,000 lines of code (and submitted -20,000 in his report). Ultimately, he ended up submitting weekly reports that didn't really "mean" anything-- but was never questioned because his work was good and profitable. Just this week my supervisor was gone on vacation
    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      I remember a /. comment from a week or two back that mentioned a colleague/peer who was told he had to submit reports on the number of new lines of code produced every week. Through editing and refining the software, he ended up with a net loss of 20,000 lines of code (and submitted -20,000 in his report).

      The me see if I have the straight. He was told to submit a report on "the number of new lines of code produced". He didn't produce -20,000 lines of new code. He "edited and refined" the code which could mean many things including writing new code to replace old poorly written code. If he replaced 30,000 lines of crap spaghetti code with 10,000 of new, tight code, he produced10,000 lines of new code to replace 30,000 lines of old code. What he did not do is produce -20,000 lines of new code.

      In other words, a

      • by McCat (1438893)
        I think your comment illustrates how people like you can "learn from Anonymous."
        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          Yes, because following the directions one is given by one's boss is so lame. I mean who cares if I do what I am supposed to do and am paid to do, right? I will get something done and if it doesn't suit them, fuck'em, right?

  • The problem with his argument is that he assumes it is possible to do any of those things. All developers aren't great developers, and the great ones aren't likely to want to go anywhere but Google. Instead, you have mediocre developers to deal with.

    Neither are you able to set goals for sections of the projects, as customer's requirements often change. Developing something for consumers is easy, the hard projects are the ones being contracted.

    Finally, the biggest difference that makes this advice near worth
    • by Torp (199297)

      "the great ones aren't likely to want to go anywhere but Google."
      After the famous Marissa Meyer statements that she doesn't believe in burnout and that you can work 130 hour weeks all the time, why would anyone want to go to Google? Note that she is at Yahoo now, but those statements are from the time when she was working at Google...

      • Google was used as hyperbole. That point is true for any large and prestigious software development house, that the vast majority of developers do not work for.
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:08AM (#41135869) Homepage

    The only lesson here is that creating chaos doesn't require any kind of organizational structure (which is almost tautological). Producing something orderly is a whole different question, and unless you happen to have an infinite number of monkeys at your disposal, the chance of that happening in a finite period of time is pretty damn improbable.

    • I find it amazing that you were able to produce this ordered collection of words in a finite period of time given that your mind began as a chaotic collection of neurons. Pray tell, do you reject the concept of self organization only so long as such concepts are unapparent to you, or do you simply dismiss anything out of hand if it doesn't agree with your immediate perception of reality? Furthermore, I note that you remain ignorant of several works developed by the very unorganized structure you claim co

    • I will waste the mod point I used above to tell you: it actually requires quite a great deal of coordination and collective agreement to do what Anonymous does. If you have ever tried to promote an event via Facebook or email, I'm sure you know what a daunting task it can be to organize a large number of people via a non-face-to-face method like chat, the internet, email, etc. I'm sure Anonymous and its activities could provide material for a panacea of sociological studies, and I can't figure out why more

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

        The fact that Anonymous is able to get literally thousands of people to agree on a common target, launch a program(which they developed), and stick with running it for more than a few seconds with little to no feedback from it is truly a remarkable feat of organization

        That is a false statement. A hand of people decide to attack a target. Thousands of sheeple out to stick it to the Man are running the program with little or no knowledge of what the program does, how it does it, or who is actually being attacked. The programs are developed by a small group of people and not the thousands of sheeple.

        Basically, Anonymous consist of a very small group of deciders, some or all of whom are the technically skilled group who created the tools, and a massive group of idiotic foll

    • by dkf (304284)

      Producing something orderly is a whole different question, and unless you happen to have an infinite number of monkeys at your disposal, the chance of that happening in a finite period of time is pretty damn improbable.

      Also remember this: an infinite number of monkeys will produce an infinite amount of shit pretty much instantly. Finding what you're looking for amid all the excrement will be very difficult.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Monday August 27, 2012 @09:08AM (#41135873)

    And it has enjoyed a great deal of success - in part due to the lack of central control.

    But Anonymous hasn't really done anything that requires the true contributive efforts of more than a few people at a time. LOIC doesn't count, because "here, run this" isn't in the same ballpark as actually contributing code to a project. The person/people who wrote LOIC still exercised control over the actual software and made decisions about what features went in and what didn't.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Which is to say it is much easier to be an obstructionist or a destroyer or even just copy than it is to create something innovative.

      Here is my thoughts. While I am not saying anything about the products, I am always suspicious of buying products that are represented by non professional sales staff. My feeling is that if one has a product, or brand, and it is policy to just let any violent convicted criminal from off the street represent your brand or product, then what does that say about the supply ch

  • Except of course that for an attack only one attempt ever need work properly to get the information desired. For a development project the whole thing better work and somebody should even be able to maintain it after whoever slapped the thing together has moved on to ruining something else.

  • Any method will work, as long as you don't piss them off enough to leave for greener pastures.
    Agile, waterfall, they will make anything work.
    Unfortunately there's a limit to the number of awesome people you can find.
    When someone presents a new development method that does not include the phrase "if you hire awesome people", please wake me up.

  • This sounds very much like WikiPedia but then for software.

    Everyone can contribute to the project, and change or delete existing parts. Now how this would ever really work for code I don't know - making sure it still compiles after any changes is just the first issue that I can think of - but it'd be interesting if someone can figure out a way to set up a site where such a project could take shape.

    Though having a central repository for code is in itself already a form of central control... just like WikiPed

  • Often telling people what to do is worse than having a well defined vision and inspiring a self-organising team to work towards it.

    But there are no silver bullets in software development. The hard stuff is still what it is, hard.

  • Development of major software projects require discipline and expertise from all it's contributors. There needs to be a clear goal, both overall as well as what each individual contributor does. Each contributor also needs to feel that they have ownership of their piece.

    If a company fosters an environment where the above is not true, then yeah the project is going to run into problems.

    Yes, gratuitous control (what used to be called 'micromanagement') can be a great way to hurt a projects long term success

  • For all we know the developers could already be anonymous since we don't have an exact list of who anonymous is and the public arrests may have been just sacrificial lambs so to speak.
  • this is one of the few articles i've read where it sounds like someone actually understands a little bit about anonymous. Every time flocks news, or msnbc reported about some activity attributed to anonymous, they would talk about law enforcement going after anon's command and control, or leadership...not understanding that there is no leadership. When a lot of strangers get together and are motivated to complete a goal, it can get done, and I believe that is the main point and I believe it was made.
  • Success in the same way the Mafia can be considered a success.

  • by a2wflc (705508)

    My company has faced fines of 100s of thousands and even millions of dollars in fines and even a threat of a 5 year ban on internet presence in a country. We've also had a $50K project cost 20x as much because of a "minor" bad decision by a developer.

  • Sorry, but numerous, disjointed visions of what passes for good user-interface design, along with different standards for reliability doesn't sound like something I'm interested in at all. Especially if every user-interface panel requires me to push the "I'M A CHARGIN' MA LAZER" button before pressing "OK".

    I'm getting sick of people generating web-hits by relating anything and everything to Anonymous.

  • http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/lulzsec-snitch/ [wired.com]
    If you can find a group to 'join' the Feds have joined long long ago.
    "has been working undercover for the feds since the FBI arrested him without fanfare last June"
    Like a protester in East Germany you will be surrounded by informants, deep undercover LEO and the added fun of vigilantes (alone/private/gov funded)
    The problem is your looking at 28 years and usually have an hour with your lawyer to take the ~90% conviction court option or make a long
  • Every time in my career that I've been asked to "provide metrics", I've asked (friendly like) "What decisions will be taken based on them? What will we do differently? What can we do differently?"

    I've never, ever, received any answer other than "Can't change anything, but Bossman wants them".

    So you can take your metrics and shove them right up your ISO 14001. They're very likely to be a waste of time demanded by a waste of oxygen.

    • by wmbetts (1306001)

      I guess I'm in a lucky situation. I work pretty much in an autonomous dev group. We got all the requirements up front, but after that we were left to our own devices. I've been there close to a month and so far the only metric is "you said feature X would be done by Y. Where is it!" and I'm perfectly okay with that metric. The only reason I'm where I'm at now is because of the structure. It's pretty much what the summery describes as being "good", but to me it's always seemed to be "the right way to do thin

  • Sure, doing something in Anonymous' name that even a minority of "members" dislike would probably be a tactical mistake,

    Most things "done by Anonymous" were followed by massive Internet flame outbursts directed toward the people who performed them -- supposed "newfags" who are "not really Anonymous". I think, the only action that did not provoke such reaction was the original Habbo Hotel invasion (of "Pool is closed due to AIDS" fame).

  • They prove you to don't need a fixed goal or purpose to do something. We can do things just for the hell of it. Don't assume that we need a reason to do something. It could be that we exist just because... no end game needed. That's my fantasy, and I'm sticking to it!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Memorable quotes for
    Looker (1981)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com]

    "John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily s

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan

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