exploring the relationship between social science and software development methodologies: a blog by Pascal Belouin

Here are the slides from a talk I did in London at dev8d, where I tried to focus on the practical aspects of things. I hope some developers around here find it interesting! Dev8D Presentation Pascal Belouin View more presentations from Pascal Belouin.

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Falsificationism could be understood as a solution to the problems entailed by the use of inductive reasoning for the construction of genuine scientific knowledge, which was introduced by Karl Popper in the middle of the twentieth century. Even though it has since been the subject of criticisms, this concept provoked a redefinition of the line [...]

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§267 · April 13, 2010 · Theory · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , ,


Although a polemical subject, the application of the concept of closed systems in the social sciences has been seen as a way to limit and even rule out the influence of certain variables in the study of social objects, which in turns seems to allow the elicitation of clear-cut causal relationships. Those causal relationships can [...]

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§261 · April 13, 2010 · Theory · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,


I am currently working on a medium-size web development project for a public organisation: the project is implemented by a small, agile team of developers external to the organisation (rather talented I must say!) on the basis of specifications written by myself and my colleague. These specs mostly consist on word documents as well as [...]

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Although only remotely connected to what should be the main concern for software development projects (that is to say that the specifications are right), the interplay of power relationships between stakeholders can really cause a lot of damage. I am not talking only about tensions that may arise between, for example, the sales team and [...]

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I try and follow a few number of simple principles when I develop the front-end of enterprise web applications (that is to say web applications which aim is to support the processes of a particular organisation), both to inform design decisions and to avoid scope creep. The main approach I tend to follow and advocate [...]

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In recent years, ‘software developers’ have traveled quite a distance in public imagination, from spotty-faced sociopathic nerds to geek chic alpha males. Some may want my head on a spike for such an appalling short cut, but one could argue that this change in the way software engineers are represented in cultural discourse may be [...]

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How can we sum up what we do? what are these systems we design? Below is a somewhat simplistic and schematic view of the problem, which may have some merits in that it provides a framework within which we can start to tackle the particular issues of our beloved discipline in a ‘formal’ manner! I’ve [...]

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I recently came across an interesting problem, which I guess is quite a common one for web application developers. I am currently working on a small to middle sized web application, and the development team is using Merb, a nice and neat MVC framework, and are making very good use of the ‘spirit’ and elegance [...]

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By introducing the idea of a fragmented, constantly ‘failing’ subject, Lacan directly challenged the essentialist concept of a ‘stable identity’, or ‘constant ego’ as commonly accepted since Descartes’ Cogito. Indeed, according to Lacan, biological sexual differences between individuals could be viewed as the ‘paradigmatic difference’ at the origin of the formation of the subject ‘from [...]

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§145 · March 17, 2010 · Theory · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , , ,