What’s The Big Deal?

World Cup mania has taken over, well, the world. Several of the cafeterias here at Microsoft have the games playing on giant screens. Much of my team watched one game at someone’s house because he has a big-screen high-definition TV. I know companies that have purchased plasma televisions specifically to watch the World Cup.

I readily confess I don’t get why all this hulabaloo. People get excited over college basketball’s Final Four, but I don’t remember them skipping work to watch the games! Yes, the World Cup is multi-national, but so are the Olympics, and I don’t remember people skipping work to watch them either. It all seems bizarre to me.

But then, I just plain don’t care about sports, and so I don’t know enough about soccer (er, football, as I know most of the world calls it) to see the skill and beauty in the game. I have watched people start out knowing less than me (not that that is really possible), learn, and turn into rabid fans.

So some people get it and are excited about it and enthuse about it.

Other people don’t get it currently but will once it’s explained to them.

Other people (e.g., me) simply don’t care enough about it to learn.

Huh. Sounds a lot like software development!

Some people get why design reviews, code reviews, test-driven development, unit tests, specifications, testing, process, and all that are important. Some of us you might even say approach it with a touch (or more) of mania. <g/> Other people don’t get it but are willing to learn. Other people simply don’t care. I trust that y’all are not in the third group! <g/>

Me, I’m looking forward to the day when a Testing World Cup engenders as much excitement and mania as The World Cup does today!

*** Want a fun job on a great team? I need a tester! Interested? Let’s talk: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com. Great coding skills required.

Comments (3)

  1. alanpa says:

    I see this misconception often, but to be clear, "soccer" was originally a British term, and is still used throughout much of Europe as a nickname for football. By the time the game gained popularity (albeit limited) in the states, american football was popular, so the nickname "soccer" was adopted.

    The joy of watching football/soccer comes from knowing the game. First you have to learn the rules, but once you get past that, it’s the strategy that grabs my interest. There’s so much going on with and away from the ball – every minute contains dozens of missed (and sometimes miffed) opportunities. Soccer is the only sport where I can watch the same game multiple times – the joy of watching the game is equal to the value of the final score.

    In this way, I guess software engineering is similar. If you really get what it’s about, you probably love doing it. If you don’t care about it, you won’t.

    Isn’t that true about everything?

  2. Thanks for the explanation! Perhaps I’ve been overly influenced by my Argentinean friends and need to get some English friends. <g/>

  3. Phil Kirkham says:

    Been playing and watching the game since I was old enough to kick a ball so I love the hulabaloo.

    Try watching it this way

    A skilful team like Argentina will patiently probe the opposition, find their strengths and weaknesses and finds the best way to attack

    A less skillful team ( England ) have just one tactic to use and hit the system with a hammer to see if it breaks