Theory of alienation in the software industry

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Theory of alienation in the software industry

  1. 1. Theory of Alienation in the Software Industry Prepared by: Ahmed Mahmoud Misbah
  2. 2. Agenda• Introduction• History• Labor Theory of Alienation• Alienation in the Software Industry• Preventing Alienation
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION
  4. 4. What is Alienation?• A feeling of separation or isolation• Separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony• Breaking down traditional relationships among individuals and groups and the goods and services they produce
  5. 5. A simple example
  6. 6. A complex example Produced by A Lacoste Polo unskilled Shirt that laborers that costs $79.50 workby the 14 hrs worn per day and rich and earn a 48 cent happy hourly wage
  7. 7. HISTORY
  8. 8. History of the theory• Introduced as a social theory by Ludwig Feuerbach in 1841 in his writing “The Essence of Christianity”• Updated by Karl Marx into the “Theory of Labor Alienation” in 1844 in the “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts”
  9. 9. History of the theory (cont’d)• Its implication on modern society are still discussed by various writers including Gavin M. Edis in 2000 in his writing “Alienation in the Work Place”
  10. 10. LABOR THEORY OFALIENATION
  11. 11. Definition• In Marxs view, alienation is a symptom of the industrial age and of capitalism• A worker on a production line sees only the part of the work that he is involved with• He has no knowledge or control over the final product that is produced and sold
  12. 12. Definition (cont’d)• The workman has no relationship with the goods that he is producing• He is alienated from his own labor• He works purely for the money• There is no satisfaction in the work that he does
  13. 13. Forms of Labor Alienation1. The worker is alienated from the product of his labor2. The worker is also alienated from the labor process
  14. 14. Forms of Labor Alienation (cont’d)3. The worker faces alienation from other workers4. The worker is alienated from himself
  15. 15. ALIENATION IN THESOFTWARE INDUSTRY
  16. 16. Does the theory apply here?• Developers are like workers in an assembly line• The process of developing software is similar to producing products• The final product is a result of assembling every developer’s work
  17. 17. Alienation from the product• Software does not further a developers quality of life (financially, technically, socially, etc.)• Software is not always owned or used by the developer
  18. 18. Alienation from the Labor Process• Confidentiality in projects• No involvement or choice in software development process, solution architecture, technology stack, etc.• Heavily relying on black box frameworks
  19. 19. Alienation from other workers• No involvement or interaction with customers• Gap between developer and manager• Not attending sessions and training courses• Not attending conferences and events
  20. 20. Alienation from one’s self• A result of all previous forms of alienations• Leads to: – De-motivation – Loss of confidence – Inability to lead – Inability to take decisions – Completion with tools
  21. 21. PREVENTING ALIENATION
  22. 22. How can we prevent alienation?• Alienation from the Product: – Consider the benefits and implications of projects on developers – Appeal to developers’ benefits – Lecture developers on the value of their work – Find means of reward and appreciation
  23. 23. How can we prevent alienation? (cont’d)• Alienation from Labor Process: – Initiate discussions in the process and tools used to develop the software – Maintain transparency – Internal kickoffs – Promote use of open-source
  24. 24. How can we prevent alienation? (cont’d)• Alienation from other workers: – Conduct regular sessions for knowledge transfer – Encourage attending events – Deliver training – Customer interaction – Frequent 1:1 meetings – Frequent department meetings – Gatherings
  25. 25. How can we prevent alienation? (cont’d)• Alienation from one’s self: – Prevent all previous forms of alienation – Look towards developers as future leaders and decision makers not current followers – A Developer is not a code producer but a problem thinker
  26. 26. Thank you Question ?

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