Software Development at InterDigital Communications Corporation

     When I interviewed for a job at InterDigital Communications Corporation, one thing that impressed me was that their entire software development group was three people. I'll point out that there wasn't much software to write, just the internal algorithms for a radio channel, as the call processing was being handled outside the scope of the IDC work. Still, IDC management realized that, as John Tirella said so nicely, "Software is the kiss of death for a project."

     A year later the picture was not so pretty. Somehow, the software group had enlarged to thirty people enmired in a process cesspool of source code reviews, ISO9000 meetings, and all the other trappings of post-modern software. I don't know how IDC went from three to thirty programmers, I'm not sure IDC management knows how it happened, but it happened. It wasn't the horribly over-bloated software-development environment pioneered at Bell Laboratories, but it was not a pretty picture.