The Artful Dodger Doesn’t Use a Mac for Software Development

I was thinking about my claim that all development will move to the Mac when I realized that there is an obvious exception. The Artful Dodger. Why? In order to avoid responsibility, and reduce efficiency.

I first encountered the use of the term Artful Dodger in the context of software engineering while reading DiMaggio’s [1] paper on software testing teams. He characterizes several different personality types that make up desirable types as well as personalities that need to be redirected in order to avoid decreased productivity. The artful dodger is one of the latter.

DiMaggio tells us that a successful testing team will be made up of:

  • Early Adopter is always up-to-date with the latest technology.
  • Constant Adapter works on adapting available tools to suite the projects needs.
  • Happy Integrator is at home where ever two pieces of software meet.
  • Experienced Miner has an instinct for finding bugs that have the worst consequences.
  • Indefatigable Innovator is constantly in search of new ways to approach a problem.
  • Visionary is the person who sees the big picture.

It seems like engineers with these personalities likely make up many successful teams, not just those focused on testing.

We are also advised to redirect people who fall victim to the following:

  • Status Junkie is caught up on where the project is at and cannot see past the current state.
  • Sage brings up long past successes that may not even apply to the current project any time there is a need to address a technical problem.
  • Spread-Too-Thinner is someone that allows themselves to take on too many tasks, resulting in something falling behind.

The Artful Dodger is introduced as a variation on the Spread-Too-Thinner that purposefully volunteers for more tasks than he can handle in order to hide behind one task so as to avoid work on another.

So what does this have to do with using a Mac? Well the Artful Dodger needs every excuse he can muster in order to avoid work. Having a computer that “just works�? would be contrary to that goal. However, as part of the bigger picture we need to watch out for the Artful Dodger in any software development team. He can create disastrous effects on your project.


[1] L. DiMaggio. High-performance software testing teams: A guide for managers and team leads, September 2004.