Buzzword Bingo

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading Evelyn Waugh, Robert Scoble, John Buchan and Ian McEwan – quite a combination. My poor friend Robert Feakes, on the other hand, has been reading Information Age.

He sent me this example from the March issue in an email entitled ‘Absolute bloody gibberish’:

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) has become a key strategy for today’s CIO, as all industry watchers proclaim the benefits of turning legacy systems and middleware into agile applications, closely aligned to end-to-end business processes.

It is on the back of the burgeoning interest in SOA that application server maker BEA Systems has sought to strengthen its hand through the acquisition of US-based business process management company, Fuego.

Fuego, is a comprehensive, advanced software platform for business process management (BPM) and one of the last stand-alone players in the market for co-ordinating webservices with processes. “As in the case of its previous acquisition of Plumtree software, BEA is buying a leading vendor in its class”, says Janelle Hill, vice president, Gartner research.

Robert’s comment:

This is the sort of nonsense I have to deal with in the IT ‘industry’. Lazy, ill-written, meaningless buzzwords aplenty adding-up to nothing (what is a ‘comprehensive, advanced software platform’?), cause and effect reversed and not really adding to the sum of knowledge. I find myself getting more and more annoyed by writing like this, particularly in IT publications, they smack of press releases and, again, plain laziness.

Hear, hear.

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I agree with the sentiment of course, who wouldn’t, but isn’t part of the game deconstructing the text to find what it’s really saying ? Sometimes the text can disappear in a puff of smoke – “cause and effect reversed and not really adding to the sum of knowledge” – but in the quoted example there clearly is something concrete there – a SOA can implemented in or on top of vendor’s app servers, BPM includes tangible things like BPEL ( that are implemented on top of this. So this quote is really saying “we (BEA) couldn’t manage to develop all this stuff on top of the base app server, so we bought the code from some other clever guys instead”.

Mmm. There’s been quite a lot of work on software ‘summarizers’; I wonder if they could be trained to throw out meaningless buzzwords?

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