Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz


Exceptional Software Explained: Embrace Error
21 minutes, 10mb, recorded 2008-07-22
Robert Lefkowitz

After realizing that no overriding methodology existed for the development of open source software, Robert Lefkowitz set about trying to develop one. After looking at various models for general software development, he found that they had similar stages of creation and implementation. And he found that these stages dovetailed nicely with Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory, a model for persuasive argument.

Using Quintilian's steps, Lefkowitz discusses how he developed a working model for open source software development that would take into consideration issues specific to it, such as the role of community (trying to get everyone in IT to agree to the steps and to keep them posted on their cubicles), and the need to design programs that can handle exceptions (because there is no development, only maintenance.)

In this way, companies can create exceptional software and embrace a process where errors are not a bad thing.

Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz is a software architect and systems designer with over thirty years of experience. For two decades r0ml worked on Wall Street, developing market data, trading, risk management and quantitative analysis systems. More recently, as chief technical architect at AT&T Wireless, he drove the improvement of their CRM, ERP, commission, and data warehousing systems. Over the last several years, r0ml has become increasingly interested in open source software strategy at large enterprises, and is a frequent speaker on the topic.


This free podcast is from our Open Source Conference series.

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  • Post-production audio engineer: Mark Henry
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  • Series producer: Liz Evans