Repeatable process

Joel Spolsky has an interesting article about why he does not like reliance on process and 'best practices'. Basically, he explains that following a list of instructions encourages turning off the brain and following the instructions. He prefers developers who work with their brains engaged.

As I was reading the article, it reminded me of two of the schools of software testing which Bret Pettichord proposed: the Factory school wants repeatable standards, while the Context-Driven school uses whatever method is the best for this scenario.

This also makes me wonder about social science research about the differences in following a list of tasks versus not having a list of tasks. There is the study with the gorilla which shows that when people are told to look for one thing they often miss other things. However, I would like to find more research on this topic.