Although it may be an overreaction, what is it a reaction to? Many statistics show that even today, most software projects fail. It seems reasonable to believe that many companies are looking for a new way of doing things. From the programmer's point of view, it probably seems like it is a failure of management and a lack of proper tools to get the job done. If that's the case, it would make sense to try to minimize management and throw out the old tools.
On the other hand, there's the famous adage that managing programmers is like herding cats. From a management perspective, it can be frustrating as well: "why don't the programmers understand how important it is to get feature XYZ completed by the deadline?"
I think the truth is probably a combination of things; insufficient understanding by management of the complexities of software development, lack of reliable visibility into the plan and current status, overly complex and insufficient tools, insufficient understanding by programmers of the complexities of business realities, and lack of information in the trenches about how the current development plan is connected to the business plan.
It seems to me that part of the problem is plain and simple education. Having been in both camps, often simultaneously, I can shed some light on this subject, but my favorite part and the part I think tool vendors can help the most with is providing tools that provide high visibility of all aspects of the software development process to all stakeholders in real time.
After all, isn't the fundemental reason for software the automation of manual processes? Why in the world should software developers ever have to resort to keeping track of things with 3x5 cards or spreadsheets that provide only a modest benefit over paper and pencil compared with using a software tool that has been tailor made for tracking software development activities? What's next? A return to punch cards?!
As a software development tool vendor, I believe we are obligated to sit up, take notice, and do something about this situation. Otherwise, it seems that we can look forward to state of the art software being created with the software equivalent of sharp sticks and stone knives.
One company that has started to respond to this challenge is the Rally software company with their Rally software product. It automates many of the tasks associated with Agile development. I salute their efforts and hope that all tool vendors will respond in kind. I know that I'll be doing my utmost to make sure that AccuRev takes heed.