Nature of Software Development

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Software development is …

blindmen

  • like a tale of the blind men and the elephant (subjective)
  • anything goes (everyone has a methodology)
  • organic (evolutionary)
  • part art (craft)
  • part engineering (specification by example)
  • part market norms (commerce)
  • part social norms (open source)
  • part politics (API)
  • part physics (human interaction)
  • part linguistics (language influences thought)
  • part mathematics (computing science)
  • part machismo (benchmarks)
  • part ecosystem (In open source, it’s diversity. In business, it’s fragmentation)
  • part psychology (individual style)
  • part bureaucracy (frameworks)
  • part meritocracy (race-neutral, gender-neutral)
  • part oligopoly (go figure)
  • part turf war (not invented here)
  • part libertarian (free software)
  • part adventure (startup)
  • part science (experiment)
  • part wisdom (architecture)
  • part folly (ad hoc, brittle, expediency of youth)
  • part Einsteinian (it depends)
  • the sum of all parts
  • in a word, a reflection of human nature

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