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Re^2: OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on May 25, 2012 at 17:52 UTC ( #972507=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports
in thread OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports

Bouncing a bit off of your fourth paragraph, let me play Devil’s advocate for a sec.   I wonder if it could be argued that ... if you spent X months building something to be told then that “that’s not right,” then you obviously didn’t build your blueprints.   I wonder also if it could be argued that what you are suggesting is actually an apologetic for, “let’s just make the whole thing up little-by-little as we go along.”  

“If you do not know where you are going, you will get there ...”

If one oh-so confidently asserts that software should be designed on-the-fly whereas a building or a bridge (that maybe costs less) requires rigorous design and specification ... what is it, exactly, about software that justifies exempting it from the advance planning process that is required even of a company that fixes pot-holes in the street?   (The original builders are frequently held liable for those pot-holes, by the way...)

Are you seriously telling me that the only way to determine whether a system will be capable of supporting the intended transaction volume is to build the thing, throw it into the water, and see (for the first time, as it were...) if it swims?!

I am unconvinced that “there is only one way to find out...”   You can’t figure out where to put in a septic tank, much less actually put one in, without doing a soil-percolation test first.   (Phew.)   When the plans are drawn-up and approved, this sort of preliminary investigation and calculation has already been completed.

This Devil’s advocate says ... “Baloney!”   What say ye now?

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Re^3: OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 25, 2012 at 18:09 UTC
    What say ye now?

    I say 40 years of people misunderstanding Dr. Royce, failing, and saying "It would have worked if we'd only BDUF more!" and failing just as badly next time gives me little confidence that BDUF more next time will ever work.

Re^3: OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports
by talexb (Canon) on May 25, 2012 at 19:53 UTC

    To follow your boat analogy, I'd build the hull and make sure that it floats, draws the depth that I expected, performs in the wave tank correctly, and then continue with the deck, the fittings, the rigging, engine/sails, nav equipment and so forth.

    I may not have explained my 'on the fly' approach very well: I'm talking about getting started with the basics, and making sure that the basics work correctly.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

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