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Re: Programming is combat

by dws (Chancellor)
on Jul 08, 2004 at 15:59 UTC ( #372843=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Programming is combat

I've fantasized about writing my own, but applying it to programming.

Several years back I had some discussions along these lines with a coworker who'd been in the Isaeli army. One of the sticking points we had was on the subject of collateral damage. In a military campaign, particularly in a "take that hill, dammit" action, you expect collateral damage as a matter of course, but it's most often someone else's problem to clean up. In software development, collateral damage is another source of defects; you might try to shove it out of the way (or define it away), but it still represents a pile of new defects, and you're unlikely to be able to avoid dealing with those defects for long without taking a reputation hit.

Dealing with collateral damage is where a number of approaches to reframing software development as X fall down. The level of precision, correctness, and robustness that software development requires is rarely understood or appreciated outside of our domain.


Comment on Re: Programming is combat
Re^2: Programming is combat
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jul 09, 2004 at 15:36 UTC
    In software development, collateral damage is another source of defects; you might try to shove it out of the way (or define it away), but it still represents a pile of new defects, and you're unlikely to be able to avoid dealing with those defects for long without taking a reputation hit.

    I've found the technical debt metaphor very useful for talking about this sort of thing. Especially with non-programmers.

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