[Pdx-pm] Software development and The Rules

chromatic chromatic at wgz.org
Tue Sep 24 18:44:05 CDT 2002

On Tuesday 24 September 2002 16:36, Joe Oppegaard wrote:

> It seems like 75% of the software developers out there don't follow The
> Rules (or know why they are breaking them), at least this would be the
> assumption to make after reading books like The Pragmatic Programmer, The
> Practice of Programming, or just hearing people talk about their peers at
> work.

> As I've never had a job as a software developer, I don't know how true that
> assumption is. Is it one of those wonders of society where everyone Knows
> they are good, yet they also Know most everyone else is sub-par? (ie.
> driving).

There does seem to be no small amount of egotism in software development.  I 
have quite a bit myself.  :)

Part of the problem is that it's easy to do the wrong thing.  A computer 
program is intangible enough that you can scrape by being inappropriately 

Another part of the problem is that writing a program seems like magic to 
people who don't do it.  There are valid reasons to hate the "software 
development is like building a house" metaphors, but there's also a reason we 
use "architecture" to describe the way a system hangs together.  Change has 
costs, even if all you're doing is flipping magnetic bits.

Good luck finding people who read the rule books often, too, especially with 
languages that encourage hobbyists and don't require computer science 
degrees.  This is not to say that there aren't a lot of lazy comp sci grads, 
or that there aren't a lot of people who read a lot of books and never learn. 

My answer?  Lots of people are lazy and ignorant, just like in any profession.

-- c

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