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Monday, January 28, 2008

Software is hard

Here's a great article proving it. It makes reference to the axiom:

It is impossible, by examining any significant piece of completed code, to determine within a factor of two how many man-hours it took to produce that code.
And the corollary:
If you can't tell how long a piece of code would take when you have the finished product available, what chance do you think you have before the first line of code is written?
And he goes on with this other axiom:
Rosenberg's Law: Software is easy to make, except when you want it to do something new.

The corollary being:
The only software that's worth making is software that does something new.
But the best reference was yet to come:

Even the term "software engineering," Rosenberg writes, is a statement of hope, not fact. He quotes the 1968 NATO Software Engineering Conference that coined the term: "We undoubtedly produce software by backward techniques." "We build systems like the Wright brothers built airplanes--build the whole thing, push it off the cliff, let it crash, and start over again." Certainly statements that could still be made forty years later.

Makes you think... Thank André Cardoso Lourenço for the finding of this little jewel :)

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