Sunday, September 23, 2007

attack the essence

One must attack the essence. [Brooks95]

OMG, that is an awesome sentence. I love it. I can't think of anything better right now, it might be that I'm re-reading The Mythical Man-Month. btw, re-reading is good. I initially read man-month such a long time ago, before really having industry experience. now it makes so much more sense.

okay, so two ideas popped into my head when i read that. here they are
  • We should come up with a list of the most awesome sentences in technology books. That would be really geeky, but really cool. Some examples could be:

    - be smart and get things done [Spolosky]
    - Tom, this is management [DeMarco, Lister]
    - Don't Live with Broken Windows [Hunt, Thomas]
    - Make your code so good that you don't need comments, and then comment it to make it even better.[McConnell]

    have more? send them to me. I want to know the author and the book so i can read it too!
  • So, of course I started to think about NSB (no silver bullet). I was thinking that I don't really care about the improved "productivity" (speed), instead i care more about correctness. often times average programmers will take a while to "complete" a program, but it contains bugs or bad design decisions. i rather improve software development such that there is only one way to implement something correctly. in other words, give a hundred programmers (of all skill levels) the same task and get the same correct solution. the variability will still be on "productivity" speed, but at least we'd get the same solution. you can do that in math, why not in software? the current problem is you give 100 programmers the same task and you'll end up with 100 different solutions at a variable productivity. boo to that i say.

    anyway.. let me think about this a little more (sleep on it) and hopefully i have something more intelligent to say about it.

    some links from the paper
    all of the links are interesting, you should read them.
  • Hawaii looks ahead to the year 2050
  • Hawaii in 2050
    2050 is important; something that i'd like to know more about. we need action now, because change is slow.

  • High-tech gender gap may be tied to software design
    As it is, the percentage of bachelor's degrees in computer science awarded to women fell from 37 percent in 1985 to just 22 percent in 2005, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, even as women made gains in other science and math-based fields.

    haha. that sucks.

  • BAE Systems: The defense never rests
    BAE Systems works to fill as many positions from within the state as possible, Aldinger said, which can be difficult even with salaries that exceed $80,000 annually. Thirty-one of Aldinger's 74 identification and surveillance group employees graduated from the University of Hawaii.

    "UH is a major target for us and we work collaboratively with them on many, many engineering programs," he said. "Our view is we are creating a center of technological skills that truly can separate Hawaii for this kind of work nationally and internationally."

    Peter Crouch, dean of the University of Hawaii College of Engineering, said the school works to place students with BAE Systems as well as defense contractors Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., who also have a presence in Hawaii.

    "Some of our students have gone on to do very well at BAE," Crouch said. "We like to work with companies that have a lot of UH alums."

    one day, hopefully the ics department (or hopefully one day college) will also be part of this sort of paragraph. hopefully.

    austen.ito said...

    What does "attack the essence" mean?

    And I think that you can have 100 different correct solutions in software. Software isn't like math. You can implement one technique or chose another with both being correct. I think that is one of the fun parts of software. You can be creative and construct things in your own way.

    aaron said...

    aaron: quick response.
    aaron: that's why programming isn't a science.
    aaron: anyway. i'm just saying.
    aaron: it would be good for all man kind.
    austen: heh
    austen: it would make it boring
    austen: and all man kind would be like this sucks
    austen: but correct yes
    aaron: i disagree
    aaron: then we can actually solve problems
    aaron: code reuse would be awesome.
    austen: haha prove it!
    austen: haha
    austen: i win
    austen: lol
    aaron: and i'm not sure given strict requirements that there can be 100 correct implementations
    aaron: i guess the point of it is that most people don't write correct and perfect solutions.