Fri, 06 Jun 2003
Thu, 10 Apr 2003
Still true. But here are two links about the construction analogy.
Bret describes how the contractor building his new office assumes that the cost of change is low.
I've changed my mind plenty of times, and it hasn't cost me a cent. My contractor assumes that changes will be made. My architect, and many software people who are keen to make analogies, presume that it is cheap to make changes on paper, but expensive to make them with the physical structure...
On Kuro5hin, there's a longer essay:
Over the next several paragraphs we will examine how the analogy is broken (disfunctional) and why it is dangerous to use the analogy to guide our efforts to make software better.
(Thanks to Paul Carvalho for the second link.)
Fri, 07 Mar 2003
Software people often use analogies to other fields as a way of thinking about their work. The most tired one is construction: building software is like building buildings, therefore it makes sense to talk of architects, and architecture, and models that function like blueprints, and careful division of labor, and so forth.
Another popular one is that software engineering ought to be like real engineering. Therefore, we should strive for a type of software development that looks to the numerically-oriented sciences for guidance and lauds a "measure twice, cut once" style of work.
Those analogies are so pervasive that they often go without question. At Analogy Fest, we're going to leave them unquestioned. But what we're going to do is add more analogies. Each attendee will bring a new analogy, serious or fanciful, for discussion. The analogies will be explored in some detail, but our goal is not to assert that they're true. Our goal is that they serve as a trigger for inspiration, a way for a bunch of bright people to have a focused brainstorm that leads to unexpected results.
I hope some people show up! Again, the link is here.