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If People Built Buildings the Way They Build Software…

You’ve probably heard an expression similar to, “If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.” At face value it is amusing and seems in some ways prophetic.

After all most computer users have experienced countless software failures that led to lost data, reduced productivity and basic frustration. If our buildings’ infrastructures failed as often we wouldn’t dare enter them. The earlier quote makes a not-so-subtle statement that programmers do not do as good a job when constructing software as their building builder brethren do when building buildings.

However, the premise of the quote, and others like it, is fatally flawed. Statements of this nature assume that building a physical structure is like creating software. I disagree strongly. In fact I think the two are as similar as bridge construction and music composition, i.e. not very.

In this category’s posts I intend to flesh out my thoughts on the process of software creation, or composition as I like to call it.

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