Thursday, 23 October 2008

You are not a good designer.

Big design up front is a way of being sure that you're going to be wrong. You can keep at it day after day and eventually your design will be so big that the probability that it's all right is nearing zero.

We have a solution to this problem, it's called approximation and evolutionary prototyping.

Orgel's second rule : "evolution is cleverer than you" applies to the science of software creation just as it does to advancing biological forms. If you work on a piece of software, you're better off refactoring it than starting again. It's quite simple really, in the old not good enough code is a bunch of stuff that works. Every time you try to do it from scratch, you forget and in turn reduce the complexity (and capacity) of the software. Sometimes the reduction in complexity is good, and refactoring could have done it too, but sometimes it's disasterous (which refactoring doesn't do).

Consider these two alternatives when you next start writing that great new piece of code that is going to be just like X but better.
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