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Author Topic: Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete  (Read 4122 times)

KenR

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Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete
« on: February 03, 2007, 08:29:45 PM »
Here's an interesting discussion of some of the factors that can make finishing programs take far longer than they otherwise might - unless you're Mouser.

Quote
One way to look at Salon co-founder Scott Rosenberg's new book, "Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software," is as an attempt to tell the story of a specific software development project -- the effort by industry legend Mitch Kapor and a band of ace programmers to create Chandler, a kind of turbo-powered personal information management program that would dazzle users with its ability to enhance their productivity...

Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

app103

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Re: Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007, 09:30:52 PM »
Here is an interesting, related blog post that claims that Rosenberg has it all wrong: programmers don't like coding...they like problem solving.

http://rentzsch.com/...ammersDontLikeToCode

I don't know about anybody else, but I kind of agree with that, for me personally.

I am a puzzle freak...pure, plain, and simple. Even with games, I prefer a good puzzle over an action game. And I approach programming as part art and part puzzle...2 things I enjoy most, combined into 1.

It's like playing every great puzzle game and painting a picture at the same time.

mouser

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Re: Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 10:41:58 PM »
Nice find app.
On the other hand i do think it's not quite right (or night right for all programmers) to say that it's the same kind of motivation as solving puzzles..

I think much of the motivation is something like:
"I like to build new things out of nothing"

Whether you are a writer, programming, artist, etc. - you like to build things.
And you enjoy the pleasure of producing something of "value" from your work - the surprise of not knowing exactly what will come out of you as you work.. and getting better and learning as you go.

And the feeling of having accomplished somethig at the end, and having learned something new in the process..

cnewtonne

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Re: Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 07:59:44 AM »
I can add my own personal insight. It is all about human enablement. A tool that enables humans to exhibit NEW behaviors they could not otherwise or exhibit existing ones in a more significant efficiency. To me this is no different than inventing the wheel, fire, or electricity. All share same attributes, with these tools we can live better.
If you look at software like FARR, ClipMate/Cache, Excel, and MyBase to give some examples, they all enabled me to go about managing my life and work in new ways I could not have done without.

2stepsback

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Re: Why Small Programs Can Take Years To Complete
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 10:15:08 AM »
A tool that enables humans to exhibit NEW behaviors they could not otherwise or exhibit existing ones in a more significant efficiency. To me this is no different than inventing the wheel, fire, or electricity.
I second, third, fourth, fifth that :) :) :) . Inventing is fun!
Hint: cross-disciplinary thinking  makes one a good analyst and a better inventor. (EDIT:subject to normal social limits. Otherwise things can go horribly wrong......)

Example of cross-disciplinary thinking:
Go sit down in the park. watch a dog happily eat a bone. put yourself in his position - eat without using hands. Sounds sloppy. think again. assume you're in the next century, where everything's computerized. food is delivered to you at your desk. by robotic arms. all you do is make a physical movement (like a mouse gesture) and the proper arm, lifts the proper burger from the mini oven and presents it to your lips. eating without using hands! too far fetched? think again. stephen hawking. ICU's ICCU's. medical equipment. big money and big market!!

You can do all of that in game programming, eg. in second life :) :)
Enjoy!
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 10:18:48 AM by 2stepsback »