Ah, Software

Still my favorite two quotes about what we do every day:
“We need to know the fundamentals and formulas by which softwarebehaves. What are the laws and principles we can count on in creatingit? The problem is that software is not a thing, not a preexistingphenomenon of the universe; it’s a product of the human imagination.”
Scott Rosenberg, talking about his book “Dreaming In Code: Two DozenProgrammers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for TranscendentSoftware (Crown, 2007)”, on

“The software-controlled electronic information system isfundamentally different from physical labor-saving devices such as thecotton gin, the locomotive, or the telephone. Rather than extend theability of hand motion, leg motion, or the ability to hear and speakacross distances, IT systems extend the capabilities of the mind—tothink, to organize and disseminate information, to create.”
David R. Brousell
Managing Automation Magazine
New York, October 2001

We work in a discipline that has few if any commonly-held laws orfundamentals. How to best create software is a topic that generatesmore arguments than agreement, since no one can absolutely prove thattheir way always works. If a method isn’t working for you, you must bedoing it wrong, they will say.

You can find this situation depressing, being weighed down by theimpossibility of it all… or you can find it exhilarating, knowing youare part of the origin of something completely new and different, doingyour bit to eventually make it all work. I prefer the feeling ofexhilaration….

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