Software Creation Mystery - http://softwarecreation.org

Archive for the ‘System’ Category

11 Laws of The System Thinking in Software Development

“I will work harder” – the horse Boxer (from George Orwell’s Animal Farm)

Boxer
bichuas

The System Thinking Laws from Peter Senge’s book “The Fifth Discipline” applied to Software Development.

1. Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions.

We, humans, are happy when we solve problems. We often don’t think much about consequences. Surprisingly, our solutions could strike back and create new problems.

  • A company decides to reward few key members of the very successful team with bonuses and promotions. The rest of the team feel unfairness and loss of motivation. Eventually tension between members is increased. The following projects are no longer successful.
  • A project manager frequently asks developers to fix a new bug or work on urgent requests from customers. Developers do their best to fulfil these requests. Frequent distractions prevent them from finishing their main tasks for the iterations. Project shows only little progress.

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System Forces and Software Evolution

Only entropy comes easy.Anton Chekhov



Flammarion

What are the systems in software creation?

System is a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. – The American Heritage Dictionary

There are some powerful forces in our Universe that lead systems to more complex organization – from elementary particles to molecules, from space dust to stars and planets, from chemical elements to biological organisms and from early tribes to advanced civilization. Even more powerful forces lead systems to destruction or degradation back to primitive forms or complete mess.

System evolution is the constant fight between order (or more complex organization) and entropy (or degradation) of the systems.

System forces are working on 2 levels of the software creation:

  • People, how they organized and the way they build software
  • The software system itself

Both these levels intervene and affect each other to deliver desired result – a working software system. These levels are different – people systems are the product of biological, social and economic forces. Software systems are the product of technology, mental concepts and theories. But both of them share common challenges related to the system forces.

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What is Software Development?

Tower of Babel

Software is everywhere: inside our computers, cars, phones and even toasters. Software tells these devices what to do.

Everybody can develop software. Hundreds of millions do. We use similar skills as in writing a cooking recipe or telling a friend how to find a shopping mall – we just need to come up with the set of instructions. Basic logic and knowledge of instruction language is enough. You don’t need to have a computer science degree or even finish courses to become a good programmer.

Does it sound simple? Creation of a program should be a routine job now as growing potatoes or building a bridge. And we have at least 2 good reasons to hope for this:


And still, software creation is unpredictable, unreliable and often fails.

Why? We should understand better what is software development.

Software development is the translation of a user need or marketing goal into a software product. – Wikipedia

We can add more to this definition.
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Software Creation Mystery - http://softwarecreation.org
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