I am currently reading “The Pragmatic Programmer” while riding the bus to work in the mornings. It’s pretty good and I read something earlier today that I thought was especially interesting, something I hadn’t thought about before at all and I would like to share it here.
Well, software doesn’t quite work that way. Rather than construction, software is more like gardening – it is more organic than concrete. You plant many things in a garden according to an initial plan and conditions. Some thrive, others are destined to end up as compost. You may move plantings relative to each other to take advantage of the interplay of light and shadow, wind and rain. Overgrown plants get split or pruned, and colors that clash may get moved to more aesthetically pleasing locations. You pull weeds, and you fertilize plantings that are in need of some extra help. You constantly monitor the health of the garden, and make adjustments (to the soil, the plants, the layout) as needed.