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a-quick-note-on-brooks

Accidental and essential complexity in software

Brooks said that he believed the hard part of building software to be the specification, design and testing of the conceptual construct of software, not the labour of representing it, and testing the fidelity of that representation.

This is not surprising that in the shift from writing software to building software that we have separated out design from building, building from testing and testing from design. This process we would call waterfall and often we see people having a single-pass version in their mind’s eye.

Iterative and incremental is a shift from building software to growing software. That is, first make the system run and that add to it bit by bit while always keeping it a working system. Brooks points out that he finds that teams can grow much more complex entities in four months than they can build.

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