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Becoming a Better Programmer by Pete Goodliffe

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Chapter 37. Many-festos

Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterise our age.

Albert Einstein

It’s becoming an epidemic! They’re springing up everywhere. We’ve got them coming out of our ears. It’s as if you can’t write a line of code, kick off a project, or even think about software development without signing up to one.

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The manifestos are everywhere.

With all these different manifestos for software development, our profession is in danger of becoming more about politics than the actual art, craft, science, and trade of software development.

Of course, professional software development is largely a people problem. So it necessarily involves a certain amount of politics. But we’re making even the foundational coding principles into a political battle.

Some of the developer manifestos are gloriously ambiguous; more akin to a development horoscope. And, sadly, when a manifesto becomes popular we see factions form around it, leading to disputes about what the manifesto really stands for. Whole debates spring up around the exegesis of particular manifesto items.

Software religion is alive and well.

Manifestos seem to spring up for any conceivable purpose. But I have a solution. In order to stem the flow, and make it easier for future software activists who’d like to pen their own, here I present the one, the overarching, generic software development manifesto. ...

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