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Peopleware Papers: Notes on the Human Side of Software, The by Larry L. Constantine

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Chapter 26. The Benefits of Visibility

I remember writing my first program, a FORTRAN exercise for a course known as 6.41. Everything went by the numbers at M.I.T. in those days, and so did my program. It was a breeze to write, it just didn't compile the first time. Or the second. I was devastated and dumbfounded. When I finally did get it to compile, I was utterly shocked to find out it didn't work. I couldn't see why; it looked right to me. I showed it to my roommate. Marshall was a math major. I think he was writing algorithms before there were computers to run them on.

“I can't figure out what's wrong with this program, see, it's supposed to…” He grabbed the print-out, what we affectionately called an 80-80 listing, for reasons that only those ...

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