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Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative by Pete McBreen

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Chapter 3. Understanding Software Development

Is software development a mechanical task? I don't think so. Typing the code has never been the rate-limiting step, so physical analogies are not really appropriate. Although we are familiar with simple mechanical analogies, these analogies cause us to make mistakes. The really common one is the old mathematical school puzzle: If two people can dig a hole in four days, how long will it take four people?

The standard textbook answer to this puzzle is two days, but the simple mathematical world rarely corresponds to reality. Before we can say whether adding more people is a good idea, we need to understand the problem first.

  • What is the rate-limiting step in the process? (Yes, we can dig faster, but we ...

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