Human Nature As Applied to Software Development

By | 2011-03-20T03:22:21+00:00 March 20th, 2011|skmurphy|2 Comments

In his introduction to his  interview with Fred Brooks, John Cook has another great passage.

The shelf life of software development books is typically two or three years, maybe five or ten years for a “classic.” Frederick Brooks, however, wrote a book on software development in 1975 that remains a best-seller: The Mythical Man-Month. His book has remained popular because he wrote about human nature as applied to software development, not the hottest APIs and development fads from the 1970’s.

The implications of human nature in constraining software development, whether at an individual or team level, is probably the least appreciated challenge in doing a software startup, second only to the need to find a paying customer.

As  entrepreneurs we have to change before we can change the world. If we want to take our customers beyond their current limits, we must map and respect our own personal limits, and those of their co-founders and team. Plans that don’t recognize reality, in particular acknowledging and respecting our limits as well as leveraging our strengths, don’t come to fruition.

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2 Comments

  1. Elia Freedman March 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I was speaking with a friend a few weeks ago who expressed frustration about some developer management issue and I explained to him that he was trying to manage developers like business people and that it became a whole lot easier if he thought of them as artists. It is related to your post here and thought i would share. I recommend the comments, too. Some great responses to my post:
    http://eliainsider.com/2011/03/15/computer-science-is-a-misnomer/

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