Nothing new under the sun

16 March, 2010

“System debugging has always been a graveyard-shift occupation, like astronomy. Twenty years ago, on the 701, I was initiated into the productive informality of the predawn hours, when all the machine-room bosses are fast asleep at home, and the operators are disinclined to be sticklers for rules. Three machine generations have passed; technologies have changed totally; operating systems have arisen; and yet this preferred method of working hasn’t changed. It endures because it is most productive. The time has come to recognize its productivity and embrace the fruitful practice openly.”
Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, 1975

Still no change, Fred πŸ™‚


One comment

  1. You know you need a new manager, when you have to wait for him or her to go home before you can get any work done πŸ˜‰

    Fred’s point is less about debugging and more about creativity. But why is it almost impossible to be a creative engineer within a large corporate culture? And after half a century of big-business IT, have Google finally got it right?

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