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Posts Tagged ‘Frederick P. Brooks Jr.’

You can learn more from failure than success.  In failure you’re forced to find out what part did not work.  But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all.  Failure forces you to face reality.
    —    Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr.
Quoted in the article:  “Master Planner: Fred Brooks Shows How to Design Anything
Written by:  Kevin Kelly in Wired Magazine, August 2010
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The artificial intelligence approach is to replace the mind.  Our approach is always to have the mind at the very center of the system.
Now the artificial intelligence community has come around to this idea after twenty-five years.  But that wasn’t where they started out.  They used to say, “We’re going to be able to solve these problems.  You don’t need a mind.”  In fact, you do need a mind.
    —    Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
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As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys making things, especially things of his own design.  I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.
  —  Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
The Mythical Man-Month
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In “The Mythical man-Month” I said build one and throw it away.  But that isn’t what I say anymore.  Now I say, build a minimal thing — get it out in the field and start getting feedback, and then add function to it incrementally.  The waterfall model of specify, build, test is just plain wrong for software.  The interaction with the user is crucial to developing the specification.  You have to develop the specification as you build and test.
    —    Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
[I think the most important point here is to give junior programmers the opportunity to learn how and why specifications are created and how difficult they are for the user to create without direct input from the systems folks.  It also prepares them for complex programming based on complex specifications.  For senior programmers, it reminds them of same.  This exposure is what is lost when larger organizations try to impose specification development onto the end user before they will agree to accept a project.   —    KMAB]
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To my way of thinking, then and now the principal intellectual problems in software engineering are problems of scale, not how to write little programs but how to manage the complexity of big things.
    —    Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
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