Registered: Jan, 2007
Re: Pardon My French, But This Code Is C.R.A.P.
Posted: Jul 18, 2007 10:27 AM
> First of all, comparisons are to compare different things
> that are similar, not the same, therefore it is inevitable
> to have some difference between the disciplines. The
> differences are by no means "fundamental", though. There
> is a lot in common between bridge and software building.
> One thing that is different is the timescale and the way
> how building occurs - software is built in seconds to
> days, while bridges are built in days to years time
> frames. Software is built by electronic computers,
> automatically, bridges are built mostly manually by human
> labor aided by tools and mechanical machinery.
> As for speculation and taste, that falls in the
> architecture area and as we have witnessed since the GOF
> book was published up, there's a wide common ground in
> that area, too. That being said, in his last series of
> works (The Nature of Order), Christopher Alexander argues
> that there is actually the exact measure for goodness of
> design, i.e. it is not a matter of taste. But getting into
> that is beyond the scope of this discussion.
Good point that comparisons need be similar and not exact. Too often this point is overlooked in using comparisons.
However, the difference pointed out between civil and software engineering is critical. Civil engineers solve problems whose solution is bound by immutable physical laws. Software engineers solve problems whose solution is not even determinable, e.g. asking a user whether or not to save a change implies the developer cannot determine the user's choice. The "soft" in the software makes it a different discipline from, for example, civil engineering. Users of our products have the ability to change requirements on the day of implementation based on a new business line. Two cities needing a bridge between them cannot suddenly partner with another neighboring city at the last minute and decide that a tunnel needs to run from the middle of the bridge to the 3rd city.