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Managing Software – Words of Wisdom

Software project management is an art and science of planning and leading software projects. It is a sub-discipline of project management in which software projects are planned, implemented, monitored and controlled.

These words of wisdom are the outcome of multi-role viewpoint on software development. There is no ranking for better practices. But what really matters is to apply these practices where they make sense and where the users can benefit the most.

Quote #1

The structure of a system reflects the structure of the organization that built it.

– Richard E. Fairley, Wang Institute

Quote #2

Don’t keep doing what doesn’t work.

– Anonymous

Quote #3

[Rule of Credibility]

The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.

– Tom Cargill, Bell Labs

Quote #4

Less than 10% of the code has to do with the ostensible purpose of the system; the rest deals with input-output, data validation, data structure maintenance, and other housekeeping.

– Mary Shaw, Carnegie-Mellon University

Quote #5

Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

– Fred Brooks, University of North Carolina

Quote #6

Don’t write a new program if one already does more or less what you want. And if you must write a program, use existing code to do as much of the work possible.

– Richard Hill, Hewlett-Packard S.A. , Geneva, Switzerland

Quote #7

Whenever possible, steal code.

– Tom Duff, Bell Labs

Quote #8

Good customer relations double productivity.

– Larry Bernstein, Bell Communications Research

Quote #9

Translating a working program to a new language or system takes ten percent of the original development time or manpower or cost.

– Douglas W. Jones, University of Iowa

Quote #10

Don’t use the computer to do things that can be done efficiently by hand.

– Richard Hill, Hewlett-Packard S.A. , Geneva, Switzerland

Quote #11

Don’t use hands to do things that can be done efficiently by the computer.

– Tom Duff, Bell Labs

Quote #12

I’d rather write programs to write programs than write programs.

– Dick Sites, Digital Equipment Configuration

Quote #13

[Brook’s Law of Prototypes]

Plan to throw one away, you will anyhow.

– Fred Brooks, University of North Carolina

Quote #14

If you plan to throw one away, you will throw away two.

– Craig Zerouni, Computer FX Ltd. London

Quote #15

Prototyping cuts the work to produce a system by 40%.

– Larry Bernstein, Bell Communications Research

Quote #16

[Thompson’s Rule for First-Time Telescope Makers.]

It is faster to make a 4-inch mirror then a 6-inch mirror than to make a 6-inch mirror.

– Bill McKeeman, Wang Institute

Quote #17

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.

– H.H. Williams, Oakland, California

Quote #18

Always do the hard part first. If the hard part is impossible, why waste your time on the easy part? Once the hard part is done, you’re are home free.

Always do the easy part first. What you think at first is the easy part often turns out to be the hard part. Once the easy part is done, you can concentrate all your efforts on the hard part.

– Al Schapira, Bell Labs

Reference:

  • More Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley

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