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Mystery Writing and Programming

“One way to explain why programming takes time is to say that programming is a bit like writing a mystery novel.

In a mystery novel, there is a murder in the beginning, a lot of clues in the middle, and the murderer is revealed on the last page.

Let’s suppose you want to change the murderer. Instead of the butler, the murder was committed by the waitress. Sounds like a simple change. Just change the last page and be done with it.

Not so! You must go back and check every clue and change them appropriately.

Humans can tolerate a certain amount of mistakes in a mystery novel but computers do not forgive mistakes. In a computer program every clue must be correct or the program does not work correctly.”

Friday, January 30, 2004


Interesing qoute from Joel on Software’s blog.  So why are’nt more programmers Mystery writers?

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