The No-Cry Software Development Methodology

The programming section at the bookstore is jammed with prescriptive "methodology" books like these:

  • "Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk"
  • "Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules"
  • "Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash"
Likewise the parenting section:

  • "The No-Cry Potty Training Solution"
  • "The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure & Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory"
  • "The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well"
I want to talk about two such books that I didn't write:


Debugging and Science

I just finished reading Richard Feynman's collection of autobiographical sketches, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" which is a lot of fun. He was a first-class kookball.

At one point Feynman talks about the moment when he figures something out: a new theory or insight or solution that neatly explains some previously mysterious behavior. And I recognized some of the feeling he was talking about, surprisingly enough, from the feeling of recently rooting out the causes of a years-old mandelbug at work.

This got me thinking about debugging, and programming, and complexity, and finally about mysteries...