Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grady Booch : Why Engineering?

These are some of the most wonderful words ever said about the profession of Software Development. (I made some text in bold just to highlight)

Software is invisible to most of the world. Although individuals, organizations, and nations rely on a multitude of software-intensive systems every day, most software lives in the interstitial spaces of society, hidden from view except insofar as it does something tangible or useful.

Despite its transparency, as Bjarne Stroustrup has observed, “our civilization runs on software.” It is therefore a tremendous privilege as well as a deep responsibility to be a software developer. It is a privilege because what we do collectively as an industry has changed and will continue to change the world. It is a responsibility because the world in turn relies on the products of our labor in so many ways. In the context of that labor, software is perhaps the ultimate building material: it springs from pure thought and is intrinsically malleable, yet it can be made manifest in our hardware systems, limited only by our vision (and certain immutable laws of physics and software). As software professionals, we seek to develop and deploy useful systems of quality in a manner that reduces the distance from vision to execution. That the fruits of our labor are transparent to the world is as it should be: users want results and value, not more technology. For this reason, the primary challenge of every software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity in the face of essential complexity.

Handbook of Software Architecture – Grady Booch

The following Video by Grady Booch & co discusses the above quote while explaining the essence of software development in the context of Engineering.

Isn’t it fair to say the characteristic of profound understanding is the expression of simplicity and elegance. Well, Grady Booch exemplifies that when it comes to Software development.

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