Wednesday, October 22

Oopsla 2008: Designed as Designer

Eassy by Richard P. Gabriel, it is as controversial as usual but also the most intriguing presentation of the day at least from my point of view. The essay is almost a follow up of Fred Brook's speech on Oopsla 2007 around the central argument of that conceptual integrity arises not (simply) from one mind or small number of agreeing resonant minds, but from sometimes hidden co-authors and the thing designed itself. A few points I took away from this presentation as well as the interesting Q&A session:

  • "First to the market wins" is merely a myth
  • Worse is Better - ship the rough product earlier to allow user to contribute and generate the real requirement. Perfection is the enemy of good.
  • People are often judged by their reward instead of their skills, and that's why CEO in successful (sometimes even failing) company are usually rewarded the most even when they have little impact on the success.
  • Software is implemented by the compiler and machine, every single line of code is a practice of design
  • The first draft of design is usually just a collaboration enabler so others can contribute with certain degree of conceptual integrity
  • By refusing fully knowing the world when you design you open the door for new insights and let the product itself to lead you to the truth
  • Facts are not truth. Simply because you customer is describing a certain feature to you does not mean that is what they really want or need.

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