HubSpot Blog - defi SOLUTIONS

Mike Ripplinger

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defi ENGINEERING: Working in Pairs

Part2_170605.pngRemember the computer programmer in Jurassic Park? He was a rotund loner whose workstation was littered with soda cans and empty potato chip bags. The Hollywood stereotype of software engineers is The Lone Coder, a social misfit who shuns human interaction. He can make magic happen with a few clicks of his mouse, but he probably does it from the solitude of his parents' basement. 

In real life, The Lone Coder makes mistakes -- lots of mistakes. Answerable to no one, The Lone Coder designs a system only he can understand, and no one else has a prayer of maintaining or modifying. The Lone Coder is a threat to the growth, security, and stability of a computer system. Scariest of all, entire software "teams" can be full of Lone Coders, each one marching to his own beat, following her own whims, leaving a cloud of chaos behind in their wake. Their product might work, but it is a house of cards. 

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defi ENGINEERING: A Cult of Quality

defi ENGINEERING a Culture of QualityPeopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, a book by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister about sociology in software engineering, uses the phrase "cult of quality" to define a team that has decided "only perfect is good enough for us." DeMarco and Lister write that while most of the world won't argue for higher quality, members of a cult of quality will "always turn out something that's better than what their market is asking for." And this usually doesn't happen because of any dictate from upper management. Most often it's the team members themselves holding themselves to a higher standard.

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defi ENGINEERING: A Culture of Iteration

Blog-Iterative.jpg"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." It's an old cliché that has proven especially applicable to successful engineering projects. Thomas Edison owned over 1000 patents, most of which never amounted to anything useful. WD-40's name is short for "Water Displacement, Formula 40," implying it was preceded by 39 failures. And Steve Jobs oversaw the release of numerous underwhelming products before he changed the world with the iPhone.

But in its earliest days, software engineering took a different approach.

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