Recipes, development, and chefs

Clarke Ching has been working in public on his book, Rolling Rocks Downhill, for quite a while.  I've read at least one version of it.  Last week, he posted an update of one of the chapters where one of the ideas of the book come together: That (software) developers are creating recipes for a cake,  rather than baking the same cake over and over.  This implies one should be careful about applying manufacturing concepts in such a world.

Here is a quote from Where it all went wrong

'Okay.  Here's the bit that puzzled me.  Development teams in other industries start iterating - and therefore testing, since testing is an intrinsic part of iterating - very early in their development processes.  They cook version 1 of the cake, test it, tweak the recipe, then cook version 2, and so on.  They test throughout the entire development process, but you computer people don't start testing - or iterating - until mid way through a project.  Why is that?'

Why do (software) developers act as if the recipe is fixed, when it clearly is not?  

Dave Snowden has written and talked about a parallel to this problem many times in the context of knowledge management. Are we asking people to simply pick up an item from a knowledge repository and re-use it (like we might see from someone following a recipe)?  Or do we want people to develop enough expertise and understanding to be able to see the key bits of many recipes and create their own (the chef)?

0 Comment(s)

Leave a comment


Previous entry: Quotes: the key to knowledge

Next entry: Scope: What problem are you trying to solve

Picture a steaming coffee cup. Better yet, grab one and have a read!

KJolt Memberships

Follow jackvinson on Twitter

View Jack Vinson's profile on LinkedIn