TITLE: Notes on Entry Past AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 30, 2010 2:36 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I've been killing loose minutes this week by going through my stuff folder, moving files I want to keep to permanent homes and pitching files I have lost interest in or won't have time for anytime soon. As I sometimes do, I've run across quotes I stashed away for use in blog entries. Alas, some of the quotes would have been useful in pieces I wrote recently, but now they aren't likely to find a home any time soon. I recall reading this quote from A. E. Stallings in a short essay by Tim O'Reilly on the value of a classical education:
[The ancients] showed me that technique was not the enemy of urgency, but the instrument.
But it would have been perfect in Form Matters. Improving your form doesn't slow you down in the long run, it makes you faster. I read this in an entry by Philip Windley about how he had averted a potential disaster:
Automate everything.
... and this in a response to that entry by Gordon Weakliem:
You are not a machine, so stop repeating yourself.
Of course, I was immediately reminded of my own disaster, unaverted. As I look back at Weakliem's article, it is interesting to see how programming principles such as "don't repeat yourself" and practices such as pair programming show up in different contexts outside of software. Finally, I found this snippet, a tweet by @KentBeck:
as your audience grows, the cost of failure rises. put positively, it'll never be cheaper to fail than today.
This would have been a great part of any number of entries about my agile software development course in May and my software engineering course last fall. Kent is a master of crystallizing ideas into neat little catchphrases I never forget. Perhaps this one would have stuck with a few students as they tried to move toward shorter and shorter iterations of the test-code-refactor cycles. -----