Software development is technical activity conducted by human beings.
But quality of work can be expected only through personal satisfaction, dedication and enjoyment. In our profession, precision and perfection are not a dispensible luxury, but a simple necessity.
A good designer must rely on experience, on precise, logic thinking; and on pedantic exactness. No magic will do.
In the practical world of computing, it is rather uncommon that a program, once it performs correctly and satisfactorily, remains unchanged forever.
Indeed, the woes of Software Engineering are not due to lack of tools, or proper management, but largely due to lack of sufficient technical competence.
The idea that one might derive satisfaction from his or her successful work, because that work is ingenious, beautiful, or just pleasing, has become ridiculed.
Many people tend to look at programming styles and languages like religions: if you belong to one, you cannot belong to others. But this analogy is another fallacy.
The possible solutions to a given problem emerge as the leaves of a tree, each node representing a point of deliberation and decision.
Clearly, programming courses should teach methods of design and construction, and the selected examples should be such that a gradual development can be nicely demonstrated.
My duty as a teacher is to train, educate future programmers.
It is evidently necessary to generate and test candidates for solutions in some systematic manner.
But active programming consists of the design of new programs, rather than contemplation of old programs.
Experience shows that the success of a programming course critically depends on the choice of these examples.
My being a teacher had a decisive influence on making language and systems as simple as possible so that in my teaching, I could concentrate on the essential issues of programming rather than on details of language and notation.
Program construction consists of a sequence of refinement steps.
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