Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book: Cathedral and the Bazaar

It seems that the Cathedral and the Bazaar has an impact on anyone who reads it. For me it put many things into words that I have not been able to myself. There were a couple of parts that had a strong impact.

But there is a more fundamental error in the implicit assumption that the cathedral model (or the bazaar model, or any other kind of management structure) can somehow make innovation happen reliably. This is nonsense. Gangs don't have breakthrough insights—even volunteer groups of bazaar anarchists are usually incapable of genuine originality, let alone corporate committees of people with a survival stake in some status quo ante. Insight comes from individuals. The most their surrounding social machinery can ever hope to do is to be responsive to breakthrough insights—to nourish and reward and rigorously test them instead of squashing them. (Full Section)

This next one is from Magic Cauldron:
The brutal truth is this: when your key business processes are executed by opaque blocks of bits that you can't even see inside (let alone modify) you have lost control of your business. You need your supplier more than your supplier needs you—and you will pay, and pay, and pay again for that power imbalance. You'll pay in higher prices, you'll pay in lost opportunities, and you'll pay in lock-in that grows worse over time as the supplier (who has refined its game on a lot of previous victims) tightens its hold. (Full Section)

Every single person who does anything at all with or relating to technology should read this book.

This was a great post about Twisted with several great paragraphs about reading and understanding source code that ring very true. Below is a bit that I found meaningful.

Experience is multidimensional. Learning is experience, not rules. When you really jump into this stuff, it will surround you. You will have an experience of the code. For me, that is a mental experience akin to looking at something from the perspective of three dimensions versus two. When I've not dedicated myself to understanding a problem, the domain, or the tools of the domain, everything looks very flat to me. It's hard to muddle through. I feel like I have no depth perception and I get easily frustrated.

Read the whole post here.