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Nomads do not build Cathedrals
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Nomads do not build Cathedrals


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ESUG 2014, Cambridge. …

ESUG 2014, Cambridge.
Thu, August 21, 2:00pm – 2:30pm

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Abstract: This will a rather unusual talk for ESUG. The theme is not Smalltalk directly, but instead I discuss how progress and inventing new things fits with incremental, reflective nature of Smalltalk.

People often argue that progress is only possible when you throw everything away and start from scratch. In this talk I will argue that this thinking is a trap and the only way for progress in practice is to take an incremental approach of constantly improving and therefore evolving the imperfect system you already have.

I will show how the idea of creating feedback loops of improvement actually lead to non-linear growth and how this process of reflective constant improvement fits with the Smalltalk philosophy of incrementally and dynamically changing a running system.

Published in: Software

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  • 1. Nomads do not build Cathedrals Marcus Denker
  • 2. Software
  • 3. Strange Talk…
  • 4. No idea if it will work
  • 5. The Platform Jump to large Project1 Project2 Project3
  • 6. Nomadic Solution - Do not build infrastructure ! - Use resources until depleted ! - Move on
  • 7. The Platform Jump Possible Project1 Project2 Project3 Project4
  • 8. Better? - Invest in infrastructure ! - Build new abstractions !
  • 9. Feedback Loop Projects Infrastructure
  • 10. Feedback loop is not enough! ! Add until it is unmaintainable. Throw everything away.
  • 11. Feedback loop is not enough! ! ! After the first line of code you are in maintenance
  • 12. Sustainable Feedback ! ! - Constant Cleanup - Constant Improvement
  • 13. To build a cathedral you need to build a toilet first
  • 14. The toilet is not the cathedral
  • 15. Yet there can not be a cathedral without building a toilet first
  • 16. Effects?
  • 17. Perfection
  • 18. Constant “in Progress”
  • 19. Scaffolding
  • 20. System is not an Artefact
  • 21. Always a Result
  • 22. …instead of dreaming of perfection
  • 23. Trivial Changes
  • 24. Every improvement has an effect
  • 25. Starting point for contributors
  • 26. Only trivialities?
  • 27. No!
  • 28. Exponential effect
  • 29. Compound Interest
  • 30. Scaffolding
  • 31. Todays system is scaffolding for tomorrow
  • 32. The whole system could be replaced within just some iterations