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The Laws of Software Engineering in just Five Bits

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Famous quotes (and then some not so famous), humoristically depicting the art of software engineering.

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The Laws of Software Engineering in just Five Bits

  1. 1. the laws of faculty of engineering university of porto Software Engineering in just five bits joão pascoal faria hugo sereno ferreira&
  2. 2. I the fundamental limit of requirements requirements end where the liberty of the developer begins. h
  3. 3. II the three f’s of priority management functionality, fidelity, efficiency. h
  4. 4. III the gray dichotomy structural abstraction can always be solved by introducing a level of indirection* *corollary. there is no performance problem that cannot be solved by eliminating a level of indirection. h Jim Gray
  5. 5. IV the archimedean principle h a software system built on top of a weak architecture will sink due to the weight of its own success.
  6. 6. V the human-machine polarisation principle h artificial intelligence is always better than natural stupidity.
  7. 7. VI the redundancy conundrum h redundancy is a major source of errors… though it can also be used to reveal them.
  8. 8. VII the kaner non-symmetry h a program which perfectly meets a lousy specification is a lousy program. Cem Kaner
  9. 9. VIII the incomplete by design principle h for all practical purposes, it’s impossible to prove the correctness of all software* *corollary. development is a conjecture-making activity.
  10. 10. IX the murphy approximation h all programs have errors* * the number of errors (n) in a given program can be approximated by n > k, where k is any unsigned integer. Murphy’s Laws
  11. 11. X the boris lemma h bugs lurk in corners and congregate at boundaries. Boris Beizer
  12. 12. XI the management uncertainty principle h it’s not possible to simultaneously fix the cost, duration and quality of a software project.
  13. 13. XII the deadline amplification h the estimated time remaining to finish any given project is a monotonically increasing function.
  14. 14. XIII the second zeno paradox h what remains to be done is not enough to satisfy the customer* *customer’s satisfaction is a moving target.
  15. 15. XIV the non-acceptance conservation principle h the x% that remains to be implemented have (100-x)% of importance to the customer.
  16. 16. XV the agile peculiarity h there’s always time to make more changes until there’s no more time to make changes* * it’s always the last change that blew it up.
  17. 17. XVI the social responsibility of a software engineer h if the world ends in a catastrophic scenario… who you gonna call? the software engineers* * because they did it!
  18. 18. XVII the dijkstra observation h if debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. Edsger Dijkstra
  19. 19. XVIII the pattis zen h when debugging, novices insert corrective code; experts remove defective code. Richard Pattis
  20. 20. XIX the adams pitfall h a common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams
  21. 21. XX the ninety-ninety rule h the first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time. Tom Cargill
  22. 22. XXI the wirth’s law h software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster. Wirth
  23. 23. XXII the mencken razor h for every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. H. L. Mencken
  24. 24. XXIII the bergman dilation h there's never enough time to do it right, but there's always enough time to do it over. Jack Bergman
  25. 25. XXIV the bruce transmutation h any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. Bruce Brown
  26. 26. XXV the hofstadter's recursion h development always take more time than estimated, plus that of the hofstadter’s recursion.
  27. 27. XXVI the eisenhower paradox h i have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. Dwight Eisenhower
  28. 28. XXVII the first law of code documentation h no comments
  29. 29. XXVIII the hoare duality h there are two ways of constructing a piece of software: one is to make it so simple that there are obviously no errors, and the other is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious errors. Tony Hoare
  30. 30. XXIX the michael solution h if you automate a mess, you get an automated mess. Rod Michael
  31. 31. XXX the alan forced congruency h it is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa. Alan Perlis
  32. 32. XXXI the heisenberg requirement h the more stable a requirement is considered, the greater the probability it is changed.
  33. 33. XXXII the norman strange attractor h the hardest part of design… is keeping features out. Donald Norman
  34. 34. XXXII+I the divine equivalence h software and cathedrals both rely on the same process* * first you build, then you pray.

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