What I've Learned From Failure
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What I've Learned From Failure

A quarter-century of experience shipping software, distilled into fixnum bittersweet essays

About the Book

Reg "Raganwald" Braithwaite has been working as a professional software developer since 1986, in roles ranging from Sorceror's Apprentice to Vice-President, Development. "What I've Learned From Failure" collects his very best "non-technical" essays on the subject of shipping software into a lean but concentrated book (51 pages).

Manufactured from nearly 100% recycled blog posts. "What I’ve Learned From Failure" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

About the Author

Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite
Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite

When he's not shipping CoffeeScript, JavaScript, Ruby, and Java applications scaling out to millions of users, Reg "Raganwald" Braithwaite creates programming libraries such as Allong.es, Method Combinators, Katy, JQuery Combinators, YouAreDaChef, andand, and others.

He writes primarily about programming. Find out more on his  home page.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    • copyright notice
  • About The Author
    • contact
  • What I’ve Learned From Failure
    • Why does failure matter?
    • The four most important causes of failure
    • People
    • Action
    • Details
    • The Schedule
    • Software
    • Power
    • History
    • Finishing
  • The Not So Big Software Design
    • Lemons
    • Building Better, Not Buzzwordier
    • Where is the client?
    • Better Software Architecture
  • Which Theory Fits the Evidence?
    • why do theory p and theory d matter?
    • belief drives behaviour
    • so which theory fits the evidence?
    • d is for “d’oh! we should have gone with p!”
  • Interlude: The Programmer’s Dilemma
  • Project Management acts like a Marketplace for Information
    • what kind of information sells?
  • Bricks
    • software is not made of bricks
    • assumption: it’s all about moving bricks
    • software development is difficult to parallelize
    • software is transfinite
    • building software without treating it like a pile of bricks
  • Trial-and-error with a feedback cycle
    • trial and error
    • feedback
    • productization
    • the scarce resource
  • Software’s Receding Hairline
    • receding hairlines
    • the tyranny of the urgent
  • Interlude: The Mouse Trap
    • The New Guy
    • Excel, VBA, XML, XSLT, Java!
    • Epilogue
  • Duck Programming
    • prelude: the project
    • what is duck programming?
    • why duck tastes so good
    • dangerous but manageable
    • how to manage duck programming
    • summary
  • I Can’t Find Good Salespeople

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