Think before you type advised even in software engineering.

Put away your IDE, code using a pencil, and do a big design up front. Get it right the first time. It can be done. Naturally, I’m trolling a bit, but that link is a very short, very fun read.

It reminds me of an interview with Donald Knuth that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Knuth said: With the caveat that there’s no reason anybody should care about the opinions of a computer scientist/mathematician like me regarding software development, let me just say that almost everything I’ve ever heard associated with the term “extreme programming” sounds like exactly the wrong way to go…with one exception. The exception is the idea of working in teams and reading each other’s code. That idea is crucial, and it might even mask out all the terrible aspects of extreme programming that alarm me. Somehow André Bensoussan and Donald Knuth are both capable of designing everything up front, and just getting it right. Since I’ve always been an agile coder, I find such stories amazing. I wonder if Bensoussan would still work that way these days. The systems are larger, the libraries are less stable, the timelines are shorter, and there are more people you have to integrate with.