Thursday, 29 November 2018

An annotated Philosophy of Software Design

We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities:
over time, without a plan, on top of ruins
Ellen Ullman

After much hype I've read John Ousterhout's A Philosophy of Software Design which he uses to teach his course at Stanford and presents as a personal experience "opinion piece". Its basic goal seems to be to develop an awareness and intuition about how and when to manage complexity emerging out of proper problem decomposition in Software Design.

Undergraduate students thus seem to be the main audience, which explains why, despite the title, architecture or non-abstract large system design, distributed systems, developer workflow and design thinking are not covered much, and why a prosaic, almost aphorismic writing style were chosen. My assumption is this is  also why barely any references or annotations are given. It's supposed to be the beginning of an iterative journey, similar to language learning. I figured it might help to share mine, though, to go the next step in that journey (Github would feel too official, so blog):

Preface, Iterative process to this book. Exercises in Programming Style 2014Beautiful Code, 2008Software Craftsmanship 2001 (Craftsperson) and before that The Pragmatic Programmer 1999 and even Programming Pearls 1986 developed iterative, small-wisdom, later developed into Kata's, based learning of software design.