August 30th, 2007

Dr. Tectonic

Code diving

A great essay by Paul Graham on holding a program in your head. He points out things you can do to help the process, and how they align really well with hacking at some project in your spare time, and really poorly with how organizations typically want things to be done.

It gave me an idea for futuristic development: the "code dive". You start with a small group of good programmers who know one another really well, so well that they can almost function as a single individual. A project begins with getting everyone in the right frame of mind, so everyone is focused and aware of how everyone else is feeling and thinking. Once they're all in sync, they work on code in isolation from everything else. Everything: no company demands, no home life, no entertainment, nothing from the outside world. Just the code. Like diving to the bottom of the ocean, where nothing exists but what you're looking at and your lifeline back to the real world. After several days, they surface, bringing back completed code that won't fit into a single person's mind, something that only a gestalt could develop. And then they all take about three months off from anything serious while they recover...