October 6, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Tom Gilb's 3 Golden Rules

I'm slowly recovering from a bout of the nasties - let's not go into graphic detail, shall we? - and I've been languishing at home trying to keep myself amused. Having exhausted my DVD collection, I have moved on to my second favourite pastime of annoying highly respected figures in software engineering by asking them stupid questions.

Several such luminaries have already been kind enough to send me responses to my 3 Golden Rules thought experiment, and now I have a reply from the genie himself, Tom Gilb.

Again, a quick reminder of the problem:

You are walking along a sandy beach. It is deserted. You spot what looks like a book sticking out of the sand. It is Principles of Software Engineering Management by Tom Gilb. It is dusty. You rub the cover of the book and, in a puff of smoke, a genie appears. He has a friendly face and a white beard, and appears to be standing in front of some kind of lake.

The genie speaks:

"I am the genie of the lamp and I grant you three wishes. Ask of me any three rules, and I will guarantee that from this day forth every single person in your organisation will follow these rules to the letter.

But beware! Beyond these three golden rules you will have absolutely no control at all. Your developers will be able to do whatever they like. You must choose wisely."

What would your 3 golden rules be? Is it possible to provide adequate governance with just three rules?


To which Tom has replied:

OK, after rereading Tom DeMarco's thoughtful suggestions, here is my off the cuff attempt:

Gilb's 3 Rules (for Others). Version 00.01.

1. Clarify your primary objectives, keep on updating and clarifying them, as you follow Rule 2.
2. Do something to reach your clear objectives early and often, and learn all you can from the process of trying.
3. Enjoy Life Every Day, and don't let worries stop you from doing that.


I'd be interested in simulating and exploring the potential outcomes of Tom's 3 rules. I have no idea how it might turn out, but it's certainly a good start.

Now it's back to bed with Mr Laptop and Mrs Honey-And-Lemon-Drink for me...
Posted 14 years, 2 months ago on October 6, 2006