Are You Bound By The Second Law?

Entropy Increases. Or, _Chaos_ breeds.

Too often in Software Development the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds sway over projects.  Over programmers. Over tools.

Code is convoluted. Too many people worked on one piece of functionality over the years, noone leaving notes. Documentation is mangled. Direction has changed more than once in the past few months. The Project Leader never listens. The Project Leader does nothing but listen. Too many egos.


If you are bound by the second law, then I have three rules to follow.

1. Stop taking shortcuts.

I can hear your thoughts, because they are mine.

Don’t be stupid. Shortcuts are a necessary part of Software Development. We cannot know everything that will happen, and sometimes a bug must be fixed without taking into account all possible scenarios. Sometimes we work for people who demand crazy deadlines and goals.

These points are true. But they are no excuse.

Stop taking shortcuts, and when you have to take one, you at least be aware of what _should_ be done, and the reasons why you can’t do it that way.

2. Never Refuse To Learn

This is slightly different from "never stop learning".

You have to actively refuse to _stop_ learning. I see it too often. The mind shuts off immediately from the possibility that something more could be learned from the situation.

If you break yourself of the need to stop learning, then the second law loses power. It’ll go easier. Well, no. Not easier. But you’ll get better. Unless you know everything. Then I can’t help, ha ha.

3. Say Sorry To The Jerk

You need to go the extra mile with communication. This might be saying sorry. It might be asking if you’ve done anything wrong. It’s _touchy feely_ crap. But it works. People respond to emotion.

We’re not talking about blackmail, or manipulation. We’re talking about putting aside (even faking) your issues and pride and awesomeness and uncanny ability to be always right for the growth of a relationship.

To combat the second law, you have to learn how to say sorry, even when you don’t mean it.

I know. You might not hear these rules every day. Even if you do, how often are they broken?

It’s not enough to stick your head down and burrow onwards. Get up, look around. Software Development is more than code. It’s code. But it’s people. The best development successfully defeats the second law.

There you go.

The best development (developers) break the second law of thermodynamics.


The Best Developers Break The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

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