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Showing posts from December, 2008

Planning for Improvisation

When I joined Redpoint I noticed a disproportionate number of musicians in the firm. So much in fact that I frequently heard people ask, "When will we see the Redpoint band play?" Today while reading the book Rise Up Singing in preparation to play some holiday tunes with the family, I ran across a quote from Pete Seeger: "Musicians can teach the politicians; it's fun to swap the lead. Musicians can teach the planners – economists, engineers, lawyers: Plan for improvisation." From my experience in the software industry, this quote rings true. Over the years, writing computer software has sought to become formulaic, much like a construction engineering project. This simply isn't appropriate; Software is abstract rather than concrete. In graduate school I was taught that there is no "correct" solution to difficult problems.

I have never been on a project that went exactly as planned. I have yet to meet anyone in the industry who has. While le…