Old School Advice That Still Rings True

Filed under Rants

Earlier today, I was reading an excerpt from an interview with Dan Bricklin (the guy that invented the spreadsheet, for those that might not know).

He was asked about his approach to building programs back in the day (the mid 80’s, all legwarmers and The A Team).

His response was quite interesting, very “agile” when agile only meant an adjective to describe gymnasts.

One thing I’ve always done, for many years — I know Bob Frankston did, too — you have to figure out a path through the whole thing and implement that first. And then you go back to add more. Getting the path through is like building a scaffold. A lot more is put on [the application] before it’s a real product, but you have the critical path in place. It’s always building off something that’s working.

I thought that was fantastic. Yet another example of how programming seems to be a lot of doing the same thing over and over, just with each generation coming up with trendy new names for it all in the process.

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