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Reasonable Debugging

In Rich Hickey‘s QCon talk, “Simple Made Easy”, he hoisted this slide:

So, what can enhance one’s ability to “reason about” a program, especially a big, multi-threaded, multi-processing beast that maps onto a heterogeneous hodge-podge network of hardware and operating systems? Obviously, a stellar memory helps, but come on, how many human beings can remember enough detail in a >100K line code base to be able to debug field turds effectively and efficiently?

How about simplicity of design structure (whatever that means)? How about the deliberate and intentional use of a small set of nested, recurring patterns of interaction – both of the GoF kind and/or application specific ones? Or, shhhh, don’t say it too loudly, how about a set of layered blueprints that allow you and others to mentally “fly” over the software quickly at different levels of detail and from different aspect angles; without having to slodge through reams of “flat” code?

Do you, your managers, and/or your colleagues value and celebrate: simplicity of design structure; use of a small set of patterns of interaction; use of a set of blueprints? Do you and they walk the talk? If not, then why not? If so, then good for you, your org, your colleagues, your customers, and your shareholders.

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