Link o' the day: Codeless Code
Once upon a time, there was Geoffrey James' The Tao of Programming, The Zen of Progamming, and Computer Parables (the weakest of the three). They were excellent, and I met with great wisdom in their pages.
Now, there is The Codeless Code, "An illustrated collection of (sometimes violent) fables concerning the Art and Philosophy of software development, written in the spirit of Zen kōans".
Java master Suku entered the chambers of the Spider Clan's head abbot; a monk in her charge entered also. They bowed.
Suku said to the abbot: “Last week I was ordered to completely re-implement the data visualization module, whose long tentacles have wormed their way into every crevice of our system. I requested seven developers with various specialities so that the overhaul could be accomplished in one iteration. Yet you have assigned me only this solitary monk.”
The abbot replied: “We cannot spare seven developers all at once. Instead, this monk will be allowed to perform the work in seven iterations. In exchange for this leniency he must keep the system stable, since there are many new features we wish to roll out to our users during that time.”
Suku nodded to the monk, who opened his hand and blew a gust of red powder straight into the abbot’s face. The abbot gasped in surprise, inhaling a lungful as he did so. He promptly collapsed on his desk.
The abbot awoke in a dark stone pit with a single candle burning by his side. As his eyes adjusted to the gloom he beheld a note affixed to the trap door above him:
A boulder seven times your weight
rests upon the door, and holds it closed.
Yet take comfort—
you may lift it as slowly as you desire.
As for me, the alternator on my 'vette appears to be defunct. I expect to achieve enlightenment after I use a cinder block to batter it into alternator-foil.
Thus spake the master programmer:
``When the program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes.''