Programming and Mozart’s Requiem

“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”
~ Fred Brooks

I love that quote. It really highlights a phenomenon I’ve noticed often in the web industry – throwing resources at a problem rarely gets it fixed faster. You don’t need tons of money or a huge team of developers, complex Gantt charts or lengthy meetings to build great web apps. On the contrary, those things usually lead to slow, sluggish, static products that are unable to adapt and change direction. Instead try cutting back on your resources and make your app less complex – you’ll be amazed at what a small, dedicated and multi-skilled team can accomplish if you give them the room to move.

“A single good programmer working on a single task has no coordination or communication overhead. Five programmers working on the same task must coordinate and communicate. That takes a lot of time… …No matter how long they work, they never produce something as good as what the great programmer can produce.

Five Antonio Salieris won’t produce Mozart’s Requiem. Ever. Not if they work for 100 years.”
~ Joel Spolsky, Fog Creek Software (from Hitting the High Notes)

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