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Journey before Destination and Disagreeing with Your Heroes

Mark Seemann reasons through a difficult problem:

Perhaps we’re really talking past each other. Perhaps we’re trying to solve different problems, and thereby arrive at different solutions.

I can only guess at the kinds of problems that my heroes think of when they prefer dynamic languages, and I don’t want to misrepresent them. What I can do, however, is outline the kind of problem that I typically have in mind.

I’ve spent much of my career trying to balance sustainability with correctness. I consider correctness as a prerequisite for all code. As Gerald Weinberg implies, if a program doesn’t have to work, anything goes. Thus, sustainability is a major focus for me: how do we develop software that can sustain our organisation now and in the future? How do we structure and organise code so that future change is possible?

Reading Mark’s essay makes me want to break out my copy of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus but let’s not go crazy here… This is a good reminder, however, that incentives (implicit as well as explicit), experiences, and a host of other factors which make it really difficult to say conclusively “X is a better solution than Y” without laying out the specific premises.