Software Engineering is like raising a family

Currently, I am doing research about the history of software development process models and while going through the archives, I found this very beautiful analogy about software engineering:

"The third reason that we keep seeing missed schedules was pointed out to me by the editor of one of our best computing journals, who says he has concluded that producing large computer programs is like raising a family. You ean observe your neighbors and see all of the successes and failures in their children. You can reflect on the experiences you had as one member of a large family. You can observe all the proper maxims of life and society. You can even study at length the experiences of many others who have raised families. In the final analysis, however, you have to start out and do it on your own, learn the unique options you have, see what unexpected problems arise, and, with reasonable luck, perform about as well as those who have been doing it forever."

source: H.D. Benington: Production of Large Computer Programs. Proc. ONR Symp. Advanced Programming Methods for DigitalComputers, June 1956, pp. 15-27.

So, software engineering must be learned by doing!

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