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The most visible lines of division are often not the meaningful ones

Imagine you’ve never cut open a human body before. Nor seen a diagram drawn by someone who has. Back before anatomy textbooks, the organs and systems of the human body would not have been obvious. I imagine asking, what are the parts that make up a person? and getting: head, arms, legs, hands, feet, chest, and soft belly. Maybe feelings come from the gut, wisdom from the chest, ideas from the hands, energy from the head. These are...

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Software development is like geriatrics

Caring for software takes more knowledge than a single person can acquire. There’s the business knowledge that makes it useful, plus the languages and runtimes and infrastructure and deployment. Then there’s security, accessibility, user experience, each interface, availability, observability, scaling, performance, data modeling, testing, networking, etc etc. Every change to the software hits several of these areas. It’s kinda...

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Developing software teaches us to design interfaces.

Developers talk about interfaces all the time. Even in the back end: APIs are crucial, because they let us connect our new programs into the world of existing software. They let us build on what exists. They let us build subsystems, and build higher-level systems using those. In real life, I talk about interfaces. An autonomous team still needs to fulfill an interface to the larger system, to report what’s happening. (Often that API...