Looking for a link



  • I lost my bookmarks some time ago, and I'm hoping someone can help me find an article I originally came across linked from one of the comments.

    It's a story about two companies, one of which hires an enterprise consultant to do a project, and the other gives to a
    regular programmer. The consultant ends up planning out and building a gigantic, modular, enterprisey, 
    technically correct, but barely usable app, while the regular programmer makes a small working app
    that does everything, but ends up seeming too easy to the bosses. It's a great story I wanted to share 
    with a friend, and revisit myself, but I just can't seem to find it anywhere. 😕

    I've tried searching all over the place, but to no avail. Any help's appreciated.



  • Don't know if this is the original:  http://www.softwarebyrob.com/archive/2007/01/09/The_Best_Make_it_Look_Easy.aspx

     

    (8th hit on Google for "two developers") 





  • @Nandurius said:

    I think the original is linked in the comments actually 🙂

     

    http://www.csd.uwo.ca/staff/magi/personal/humour/Computer_Audience/The Parable of the Two Programmers.html 

     

    The Real WTF is that the original parable talks about 3 resp. 5 lines of code per programmer per day. Even considering that it was written back in 1985, this seems extremely little.



  • @ammoQ said:

    The Real WTF is that the original parable talks about 3 resp. 5 lines of code per programmer per day. Even considering that it was written back in 1985, this seems extremely little.

    The number may seems little, but I think that's not too far off. I've heard numbers around 5 before, and I'm not surprised. It's very important to know how that number is calculated, because you and I both know full well that we can write hundreds of lines of code in a day, even in an hour. That leads to a wrong impression, however, you have to factor in lots of things:

    - administrative overhead, meetings

    - time spent in the design phase

    - time spent documentating your work

    - time spent testing (and writing unit tests)

    - time spent debugging (hours and hours, sometimes, for one line of code)

    Also, the talk is usually of "bug free lines of code", which is different from lines of code as the work that goes into verifying and debugging it is already factored in.

    If you refactor your code (and you should) then you will go back and remove LOTS and lots of redundant code after you first write it. On a good day, I'll have negative lines of code, and the program will be better off for it 🙂

    Lastly, don't forget paula beans who contribute a big fat zero to every project.
     



  • @Nandurius said:

    @ammoQ said:

    The Real WTF is that the original parable talks about 3 resp. 5 lines of code per programmer per day. Even considering that it was written back in 1985, this seems extremely little.

    The number may seems little, but I think that's not too far off. I've heard numbers around 5 before, and I'm not surprised. It's very important to know how that number is calculated, because you and I both know full well that we can write hundreds of lines of code in a day, even in an hour. That leads to a wrong impression, however, you have to factor in lots of things:

    (snip)

    Also, the talk is usually of "bug free lines of code", which is different from lines of code as the work that goes into verifying and debugging it is already factored in.

    If you refactor your code (and you should) then you will go back and remove LOTS and lots of redundant code after you first write it. On a good day, I'll have negative lines of code, and the program will be better off for it 🙂

    Lastly, don't forget paula beans who contribute a big fat zero to every project.
     

    Even taking all this into account, it seems by far too low. A 5000 lines-of-code program would take nearly 3 years to complete. Accidentally, there is a ~5000 java program which I have written 3 years ago. Believing the 5 LOC/day rule, I would still work on it and haven't had the time to write any other program since then.



  • according to that figure, the program I work on has cost the company 4000 man years and probably $250 million in developer costs.  These numbers might actually be right, but only if you count the QA people in the years and dollars and NOT in the code lines count.  So, ignoring probably a million lines of testing code, as well as all the in house software projects that have been created to help support the project (in house problem tracking, 2 separate in house test running engines (complete with GUIs), that number might be right.  However, in reality the lines of code per programmer will be much higher because we've probably left out 30-50% of the total code associated with the entire project, and we are counting in all the administrative personnel and managers that don't write much (if any) code.


    At 5 lines of code a day, a programmer would write 1275 lines in a year.  I write that much in 2 weeks.  I'm much more efficient with my lines than most people I know, and sometimes refactor their code to take half the number of lines.   I would say some of the people I work with write 1000 lines in a day at least once a week.  Anyways, just wanted to say 5 lines sounds way to little to me, and I even work in a large (read as "inefficient") company on they core software product.



  • @tster said:

    according to that figure, the program I work on has cost the company 4000 man years and probably $250 million in developer costs.  These numbers might actually be right, but only if you count the QA people in the years and dollars and NOT in the code lines count.  So, ignoring probably a million lines of testing code, as well as all the in house software projects that have been created to help support the project (in house problem tracking, 2 separate in house test running engines (complete with GUIs), that number might be right.  However, in reality the lines of code per programmer will be much higher because we've probably left out 30-50% of the total code associated with the entire project, and we are counting in all the administrative personnel and managers that don't write much (if any) code.

    Larger projects probably have a smaller number of LOC/programmer/day, because of the necessary overhead for planing/managing/testing of such a project, compared to small projects.



    At 5 lines of code a day, a programmer would write 1275 lines in a year.  I write that much in 2 weeks.  I'm much more efficient with my lines than most people I know, and sometimes refactor their code to take half the number of lines.   I would say some of the people I work with write 1000 lines in a day at least once a week.  Anyways, just wanted to say 5 lines sounds way to little to me, and I even work in a large (read as "inefficient") company on they core software product.

    ~1000 LOC/day is also my peak performance, but (thank god) it's not my typical workday.



  • Yes, thanks, that's the one! I was looking for it as an answer to 'why do they force me to needlessly complicate and pedantically overplan things in college when it'll have no real life value to me?!'. Seems like the perfect parable to explain it.


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