Friday, 23 March 2012

The first move...

I tell you, war is Hell!
William Tecumseh Sherman, from his address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy
Things that have taken less time than Duke Nukem Forever's Development:
- The American War for Independence
- The United States' Civil War
- World War I
- The United States' involvement in the Vietnam War.
- World War II and the entire Manhattan Project. Yes, even the complete development of the atomic bomb took less time.
@Hodapp The List http://duke.a-13.net/
Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War around 2500 years ago but generals still proudly have this tome on their bookshelves today. Most have never actually read it, it's just there to show off, but those who do open it will find there are many lessons still relevant today.

Being a developer, I had the e-book version, which is light, practical, environmentally friendly and all that, but crucially, it's useless for showing off on your bookshelf. Therefore the only way that I was going to be able to boast about what I knew of the Tzu, was to actually read the thing.

As I did I was struck by a sense of deja vu (Deja Tzu perhaps?). Rigorous preparation but flexible plans, fast execution, cost savings, adaptability, morale boosting, chariots: this all sounded to me like good advice for developers as well as warriors. Had Sun Tzu lived today he might have been a general but more likely he'd be managing a development, specifically an Agile one. Because if Agile wasn't around when Sun Tzu started dev work then he would have invented it.

As the great philosopher Big Will Smith said:
There ain’t no problem that some other dude didn’t have 1,000 years ago.
So this blog will look at the lessons us developers can learn from Sun Tzu, to try and avoid the problems along our path to coding nirvana.

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