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Saturday 13 February 2021

Approaching Software Engineering as an evolutionary process

A year or two ago I had an opportunity to sit down with AWS's Marcin Kowalski in a cafeteria and discuss the problems of software development at almost-unimaginable scale. I walked away with a new (for me) conception of software engineering that is part engineering, part organic biology, and I've found this perspective has shifted my approach to software development in a powerful and immensely helpful way.

As Computer Scientists and Software Engineers, we've been trained to employ precision in algorithm design, architecture and implementation: Everything must be Perfect. Everything must be Done Right.

For smaller, isolated projects, this engineering approach is critical, sound and practical, but once we begin to creep into the world of integrated solutions and micro-services it rapidly begins to break down.