Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The argument of simplicity vs. complexity

- Albert Einstein

"The significant challenges we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on the near side of complexity; but I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity."

What the combination of the two means to me is that significant challenges cannot be solved with simple quick fix solutions.

I wish that I could take credit for realizing this, but the concept was borrowed from the book "The 8th Habit" which is Stephen R. Coveys followup to his bestselling "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".

I believe that this concept applies to IT Architectural and Engineering practices just as it does to business and daily life. The quickest path to solve a given problem isn't always the best. Granted, not every problem requires the complexity needed to design the space shuttle but if your companies bottom line depends on the software that you deliver you had better put the time in up front to determine the design and metrics needed to gurantee the projects success. Keep in mind though that even the most complex problems can be broken down into small enough tasks to make it palatable to development team members of all skill levels.

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