Cover by Joel Spolsky

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sixteenCRAFTSMANSHIP

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2003

Making software is not a manufacturing process. In the 1980s everyone was running around terrified that Japanese software companies were setting up "software factories" that could churn out high-quality code on an assembly line. It didn't make any sense then and it doesn't make sense now. Shoving a lot of programmers into a room and lining them up in neat rows did not really help get the bug counts down.

If writing code is not assembly line style production, what is it? Some have proposed the label craftsmanship. That's not quite right, either, because I don't care what you say: That dialog box in Windows that asks you how you want your help file indexed does not in any way, shape, or form resemble ...

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