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Product, Not Process: A Parable
March/April 1997 (vol. 14 no. 2)
pp. 6-8

In the November 1996 issue, I compared software development to home construction—a discipline that combines labor and art, but mostly labor. As a companion to that piece, I wrote a follow-on essay for this issue that compared software development to musical composition—a discipline that is primarily art. I wrote it as a parable that spoke exclusively about music, letting the reader see the "obvious" parallels to software. After I submitted the parable, Jim Sanders, one of our two excellent staff editors, contacted me to say that he had some concerns regarding my essay. We reviewed his comments together and quickly reached the conclusion that, in its original form, my essay was unsalvageable. Jim came to the rescue. Based on the points I had tried to raise, he wrote this wonderful parable. I hope you enjoy it.

Al Davis

James Sanders, "Product, Not Process: A Parable," IEEE Software, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 6-8, March-April 1997, doi:10.1109/MS.1997.10004
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