Coding Horror: Boyd’s Law of Iteration

Coding Horror: Boyd’s Law of IterationInteresting blog. A few things stood out:

  • The original article came from MSDN. I won’t talk too much about that but the irony is delicious to say the least.
  • Iteration is good. My own experience in the software industry corresponds to this as does the old saw about Microsoft getting it right by version 3.

On that second point it’s worth noting that iteration != shipping. Or rather it doesn’t necessarily mean shipping. We’ve done a great amount of iterating simply having ten people use our software. It won’t tell you everything of course but it’s certainly better than being in a vacuum. Doing a broader beta release is also good, but prone to mistakes. The biggest issues I see with beta releases are

  1. Beta users are fan-boys. Often the beta users aren’t the same people that you want to sell to later.
  2. We have run plenty of beta programs too late in the game to be meaningful. When you do this an honest person will call it a marketing beta.

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