March 14th, 2013


Software collaboration patterns

Software development is a fundamentally social process: it’s all about working together. We (software developers as a caste) have expressions like “programming by contract” and design patterns like “Delegation” that reflect how we humans work together – and we use these patterns to describe how we instruct our robot minions to function. We think about our programs with social metaphors because we’re social apes: we think well with social metaphors, and our software design patterns reflect how we think best.

But we rarely use these social metaphors to think about how we make software. We need patterns for collaboration that match our social creature wetware, the way “delegation” and “factory” and “handshake” patterns help design software.

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