Doability

Somewhere there must be written an engineering mantra that states something along the lines of “knowing that a thing can be done liberates the mind to do it”.

Is there a name for this “law” of software engineering?

7 Comments

  1. Posted June 11, 2006 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    How about the fast follower’s advantage?
    Or Virgil’s Law (after the Roman poet)
    Possunt quia posse videnture
    “They can because they think they can.”

  2. Posted June 11, 2006 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to rephrase what you said a bit: knowing that a thing can be done liberates the body from doing it.

    And I’ll name that the architect principle and call your’s the builder principle.

  3. Julian Turner
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    I prefer:

    “If you don’t think it can be done, it can be done.”

    OR

    “Being told a thing cannot be done, liberates the mind to do it.”

  4. Jesse Kuhnert
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I think the best word is “ego”. =p

  5. Posted June 13, 2006 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Hey Jesse:

    It’s funny you put it that way, mainly because I find that most of programming is about confidence. I can’t write any code that I’m not confident I can’t finish. This relationship generally has very little to do with whether or not I can either solve the problem or whether or not it’s even a good investment of time. Perhaps that’s ego, perhaps it’s just insecurity, but I’ve talked to other people who have much the same experience.

    Or am I just weird?

  6. Jesse Kuhnert
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    No, I think that has to be a pretty common feeling. Maybe we are unique….

    Isn’t that why we are all doing this? That same feeling you got writing your first “hello world” program – (no matter which language/archaic platform it was in ..i think for me it was IIe / pascal ibm ) …It felt soooooo good to make the big bad box that everyone thought was so complicated do your bidding :)

  7. Jesse Kuhnert
    Posted June 21, 2006 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Nevermind, it appears to be some sort of built in junkie mentality instead.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-06/uosc-fk062006.php

One Trackback

  1. By SKMurphy » Lighting The Way For Your Competitors on October 4, 2006 at 3:06 am

    […] Alex Russell noted in his Doability post “knowing that a thing can be done liberates the mind to do it”. […]