Four Pillars of Software Development

The purpose of this post is to consider Four Pillars of Software Development and Simply Rules  four-pillars-software-development

  • Project Management is mainly about “managing the work” or stimulating the environment so the work gets done with minimal telling people how / what to do.
  • Source Control if it’s only one file then, I don’t need it 🙂  of course it is always more than that as soon as it goes over 100 files it becomes a necessity.
  • Build automation (and repeatable automated configurations as a whole) shows up after source control and becomes a necessity around 500(pick a number that you think you will go crazy at) items or so. It is a number thing but, I can get by longer without repeatable automated configurations than I can without Source Control.
  • Test Automation this shows up as needed after 1000 plus code files. Test automation is all about feedback. When I say feedback it assumes people are already thinking in terms of interface design “start with the end in mind” if not then TDD/Unit must be purused because people are missing critical thinking skills.
[contextly_sidebar id=”EuxzomzN82fMDlac5JcnoeD1JfhVjoS5″]Calling them pillars for complex software development that goes over 50,000 lines of code is appropriate. If it is something less than that then they are not pillars because I can make do without.  Order that the Pillars Show Up In and Simply Rules for each pillar’s primary purpose.
  1. Project Management – “Make it visible” then emergent order can happen
  2. Source Control – “Create a Known Center” then we can work from a place of stability without getting lost in our own mess.
  3. Automated Deployments/Builds – “Work from repeatable base lines” then makes changes from there
  4. Automated Testing – “Keep stuff we want” modify to add new behavior. Sometimes through open/close and sometimes refactoring to accommodate new which yes, is recursively open/close but, not really 🙂
  • Each pillar is to help shorten feedback and bring focus so that we “pay attention and adapt” .
So my take is that if you are something over 50k + lines of code then these are pillars because you just can’t move much beyond that without the tower of code falling over. Each pillar shows up as you scale the pile of complexity you are dealing with. People also increase the complexity and require more structure to work within.


Ideally, I want “just enough structure to run rampant in“.