23 June 2008

Another Lesson from my Not-Yet-6-Year-Old


My not yet 6 year old knows the difference between "design" and "build".Jacob's Track

The other day he was discussing train track construction with my wife and one might think what I overheard is a result of me teaching him my trade.  But it wasn't.  I have no idea where he got this from, but I know it wasn't from me.  Nonetheless, I'm glad he actually knows the difference. 

"Design", he says, "is just when you're doing it on paper."

"Building is when you're actually making it."

"First I do a design so that I know what I want it to look like.  Then I build it."

I could have cried.  Instead, I just said, "I need to blog that!"

So later when I went down to look at the results I asked, "Is this how you designed it?"

He said, "no, I had to work around all this mess.  I didn't feel like putting all these toys away, so I built around them all."IMGP0621

The lesson here is for all of us.

Just because we know the real thing will likely end up differently when we go to build, doesn't de-value what we gain from the exercise of taking the time to design first.

Your "design" might be a test or a feature, but it came first and then reality caused adjustments.

That's how engineering works.  Engineering that doesn't iterate, increment, test and adjust is engineering that will fail.

Labels: , ,


At 24 June, 2008 09:56 , Blogger Brian Branagan said...

Very Sweet! This is a wonderful teaching story to use with teams. I love the way your son matter-of-factly adapted his design based on current circumstances.

At 02 July, 2008 15:58 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is also writing his own requirements which are like so many in today's world and that is "I know it when I see it".

At 08 July, 2008 07:27 , Anonymous David McLean said...

What a wonderful story - I was just looking for a blog on CMMI and Agile and this put a smile on my face - which I wasn't expecting - I'll be back for more.

At 18 September, 2008 06:58 , Blogger Chrigel said...

this is going deep...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home