Design over time

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

Cogent analysis from Mark Bernstein on design work

The core idea that makes Agile sensible, though, is that good and complex design can be incrementally created through simple, local changes. That’s a new idea, a discovery of the last generation. When birds flock, they fly in complex patterns and formations — but it turns out the birds don’t need a complicated playbook, just some simple rules about following your neighbors. Cell differentiation, it turns out, leverages simple rules as well; there isn’t a big master plan for building a kitten or a kidney, just lots of local rules. People didn’t know this in 1960, just like people didn’t know about evolution in 1860. They know it now.


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