By Regis Sbudd J. Bates

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Extra resources for Advanced Intelligent Networks

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Good programmers will introduce roughly one defect into a program for every 100 lines of code they write. The best programmers, under the best possible circumstances, will introduce one defect per 1,000 lines of code they write. In other words, no matter how good or bad you are as a programmer, it’s certain that the more you code, the more defects you will introduce. This allows us to state a law called the Law of Defect Probability: The chance of introducing a defect into your program is proportional to the size of the changes you make to it.

You’re introducing change into your system, which is going to bring new defects along with it. And not just that, but you’re wasting your time and adding complexity to your program for no reason. So what counts as “evidence”? Suppose five users report that when they push the red button, your program crashes. Okay, that’s evidence enough! Alternatively, you may push the red button yourself and notice that the program crashes. However, just because a user reports something doesn’t mean it’s a problem.

Stupid, dumb simple. The nice thing about that level of simplicity is that, for the most part, anything usable by normal people is also usable by geniuses. You get a much broader range of possible users. But often, people really just don’t understand how stupid, dumb simple they have to be to get to that level. Let’s look at an example. When you’re at the mall, there are maps that tell you where everything is. On the best mall maps, there is a huge red dot, with the words “YOU ARE HERE” in gigantic letters, right in front of you.

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