Steffest Digitale Pulptuur

Ikea versus engineering

a picture called aversusb.jpg (click to enlarge) I'm not a very good developer, you know: I have little or none traditional developer training, there are tons of coding techniques I have never heard of, and probably I'm doing all sorts of things completely wrong.
All the things I know and use everyday are born from my common sense and with trial and error.
That being said, it's nice to find that some of the so called "inferior" concepts I keep using sometimes pop up at other software minds, advocating they are not that inferior at all!
Some examples:
Everybody knows you have to normalize your database, right? I mean, if Ted Codd said so, it's a law!
But do you?
Maybe not always, as Hank williams points out: Normalized databases don't scale
Ah, that's nice to read :-)

Another thing I welcomed is the new Access 2007 database format that enables "multi-valued fields"
Not a new concept, and considered harmful by many, but I use them all the time because they are soooo flexible and easy.

My focus is on "getting things done fast and flexible"
Some people call that the difference between engineering and hacking something together.
So be it!
But does an engineer always have the resources to do that? Resources like time, budget, a proper project description, and even interest?
I certainly don't !
A hollywood example: The way an engineer like Michael Scofield escapes from Sona, wouldn't you call that "hacking something together until it works" ? :-)
(Sorry about that - I spend half the night watching Prison Break 3x08 till 3x13: Yeah! he gets out!)

Peter Christensen compares this to the difference between Ikea and quality design furniture. I like it!
Is there a house in this world that is Ikea free ? :-)

On twitter there was some talk to have a (un)conference on this - or a session on an existing conference - or even a little competion !
I don't know: On a subject I rant that easy about, it's hard to keep my cool :-)

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