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Some simple thoughts about great engineers - Alex Belits
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abelits
Some simple thoughts about great engineers
This is not something new and original, but I think, it expresses in a more or less coherent form, the idea that a lot of people understand intuitively.

When a truly great engineer creates something, he has a special kind of humility that allows him to put limits on how far his ideas, thoughts, preferences and idiosyncrasies should be put into his creation. He understands where those thing should end, making something that stands on its own, letting others to use it and apply their own ideas, without being unnecessarily tied to what he thought is the right thing to do. He may have a lot of opinions about what others should do with his creation, but he understands that it's unnecessary to force others to comply with his preferences, that others, possibly years and decades later, may have a good reason to do something that he dislikes or does not anticipate. So he limits his job to making his good ideas work, and ignores the opportunity to make a design that will force everyone who will build on his foundation to follow the line of his thoughts.

This is why I think that C and Unix were created by great engineers, and it's a pity that the examples of this are few, even among well-designed and successful projects.
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Comments
j_b From: j_b Date: August 14th, 2004 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Haberli, etc etc
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