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Who Builds a House without Drawing Blueprints?


Who Builds a House without Drawing Blueprints? illustration

I began writing programs in 1957. For the past four decades I have been a computer science researcher, doing only a small amount of programming. I am the creator of the TLA+ specification language. What I have to say is based on my experience programming and helping engineers write specifications. None of it is new; but sensible old ideas need to be repeated or silly new ones will get all the attention. I do not write safety-critical programs, and I expect that those who do will learn little from this.

Architects draw detailed plans before a brick is laid or a nail is hammered. But few programmers write even a rough sketch of what their programs will do before they start coding. We can learn from architects.


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