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September 07, 2005

The New Yorker on Cookies and Software

There was an interesting article in last week's New Yorker (the food issue). It's by the ever-voluble Malcolm Gladwell and it's about designing a better cookie, but it involves a bakeoff between three cookie design teams that are deliberately modeled on open source programming, Extreme Programming, and traditional development. Gladwell doesn't quite know enough about software to deliver his Gopnik-esque comparisons between open source and XP, and the magazine's fact-checkers managed to get Linus Torvalds' name consistently wrong, but he does manage to a) quote Joel Spolsky and b) call him a "software theorist" (which is beyond a Googlewhack, it's a Googlezero, which is how I know the article isn't online yet). It's 90% about cookies and 10% about software but the point is that software theory is leaking into other industries--precisely because nobody really knows the best way to design software, and other industries that feel stuck in a rut are trying to capture that zeitgeist.

Posted by AdamBa at September 7, 2005 09:19 PM

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