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This story grew out of years of watching Clem McDonald in action, famously productive, while others seemed to spin their wheels. It is much the same message as the Cathedral and the Bazaar.

Clem and another group are faced with the same challenge: build a bridge across a canyon.

The Lesson

Whenever possible, start with the floss. See the solution through end-to-end, since this is often the best way to understand the problem and often informs the next pass at the solution. In the end, it is rare that we fully understand the problem until the third iteration of the solution.

Be agile, open to corrections, and iterate on your solutions. But, most importantly, take action.

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  1. Love the story, But I don't think Clem was Agile

    1. Hmm, why don't you think so? Would like to hear your ideas about the story. (smile)

  2. I think Clem used the waterfall methodology, also watched the video(soooooo inspired, it was unbelievable when he started).............Personally too, I don't fully enjoy agile, especially for new Applications (where there is not yet a full full understanding of the final product) Agile is best for maintenance IMO.

    1. "gathers engineers, draws up specifications, and begins planning on how the bridge should be constructed properly"(This is Agile I am talking about, too much protocols)
    2. "Meanwhile, Clem pulls a box of dental floss out of his pocket, unwinds it, and throws it across the ................."(That's how I think a new software development Project should begin)

    Working on a  new App now where I currently work....................scared of late Sprints(eusoping time for my favourite openMRS(sad), this also does not make one add new ideas during development, You just want to meet your deadline. I prefer the waterfall Process for a new Application and Agile for feature addition of bug fix and so on.......