Reader response to: The science of software development

October 11, 2021

Last week I wrote about ways in which the scientific method is used every day in software development. Fellow reader Pieter-Jan Smets wrote in with an obvious example I had missed:

Hi Jonathan,

I always consider debugging a good “application” of the scientific method. Brian Cantrill said in one of his talks on youtube:

“Debugging is the act of answering questions and then answering them. Not: guessing what the answer is.”

I fully agree with that statement, and it comes down to applying the scientific method. Making a hypothesis about what the cause of the bug/failure/… could be, and then verifying your assumption.


Kudos to Pieter-Jan, and originally Brian Cantrill, for the excellent point!

Related Content

The science of software development

How do you use the scientific method in your daily work?

Software development is so much more than writing code

Most education focuses on how to code, but this is only a small part of becoming a productive software developer.

"Agile" is not a noun

Even in the manifesto, the word "agile" is used as an adjective, not a noun. I think this clarifies the meaning significantly.