Most of my projects are on GitHub. I'm currently with the Portland Trail Blazers.

An Academic Reactor

Originally written in 1953, but as relevant to software development as anything I’ve come across:

An academic reactor or reactor plant almost always has the following basic characteristics: It is simple. It is small. It is cheap. It is light. It can be built very quickly. It is very flexible in purpose (“omnibus reactor”). Very little development is required. It will use mostly “off-the-shelf” components. The reactor is in the study phase. It is not being built now.

On the other hand, a practical reactor plant can be distinguished by the following characteristics: It is being built now. It is behind schedule. It is requiring an immense amount of development on apparently trivial items. Corrosion, in particular, is a problem. It is very expensive. It takes a long time to build because of the engineering development problems. It is large. It is heavy. It is complicated.

The tools of the academic-reactor designer are a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. If a mistake is made, it can always be erased and changed. If the practical-reactor designer errs, he wears the mistake around his neck; it cannot be erased. Everyone can see it.

H.G. Rickover