Rocket Science Vs Software Development

Raghav K
Raghav K / Blog / 11 yrs ago /
  0

If you are working as a software programmer then you might have come accross someone who uses the following phrase regularly..


"What's the big deal? it ain't no rocket science"


Most of the times, the guy who says this is either your boss or customer or a guy from the Top Management.


Well, I'll tell you my idea of rocket science.....


I think rocket science is easy when compared to the software development activity.


Most of the time the parameters required  to build a rocket remain constant...


I don't know many things about the rocket science (but still feel that i should write an article about this subject)


So I'll give you an example in the following way....


Assume what would happen if the Rockets are built the way we develop software...


These are the following scenarios i could come up with


Scenario 1.


Boss: Where are we right now in that Mission to Moon Project?


Engineer: About 50% done boss..


Boss: Did we already started building the rocket?


Engineer: Yes boss, we got the shell, the propulsion engine and a few electronic gadgets to monitor the critical parts of the rocket. The electronics are the most expensive parts of the rocket.


Boss : Really? why did we buy them then? can't we make them ourselves?


Engineer: Most of our scientists are into "Rocket Science" boss, and we don't have competency in electronic gadgets. And anyway, why do we need them when already someone else is capable of delivering the electronic gadgets.


Boss: Don't talk crap Edward. Why did we take these scientists from MIT ? we expect them to know everything. Rocket Science is a science... Electronics is a science. Can't you see the simple truth?


Engineer: Er...


Boss: With sincere efforts a man can achieve anything. Tell me how difficult  is it to build a neuclear reactor in your house? All one has to do is get a few grams of uranium 232 refine it.. bombard the nucleus of a few atoms with a few neutrons... ..... connect this setup to an electricity generator...thats all.... ,imagine how beautiful it would be to say "One neuclear reactor in every home"


Engineer: Err... I think it is possible .. but...


Boss: You have a negative attitude Edward, you are a pessimist. You should always believe in yourselves.


Engineer: Yes boss.


Boss: Leave that to me Edward, I'll suggest a group motivation program to our top management. From our next project onwards, we'll build our own electronic components. Please suggest a few good books on Electronics.


Engineer Yes boss.


Scenario 2


Boss: Edward, we have a situation here, the Management has decided to change the "Mission to moon" project to "Mission to Mars" project.


Engineer: oh... so what happens to the efforts which we already put for "Mission to moon" project?.


Boss: Yup, I had that in my mind while discussing the issue with the Management. We'll use the same hardware.. Reusability is one of the key factors of successful Rockets development.


Engineer: but boss getting to Mars is a altoghether..completely different game .


Boss: Why Mars is a Planet and Moon is a Planet, I don't see a difference here.. am I missing something?


Engineer: boss Moon is a satellite...and mars is a planet...


Boss: Don't teach me astronomy edward.. what is moon? a celetial body.. what is mars it is also a celestial body so we can safely say that moon and mars implement ICelestialBody Interface. right? You should always consider the abstract side of your job edward.


Engineer: But boss, how is this related to .......


Boss: Don't give me that ifs and buts crap edward... I've been noticing your attitude from day 1, you are always a nonstarter. When will you realize that we can do anything if we sincerely believe in what we are doing.


 


Scenario 3


Boss: Edward You have to make a small change.


Engineer: what is it boss?


Boss: Today our VP has seen our rocket , he didn't like the shape of it, he says, it reminds him.......er... something naughty and he says our prestegious "Rocket company" should not do anything "undignified". You have to change the shape of the rocket .


Scenario 4


Boss: Edward!! Why didn't the rocket take off?


Engineer: We developed the rocket with the idea that the gravity is 9.8 m/sec2 but today the gravity is 14.2 m/sec2