Conway’s Law

Conway’s Law has always fascinated me:

…organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.

Eric Raymond puts it this way:

If you have four groups working on a compiler, you’ll get a 4-pass compiler.

Essentially it means this: Software is a reflection of its creators.

Extending this we can begin to see how some of the natural (competitive) advantages that a piece of software may have (and the disadvantages) can be seen in the creators themselves.

It’s a powerful reminder that the team makeup matters a lot, especially in the beginning. We are all naturally biased in many ways and we bring that to the software table when we build.