Charles Engelke's Blog

November 18, 2003

Why You Want to Keep Things Simple

Filed under: Web Development — Charles Engelke @ 4:24 pm

For every 25 percent increase in problem complexity, there is a
100 percent increase in complexity of the software solution. That’s
not a condition to try to change (even though reducing complexity is
always a desirable thing to do); that’s just the way it is.

That’s Fact 21 in Robert L. Glass’s

Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
. He backs this up with
a published study from 1979.

This certainly seems right to me. We’re all quick to accept just a
little added complexity to our requirements after we start, especially
if what’s being requested captures our imaginations. (I’ve been
guilty of this many, many times.) But as this fact warns, a little
bit of additional complexity in the problem will lead to a lot
more work in the project.


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