Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jazz and Software Development

Jazz is said to be the fundamental rhythms of human life and man’s contemporary reassessment of his traditional values. The ancient beats and rhythms of Africa found a contemporary expression in the new world of New Orleans around early twentieth century. Often music historians spoke about undefinable quality of Jazz. Louis Armstrong -- one of the greatest Jazz musician ever - put is succinctly : "If you gotta ask, you’ll never know". The unscripted collaboration where every man plays his own tune but responds and respects others' -- is the core theme that gave rise to this uniquely American contribution to music.

It is intriguing that the new software collaboration platform built on Eclipse from contributions by pioneers such as Erich Gamma is named Jazz. Naming is very important. Naming captures aspiration. A software engineer as great as Erich Gamma can foresee the evolution of software development practices or at least where he wants it to go. Building software is playing Jazz -- not Orchestra.