Thinking About Strategy in Implementation

I was told this story by a friend.  I am not sure where it originates (found this possibly reference). Good story to ponder:

Three programmers were asked to cross a field and go to the house at the other side.

The novice programmer looks at the short distance and says, “it’s not far!. That will take me ten minutes”

The senior programmer looks at the field, thinks for a while and says “I should be able to get there in a day”. The novice looks surprised.

The ninja programmer looks at the field and says. “Looks like ten minutes, but I think fifteen should be enough”. The senior programmer sneers.

The novice programmer sets off, but within a few moments, explosive land mines go off, blasting huge holes. Taking him off course, and requiring him to double back and attempt the crossing many times. It takes him two days to reach the goal. Although he is shaking and injured when he arrives.

The senior programmer sets off on all fours. And carefully taps the ground searching for mines, proceeding only when it is safe. Slowly and meticulously he crosses the field over the course of the day. Only setting-off a couple of mines.

The ninja programmer sets off, and walks directly across the field. Purposefully and directly. He arrives at the other side in just ten minutes.

“How did you do it”?, the others ask. “How come the mines didn’t get you?”

“Easy” he replies. “I didn’t plant any mines in the first place”.

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