Brooks, F. P., Jr. (1977). The computer “scientist” as toolsmith: Studies in interactive computer graphics. Information Processing, 625–634.

Fred Brooks argues that “computer science” was misnamed, and that in fact it’s a kind of engineering. He sees his role as a tool-maker, necessarily in service to others’ problems, and successful only insofar as he’s solved them.

One very interesting claim, via Christopher Alexander: “the only way to achieve good fit between any design and its requirements is {to find misfits and remove them}; there is no {direct way to derive form from requirement}. Good fit is {the absence of all possible misfits}.”

Q. Fred Brooks: “The scientist ? in order to ?; the engineer ? in order to ?.”
A. “The scientist builds in order to study; the engineer studies in order to build.”

Last updated 2021-12-14.