Coding Horror: Quantity Always Trumps Quality

Another great blog entry supporting the idea that doing and repeating is better than doing once and aiming for perfection that solitary time.

“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay. “

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One thought on “Coding Horror: Quantity Always Trumps Quality”

  1. This made me giggle out loud and I’m in whole-hearted agreement with this sentiment. I’d just remove the word always from the conclusion. That statement is dangerous if left to stand on it’s own: “quantity always trumps quality.” Taken too literally (and without the context of learning from mistakes), that produces nightmarish results.

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