Making software, making street food

Street chef

This post is part of my 200 words per day challenge that I am sharing publicly on Twitter in order to improve my writing and develop a writing routine. Feel free to join and comment.

Today, as I had just finished eating some pork noodle soup at my usual spot on Lebuh Carnarvon street, I decided to spend some time sipping iced tea and watching the different street food stalls from afar.

And then it hit me how much you can learn about writing software from seeing street food vendors work.

Picture this. In Vietnam, Phở vendors wake up at 2 in the morning to gather the right amount of fresh ingredients for the day and prepare their broth. The recipe is transfered from generation to generation and it’s not unusual to see a three generation family working together. By 6:00 they are ready to receive their first customers. Mainly locals who know the place and the owners. The bowls are prepared by expert hands in public, right in front of the clients, and served at just the right temperature. By 11:00 they have closed shop. The routine is repeated every day of the year.

Now, everywhere you go in South-East Asia you can observe the same elements characterizing the street food culture:

Consistency : a chaos routine to get the job done.

Viva voce for organic growth.

Making in public.

Product quality resulting from many iterations.

Using proven recipes. Not reinventing the wheel.

All useful concepts to make better software products.

If you liked this article, you can follow my adventures in real time on Twitter.