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Dave Goodman

I couldn't figure out how to leave a comment there, or to use the Trackback from my Blogger account, so I'm glad you mentioned it here.

The "Yak Shaving" concept reminds me of the one I call "Sinking the Rowboat." When I was in summer camp, we did a skit with a half dozen campers sitting in a row. The guy at one end would call out instructions, like "Load torpedo tube 1!" and each camper would echo that in turn until it got to the guy at the other end, who would respond and this would be passed back. It took several commands and responses to get a torpedo locked, loaded, aimed and fired, only to miss the target. After repeating this laborious experience for two or three torpedoes, the fish finally found its target, and the response came back, "We sank a rowboat! We sank a rowboat!" A lot of effort for a simple task.

I've felt that way many a time, and that's what you'll hear me mumble after finally getting some code to run or a bug to die. "I sank a rowboat!"

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