Three Little Pigs

There is a story about agile practices and 3 little pigs. This is not that story.

There were three little pigs who wanted to live somewhere near wolves for some inexplicable reason. Astro Naught the Pig planned to make a design that had a plan for a two-story brick house. A. Gile planned to make a wooden single-story house and would iterate, not increment, on the design to make a great home. Scrappy wanted to face the wolf but only had a straw budget.

Day 1

Astro Naught had designed the ultimate house-designing plan designer and had his first prototyped brick when the Wolf appeared.

The wolf bellowed, "I'm going to..." but Astro threw the brick at the wolf's head and ran to his neighbor. The Wolf scampered away.

Day 2

Astro and A. Gile were having dinner in a single-story wood-framed house when the Wolf appeared at the front door.

The wolf knocked and demanded, "Let me in, let me in, little piggies!" But then he noticed the walls were not quite complete and he was able to slip into the house between some unfinished planks.

The two pigs squealed and ran away into the night in different directions, leaving the Wolf alone, disappointed, and hungry.

Day 3

Hungry and tired from chasing the first two pigs, the Wolf spied the small straw hut of Scrappy Pig.

"Now's my chance!" he thought as he started running to the small house.

As he huffed and puffed from the sprint, he entered the already-open front entrance. It wasn't quite a door, because... straw. Suddenly the straw floor gave out from under him and he fell into a fairly deep trap hole made by Scrappy Pig.

Scrappy Pig continued to solve harder and harder problems until he was renowned and praised for business books like The Way of the Straw and The Night the Wolf Fell.

The Morale of the Story

Iterative designs are good. But not when there is a Wolf at the door. A perfect, expensive architecture is great, but not when you don't have time.

The pig that wins is the one that creatively makes do with what it has, focusing on the biggest problem first. It also helps to be lucky enough that the Wolf didn't appear on the very first day.*

*Successful people work hard. But not all hard work is rewarded by success.

Care to read more? Try sausage.


Thanks to the kids and BSMSO for helping inspire and revise the story of Astro Naught, A. Gile, and Scrappy. Credit to Joel Spolsky for "Architecture Astronauts." I'm not sure if he coined the phrase, but I first learned about it from his blog. I muddle his point on abstractions of abstractions, but couldn't resist the pun.