Chessin's laws of system design

I have always been guided by these principles (which apply to both hardware and software), but only wrote them down in 1998 when I found that I was repeating them too often to junior programmers who lost sight of why they were doing what they were doing in the first place. (I thought they were too obvious to require stating, but I guess I was wrong.)

So, without further ado, here are Chessin's three laws of system design (with apologies to the estate of Isaac Asimov):

  • First Law: Make life easy for the ultimate end user of our systems.
  • Second Law: Make life easy for the independent software vendor (ISV), except where to do so conflicts with the First Law.
  • Third Law: Make life easy for ourselves, except where to do so conflicts with the First or Second Laws.
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