Software Development, Yoga Style?

The ACM offers a “Learning Webinar” this week based on ideas of Seth Winis, “YOGA*—A Software Development Process Based On Ancient Principles”. These principles were described in an article by David Weiss [2].

Somewhat uniquely, he is also talking about “introspective research into software production”, which most of us do not really think about. (I, for one, don’t really want to look inside the twisty, nerdy, lonely head of a programmer.)

Apparently “YOGA” is an acronym for “You Only Go Ahead” and the supposed “ancient principles” sound pretty 70’s California to me. But let’s look at his principles. The first two are:

 1. Ignore the past and only look ahead. 
 Don’t worry about repeating past mistakes. 

2. Don’t try to be rational. Think of yourselves as artists, free to create.

And so on.

His reference to “software producers as artists” makes me recall Woody Allen’s marvelous “If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists” (in Without Feathers [1])—artists cannot be bound by the small minded concerns of teammates, managers, or customers. (Or, indeed, bloggers.)

My head is pounding. Mrs Sol Schwimmer is suing me because I made her bridge as I felt it and not to fit her ridiculous mouth. That’s right! I can’t work to order like a common tradesman. I decided her bridge should be enormous and billowing and wild, explosive teeth flaring up in every direction like fire! Now she is upset becuase it won’t fit in her mouth! She is so bourgeois and stupid, I want to smash her. (from “If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists”.)

(Posted April 1, 2016)


  1. Woody Allen, Without Feathers, New York, Randome House, 1976.
  2. David Weiss, YOGA: A Software Development Process Based On Ancient Principles. SIGSOFT Softw. Eng. Notes, 40 (4):5-5, 2015.



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