David King

full stack developer

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Stone-Soup Software

24 Apr 2013

Stone-Soup is a folk tale my Grandfather was fond of; it's about a cunning old lady who persuades a community to come together and make "stone soup". It starts with a simple enough premise: she already has the magic stone, all she needs now is some hot water to make a hearty soup for all! Flabbergasted, the community agree to play along as it sounds too good to be true! After all, it's only a wee splash of hot water right?

Of course adding a little salt really brings out the flavour of the stone. It's obvious. Some poor sap adds salt. And so it goes until pepper, potatoes, onions, mutton, carrots, split-peas, stock, turnips, celery, cream and barley are all added... the stone soup is truly wonderful! Who would have guessed?


No matter how fast paced life becomes, people are still people. In software terms the cunning old lady represents a client, the soup is the software, and the ingredients the features. And I hear stories like this all the time from my peers - hell, I've been duped before.

The way I see it: there are 2 types of cunning old lady to be wary of:

Naive old ladies

Truly believes hot water will turn her magic stone into soup! Her belief and passion is so strong that you might end up falliing for it.

Deceptive old ladies

Carefully massages your expectations so that you believe water is all that is needed to make soup.

God forbid you ever meet some terrifying hybrid of both.

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