Book Review: Heads You Win

If Bangalore roads were software

I had this thought as I was driving to work this morning - there are a number of things common between computer software and our roads.

Some similarities first.

  • Software has bugs. Roads have potholes
  • Some bugs have workarounds.  Some potholes are small enough so that you can drive around them.  In some cases, there are alternate roads which can be taken to avoid the pothole.
  • Software occasionally stop working.  Roads often get blocked as well - traffic jam, vehicle breakdown, etc. 
  • Software gets upgraded.  Roads get tarred.
  • Many software lock you in - in the sense, you cannot use a competitor software.  Similarly, you are "locked-in" to the road surrounding your residence.
  • Software users are increasing regularly.  Road users are increasing regularly as well!
  • We pay for (some) software.  We pay (tax) for our roads - vehicle tax, property tax, income tax, service tax - all kinds of tax.

Now for the differences

  • If you have an issue with software, you typically have a support mechanism to report and track.  No such thing exists for our roads.
  • Software upgrades are typically planned and announced well in advance.  Road works are unplanned and sprung upon people.
  • Software evolve over a period of time. Roads deteriorate over a period of time and get occasional refurbishment in the form of tar.
  • Software continuously evolves.  Roads continuously erode - either through encroachment or parking.

I am sure we can thing of more similarities (or differences) ...  But for now, I need to get to work!