Writing Code For Other People
Tom Mullen (Other Papers)

The paper is dowloadable via the ACM Author-Izer Service below (or via here )

ACM DL Author-ize serviceWriting code for other people: cognitive psychology and the fundamentals of good software design principles
Thomas Mullen
ACM SIGPLAN Notices - OOPSLA '09, 2009

If you have stumbled across this page, “Writing Code For Other People” is a paper on software design that was delivered at OOPSLA 2009. The links below are for the presentation materials.


This paper demonstrates how the cognitive model of the mind can explain the core fundamentals behind widely accepted design principles. The conclusion is that software design is largely a task of chunking analogies and presents a theory that is detailed enough to be accessible to even the most inexperienced programmer. The corollary of which is a pedagogical approach to understanding design principles rather than the necessity of years of software development experience.

A personal thanks go to the following people (listed alphabetically) for helping with their time and considerable talent to improve both the paper and presentation : Chris Mathie, Bernie Mullen, Ged Mullen, Sean Mullen, Alan Plaistowe, Don Raab, Miranda Sinclair, Giles Thompson, John Weir, Pete Williams. Also to the anonymous reviewers of the Onward Committee and the numerous others who provided feedback.