I take it the stylized ‘JS’ shape speaks for itself, but what’s up with the old wooden beams? Well, it’s an intimate look of the inside of Salisbury Cathedral. If you’re ever there, do take the guided tour right up to the base of the hollow spire (123 metres tall). It’s well worth the climb, and not just for the splendid views. Getting an insider’s peak into an 800-year old church is a sobering experience. You won’t believe how messy these vaulted ceilings are when you look down on them instead of up. The spire requires a patchwork of ingenious reinforcements that was applied over the centuries to support its ridiculous 6,500 tonnes. I bet they didn’t have a compelling user story to justify building that feature.
Taking a cathedral as a metaphor for the software world has been done before in the cathedral and the bazaar, but I want to draw a different parallel here. Any major, business-critical piece of software will eventually start to resemble Salibury Cathedral – if you allow me to condense eight human centuries into, say, three decades of software time. But at least with software we needn’t feel obliged to spend millions on the upkeep from a sense of cultural heritage.