I have a slow cooker at home. Earlier this year I started experimenting with various chili recipes to try to find one that I liked, but more importantly that my picky four year old liked.
I learned as I went. I learned that real Texas chili does not have beans in it. But my son loves red kidney beans and he gets precious little fiber and vegetable content in his diet as it is, so beans were non-negotiable. I learned that a favorite ingredient of many chili chefs is chocolate. Who could say no to chocolate? Well, my son gets way too much chocolate as it is. So I decided to leave the chocolate out. I learned that bacon has lots of salt and so does beef boullion concentrate. If you put both of those in, you can’t keep the added salt at the same level. Dead Sea would have described the salt content of one batch I made.
I think I have perfected the recipe. My wife raves about it and my son keeps eating it (he is not just picky but finicky as well). My daughter has also given the typical teenage show of rousing approval: “Yeah, it’s okay.” My eleven year old son is the only holdout. But since he seems to exist on a diet of half a cracker every three or four days, I don’t feel bad.
Lessons for software development:
- reuse proven source (start with an existing recipe)
- gather requirements (even from hard-to-please and ornery customers)
- release to the public
- gather feedback
I think I have a new hobby. No, not chili making, but metaphor stretching. This was fun.