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Any construction project begins with raw material, and as Confucius suggests, the nature of the raw material is critical to success-so much so that you shouldn't even begin if the "wood" is poor. Even if you have sharp, finely honed tools, your project will still fail if the raw material isn't sound. And what, might you ask, is the raw material of software development? Us. People. We are the only raw material of consequence in software development. Oh sure, the process will involve a few keyboards and mice, some compilers, database products, and myriad office supplies, but they're all completely secondary. Contrary to popular myth, we don't write software on computers. We don't write software in programming languages, integrated development environments or case tools, whiteboards, or 3×5 cards. We write software in our heads.