When you need to land and operate a robot on Mars, "halfway" software is not an option. While helping to develop the Collaborative Information Portal, or CIP, for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, Ronald Mak identified and refined a set of principles that represent the fundamental goals necessary for any successful enterprise system. Following them, Mak's team developed a CIP that scientists, researchers, and engineers have been using continually for over two years to access data from two Martian rovers. Its uptime record—99.9%.
The principles are language and platform independent. They're not design patterns or code samples. They're not even rocket science. They just work.
Real-world examples from the Rover mission help you learn to:
Take advantage of what others have learned from their mistakes
Realize that clients may not know how to know what they want
Acknowledge that you aren't clairvoyant
Think like a user
Test, anticipate, be flexible, and keep it simple
Recognize that code integration is a greater challenge than code development
Become the successful architect of a successful system