This essay was improved by conversations with a large number of people who helped debug it. Particular thanks to Jeff Dutky <>, who suggested the ``debugging is parallelizable'' formulation, and helped develop the analysis that proceeds from it. Also to Nancy Lebovitz <> for her suggestion that I emulate Weinberg by quoting Kropotkin. Perceptive criticisms also came from Joan Eslinger <> and Marty Franz <> of the General Technics list. Glen Vandenburg <> pointeed out the importance of self-selection in contributor populations and suggested the fruitful idea that much development rectifies `bugs of omission'; Daniel Upper <> suggested the natural analogies for this. I'm grateful to the members of PLUG, the Philadelphia Linux User's group, for providing the first test audience for the first public version of this essay. Paula Matuszek <> enlightened me about the practice of software management. Phil Hudson <> reminded me that the social organization of the hacker culture mirrors the organization of its software, and vice-versa. John Buck <> pointed out that MATLAB makes an instructive parallel to Emacs. Russell Johnston <> brought me to consciousness about some of the mechanisms discussed in ``How Many Eyeballs Tame Complexity.'' Finally, Linus Torvalds's comments were helpful and his early endorsement very encouraging.