Archive for January 25th, 2011

In “The Mythical man-Month” I said build one and throw it away.  But that isn’t what I say anymore.  Now I say, build a minimal thing — get it out in the field and start getting feedback, and then add function to it incrementally.  The waterfall model of specify, build, test is just plain wrong for software.  The interaction with the user is crucial to developing the specification.  You have to develop the specification as you build and test.
    —    Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
[I think the most important point here is to give junior programmers the opportunity to learn how and why specifications are created and how difficult they are for the user to create without direct input from the systems folks.  It also prepares them for complex programming based on complex specifications.  For senior programmers, it reminds them of same.  This exposure is what is lost when larger organizations try to impose specification development onto the end user before they will agree to accept a project.   —    kmab]

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