Re: The Mythical Man-Month

Subject: Re: The Mythical Man-Month
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Richard Lewis <tech44writer -at- yahoo -dot- com>, Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 18:14:08 -0400

> neilson wrote:
>> The key is to focus on the user view and not on the technology. This
>> paradigm even applies for products that are for very technical users,
>> in my opinion.
> Richard Lewis responded:
> Right on! I still do not get why this is so hard for so many business
> analysts - let alone developers. I mean - this is supposed to be their
> job. Any insights as to why most BA's have such a hard time maintaining
> a user view?

Yes. Clutter. Once you know too much about something it is hard to step
away and see less of it. Creating OO abstractions is not sufficient,
because they are still within the technology framework. Any time that
implementation is put ahead of design, or design ahead of requirements,
the wrong minds are in control. For small projects there may be no bad
consequences, because the team is small and flexible. Any time you go
beyond one or two guys in a garage you have to be able to communicate
the requirements and the design to the rest of the team. Even one
developer alone has to listen to the intended customer.

Sometimes the clutter that drives the project is existing or owned
technology. "We shall build the new server on our established code,
because reuse is good and because we spent too much on developing it
in the first place." Sounds brilliant, unless you're making wine: "We
shall add one liter of this costly but sour and undrinkable plonk to
each 29 liters of our excellent wine, so that we do not waste the
money and hard work that we poured into making it."

--Peter Neilson


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