Re: The user guide prescribes the program

Subject: Re: The user guide prescribes the program
From: "Marlene J. Geary" <marlene -at- NECA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 18:16:15 -0500

At 02:24 PM 1/6/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I used to work for team leader who really pushed for this kind of
>approach. Her vision was to document the software before the code was
>even written. I think it's a great idea. But it takes a lot of work to
>change the mind-set of those who are used to the old way.

This is exactly what our company does. The documentation is consistently
written before the product is coded. What better way for the development
team to know *exactly* what's involved with the product and what coding
requirements are?

If the developer (both analyst and coding engineer) knows the scope of the
product, and the "whys" and "hows" (no, I won't put an apostrophe there!) of
each prompt, feature and task are laid out, then there are no mistakes later
on. Everyone's clear on the product.

When we produce pre-code documentation, other departments can take the
coding period to learn the product, prepare classes for customers, prepare
marketing literature, etc.

Our development and documentation teams' processes include the steps of
writing docs before coding. Actually, what happens is we begin
documentation when the analysis period is nearly over. On larger projects,
analysis is staggered with coding periods. Even if multiple developers are
involved (max 5-6), the analysis is done simultaneously on sections of the
product, so documentation can be done in sections as the analysis is completed.

Our president began with this pre-code documentation idea and saw to it that
our software engineering department stuck to it. It's very effective.

I'll check into where he read about it!


| Marlene J. Geary | I sing because my heart | Writer/Editor |
| "Mars" | demands it and would | DISC |
| marlene -at- neca -dot- com | break without it. | Farmington, CT |

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