FW: RE: software life cycle

Subject: FW: RE: software life cycle
From: "Steve Hudson" <steve -at- wright -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 14:48:59 +1100

> But I'm curious - what's the difference between
functional and technical specs?

Functional - from the users perspective
Technical - from the programmers perspective

Both should START before the coding, but will be updated during product
development, and as feedback comes back from the prototype in the hands of
the marketing types.

The Func spec describes what actions the user can take, and the look and
feel of the interface.

The Tech spec describes technologies, required program modules, overall
architecture, data flow and processing flow diagrams etc etc. The softies
will use the Tech spec to implement the Func Spec.

> Also, are use cases the same as test cases?

No. Use cases are WHERE AND WHAT the program will do. It will be used by
chicky babes at airline reservation desks to buff their nails. It will also
be expected to clean the lint out of business men's bellies.

Use cases will help define the functional spec as they help define the end

Test cases are extreme data entry exercises.

> And do most companies really follow a formal life
cycle process?

Only if they have a Quality dept, which is only in the much bigger

> My experience in hardware is that a
customer wants something, sales & marketing promises
it to them, and engineering has to come up with
something - fast! And the writer is at the end of the
loop, trying to document as it goes out the door.

Yar - can be same same for software. Ensuring the specs are written goes a
long way to keeping up with developments. So long as you get cc'd on all
change requests and bug fixes its not too difficult.


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