Re: software life cycle

Subject: Re: software life cycle
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 12:38:09 -0500

For some reason this didn't go out at the time (a couple of weeks back, I think),
but got dropped in a 'drafts' folder. I just found it, might as well send it...

Ardene Whittlesey wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm a new subscriber to techwr-l and have some
> questions about the software development life cycle.
> I've done mostly hardware documentation, but am
> looking to expand my skill set.

There's a classic book by a hardware design manager who
was put in charge of a software project (OS-360 for the
IBM mainframes he'd helped build), and wondered why it
was so hard and so different. "The Mythical Man-Month"
by Fred Brooks.

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

That varies hugely. Many do, but there are several different
processes possible.

Write extremely detailed specs before you touch the code?

Build some sort of prototype and get user feedback before
you assume you know enough to write a spec?

Define everything in terms of data record layout and the
forms users are given to interact with data?

Define things as objects, with classes and methods and...

... half a dozen other approaches

Most of these have formalised variants with detailed methodologies laid
out in some guru's book.

I'd suggest asking the development manager for references on the
processes used in your shop.

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