[racket] OFFTOPIC - Quote on Programming

From: Neil Toronto (neil.toronto at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Mar 22 12:14:37 EDT 2013

On 03/21/2013 11:39 PM, Rüdiger Asche wrote:
> well, I don't know where the myth comes from that design and coding and
> debugging can be separated, but after 20+ years as a software designer
> and designer trainer in various companies ranging from a very few to
> several thousand developers, I've yet to see any (commercial, I'm not
> talking about academics) environment in which there are distinct people
> doing design and coding.

I don't want to undercut your main point, because I think it's right. 
But in my experience, software companies for niche markets - which I 
think includes most small software companies - usually have distinct 
people doing design and coding because of the huge amount of domain 
knowledge needed to design software.

The first company I worked for developed judicial automation software. 
We had people whose job was to study the workflow in a county 
courthouse, and use what they learned and their knowledge of law and the 
justice system to design software. The requirements for designing were 
so specialized that, even though the developers learned some of it, we 
had to keep the designers in the development loop for the life of the 
software. In particular, when developers designed something, it had to 
be scrutinized and approved by the designers to make sure it wouldn't 
cause users to run afoul of US, state, or county law.

The next company I worked for had dedicated designers as well, which we 
needed for their knowledge of dental offices. No developer had the time 
(or inclination!) to learn *every last detail* about how a typical 
dentist's office is run, including supply and equipment management, 
budgeting, billing, insurance, and all the other little things that 
surround the actual procedures. Again, the designers were kept in the 
loop for the life of the software.

I see your main point as being that *a development loop exists*, and 
that was the case at both companies.

Neil ⊥

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