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#1 CreativeDev  Icon User is offline

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Software Development Methodology

Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

Hey guys, I'm studying Computer Science at university and I'm doing quick research regarding which Software Development Methodologies software developers use. I've been on this site a few times but have never officially joined so I thought now would be a good time. If any Software developers could contribute 20 seconds of their lives by having an input into my research I would truly be grateful: My Question

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#2 BobRodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

This is one of my favorite articles on the subject, which may explain why I find your question difficult to answer.
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

It is not sensible to consider methodologies as being applied literally, because they never are. Nobody ever used literal waterfall (it's really a straw man concocted by people who have a New Idea and need a big bad to set it against), and I've never heard of anyone applying Extreme or Agile or other methodologies without adapting them. So these are guidelines. And as guidelines they make a lot more sense than as laws: they give you a basis on which to structure your team's interaction, and they encourage you to codify the aspects of development that you think need to be codified.
But teamwork is really a matter of working with other people, and ultimately you need to have everyone on the team working with the rest of the team towards a goal on which they all agree and which they all wish to achieve. If there is not general agreement on the larger goal and on the current sub-goals, you will have friction, which generates heat and wears down your machine.

You should probably try developing some software with a few other people to see how this works: the books on the subject give you a lot of good ideas to think about, but actual lived experience is required if you're going to have any hope of evaluating what you read in the books.
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#4 BobRodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:57 PM

Generally, there are two factors which influence the amount of rigor and ceremony that are optimal. First is how many people are on the project, second is the target of the software. NASA has a goal of less than one bug per million lines of code, for obvious reasons. Such "bulletproofness" isn't really necessary for most applications; a look at the Microsoft suite of products will verify this. Devising a workaround when you are building a web page mockup is much easier than designing one when one of your re-entry rockets isn't firing. Also, handling a requirement change when there are four people working on a project is a very different thing from doing so when there are 200.

However, in general, low-ceremony, low-process projects succeed more often than high-ceremony, high process projects. Furthermore, as the article I mentioned points out, any methodology can succeed and any can fail as well.

This post has been edited by BobRodes: 21 November 2012 - 11:59 PM

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#5 erad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

View PostBobRodes, on 20 November 2012 - 09:08 PM, said:

This is one of my favorite articles on the subject, which may explain why I find your question difficult to answer.


Thanks for linking this article, a very interesting read. As much as I am generally suspicious and cautious of anything Mr Cockburn writes, I think a lot of what he says in this article is very relevant to anyone thinking about software processes, just ignore the implied success of his Extreme Programming projects.
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#6 h4nnib4l  Icon User is online

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

To add to what has already been said by members with much more experience than I possess:

I took a Professional Scrum Master course through Scrum.org a few months ago and got my certification. During the introduction to the course, the instructor talked about development teams in various stages of expertise and experience with each other. Without going into a lot of detail, basically what he told us is that a majority of the pieces of framework that Scrum provides are more or less unneeded in extremely experienced teams. While this may seem like common sense, it really does speak to something. This is a course being put on by someone who teaches Scrum nearly every week, works for one of the two organizations that preach and advance Scrum, and works with Ken Schwaber (one of the founders) on a regular basis. Most of the class was about every nuanced detail of the application of the Scrum framework and how it should be applied in every corner case that the class could think of, but the instructor basically implied that a lot of it should just sort of fall away as teams gained experience, like Forrest Gump's leg braces when he was running from the kids on bikes.

I say all of this to say that these methodologies, and the frameworks that employ them, are like bumpers for inexperienced developers/teams, and should be mostly transparent to experienced developers/teams. The desired end result is the same, right?
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#7 BobRodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software Development Methodology

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:07 PM

I agree. Very experienced people tend to automatically do the things that methodologies espouse.
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