Quote of the week – design

Without requirements or design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file.

Louis Srygley

If I were a cynical person I would point out that this quote implies that programming is better with requirements and design, an implication that is too often false. Fortunately I am not a cynical person, so I won’t mention it.

Design of software has always interested me – not just coming up with the design, but also communicating the design and modifying it as the project inevitably evolves. How do you get a design from person A’s head into the heads of persons B-Z?

2 thoughts on “Quote of the week – design

  1. “better with requirements and design […] is too often false”

    I’m assuming you mean something like “Formal Requirements” and “Formal Design”.

     How can programs ever be better with no requirements or design?  Even if I don’t have formal requirements and design documents, I still have an idea of what I want to achieve in my head.  (How detailed those ideas are is another matter).

    No design or requirements, to me, sounds like someone bashing out random lines of code (truly random lines of code – with no purpose or direction at all!)

    (I’m enjoying reading all the posts by the way, in case this sounded too negative! 🙂

  2. Bob says:

    My comment was a cynical throwaway line aimed at getting cheap laughs, and I certainly agree with you that having nothing at all is a recipe for randomness. I was saving this quote for a future “Quote of the week” but it seems opportune to place it here:

    The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build.

    – Bjarne Stroustrup

    I have seen formal requirements and designs that have hindered development as much as helped it. I have also been on projects that have absolutely needed that formality and where the lack of good requirements and designs has been a massive problem. I am sure we have all seen requirements docs that change regularly, and probably encountered the manager who assures us that he isn’t changing the requirements (we’ve always been at war with Eastasia).

    In summary, I agree with you, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a snide quip. I would love the software industry to be better at requirements and design though.

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