Posts by Dr. Annegret Junker:
Often when someone thinks about software engineering, he gets the recommendation to slice the elephant. E.g., you want to design a nice e-commerce pet shop, you need to cut it into individual slices.
But for me, slicing the elephant sounds quite strange: An elephant in slices is still difficult to handle – even then those slices would be quite large (even if they are smaller than the original elephant). Moreover, the slices belong only to that specific elephant.
When I write specifications, I often wonder if the reader understands what I am trying to say. For example, if I write: “As an account clerk, I want to enter currencies using the ISO standard so that I am not misunderstood by other employees,” would everyone understand what I mean by ISO standard?
Of course, in the given case, I could simply quote a relevant source and say “read the manual”. But it is often not that easy. To write understandable specifications, one has to understand the people who read these — especially programmers. And that’s the challenge – because you aren’t a programmer and programmers think in a very special way.
This is why I will try to explain the principles of programming in this blog. The idea is not to make you a programmer, but it may make it easier for you to write specifications that can even be understood by programmers. Read more
In my recent blog we saw, how a specification for customers can look like. A specification needs to fulfill many different requirements and at the same time it has to be understood by the customer, testers, and of course also the developer.
Which information do developers need?
Developers want to know what they have to implement. Usually they want to develop a pretty solution. “Pretty solution” doesn’t mean a nicely designed user interface at all. Read more
Famous Easter Eggs – based on this title, you would assume that now something comes about Farbergé eggs or other lovely things like those. But I don’t want to tell you about that. Instead I want to tell something about Easter eggs created by developers. Read more
There is a nice German proverb: Good bacon catches mice. You might think – “So what?” Right, but in German bacon is called “Speck” – pronounced “Shpec” – which can be used as a short word for specification. Therefore I originally called this blog with a spec you catch mice.
Unfortunately that wordplay doesn’t work in English quite well. But I hope you catch the meaning 🙂 .
When we start a software development project nowadays, we start to write a specification. The specification should fulfill many different requirements and at the same time it has to be understandable by developers, testers, and of course for the customer. They are our mice we want to catch.
But how can someone explain complex technical and business combinations in a way that in the end software is created which fulfills the expectations of the customer regarding functionality and quality? In this blog, I want to explain using which models, text patterns, and structures, which group of readers is approachable best. So which mice can be caught best using which bacon 🙂 .
Tuesday, November 11th: Christmas 43 days off
I am sitting in our Christmas Lunch Area and thinking. The morning runs like expected. We had our requirements workshop. I presented the wishes and they were estimated. The task break down was ready before lunch. All run fast and smoothly.
I cannot apply myself completely the new wishes. More wishes are coming in every day. Most of them are more or less standard and we can manage well. Even the other teams are quite good in their plans as First Witch told us this morning during the stand up.
I am convinced that we can manage well. Read more
How Santa Clause tries to align his Christmas organization with agile principles, you could read in Part 1 and Part 2 last week. It´s not the end of the story yet – find out how the tale of “Christmas AGILE” continues:
Monday, November 3rd: Christmas 51 days off
This Friday was horrible! When First Witch came back from Santa Claus, she was so angry, that still small thunderstorm clouds oozed out of her ears. Until late afternoon, she was not approachable. But we didn’t know, what to do – should I really take care of the Asian wishes? The other elves went simply on with their wishes. The engineers occupied themselves with the next wish and the testers had a lot of rainbows above their desks. I saw indecisively to Santa Claus’ files. Should I really screen them? How would First Witch react? I didn’t really want to risk a thunderstorm cloud above my head. So I left them laying on my desk – but I couldn’t concentrate on the wishes of the next sprint either. The days ends without a decision making. Read more
Last week you could read here how Santa Clause tries to align his Christmas organization with agile principles. Find out how the special tale on Christmas AGILE” continues:
Wednesday, October 22nd: Christmas 63 days off
Our first sprint starts. Yay! Backlog is ready. All wishes are estimated. Read more
With only four weeks to go before Christmas, we have an insider reveal some secrets about Santa Clause´s Christmas organization. Every Friday until Christmas, you can follow this special Christmas tale and find out along with the story what it means to be agile.
Wednesday, October 15th: Christmas 70 days off
I am going to go to Santa Claus as each year – I am an elf and must help him bringing the gifts to the children at Christmas. At Eastern, I do the same for Easter Bunny. And in the summer – let us keep silent about it …
Thus I fly to the North Pole (the scheduling of the public flying carpets becomes worse each year). I go to the office and start my computer. As each year, I am awaiting a flood of wishes, which need to be handled: Archive, categorize, structure … of the wishes of last year, preparing the wish categories of this year, sorting of the remaining wishes – called left overs.
My inbox was well filled in the last years. But this year – nothing, simply nothing. Read more