Pragmatic Programmer



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Posted by: stak
Tags: books
Posted on: 2012-07-08 18:19:20

I finished reading The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. I had pretty high hopes going into it since it seems to always appear on must-read lists, but in the end I was a little disappointed. I agreed with all of the content, but there was nothing really insightful in the book for me. It seemed to me like anybody who would actually bother to pick up and read the book would already know that stuff from experience. It might be more useful as a text for somebody in school who hasn't had much actual experience yet. Also, the book covered a rather broad spectrum of topics but didn't go into a lot of depth for most of them; I would have preferred a more detailed coverage of the topics since that would be more likely to provide me with new insights.

However, after reading the section on digging for requirements, I did dig out the SRS document my group produced for our SE 463 course back in 2005 and skimmed it, just to see if it made any sense in hindsight. I think for a requirements document it was hugely overspecified and really not very useful. If I were to take that document and try to implement the system it described I think I would have a very hard time because of all the different descriptions of things which sometimes contradict each other. Then again I think we pretty much knew that when we wrote the document in the first place.

Posted by Mark FInkle at 2012-08-28 10:33:05
Over time, I have changed my viewpoint on requirement docs several times. Each time, simplifing the doc to bare neccessities. Also, I feel the doc is only a starting point. It dies very early, and the project needs to use other means to track the requirements once development is active.
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