Software Design – Ryan Singer is right and I buy into his inspiration (Christopher Alexander) + Bill Buxton + Working Software

I don’t always agree with the content or tenor of 37signals, but Ryan Singer is dead on here. While haven’t every step-by-step used his original approach which he outlines here in his intro to patterns, the spirit of it is what I have advocated for now on 20 years.

That it draws its inspiration from Christopher Alexander – the source of all this pattern chatter – the inspiration for the GoF – is in my opinion, right on. I think this really hits at the real spirit of patterns in the way that Alexander was formulating a process for architects and their clients to converse about bricks and mortar/light and shade/real world architecture.

This gets beyond the current technical fad of calling every coding tactic a pattern – because it is not about the pattern – it is about facilitating the conversation between the client and the practitioner.

Secondly, Ryan is relies on sketching – quick – not polished – iterative – sketches – pen on paper – this is Bill Buxton’s whole mantra which I completely and totally believe in and his presentation at Mix 2009 was excellent lecture on the power of sketching.

I am not a fan of the wireframe, though I have been dealing with wireframes for about 10 years. For the record, I don’t like the functional specs that proceeded them – however, serious and rigorous business analysis is often a must – and that seems to be a lost art.

Finally, is the call to build working software – not polished wireframes – something that you can click on – and yeah – I am all about that iterative builds – working software!! It may seem a little slower in the first few days, but in the long run it is the road to success. Working software is something that my colleagues and I are really devoted to, because it works.

OK – so this is post is a little rough – but I think you get the idea.

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