Sunday, February 01, 2009

Real World Software Engineering – XVII

One what versus how:

The mantra of trying to concentrate only in the what and not in the how only goes so far. At times it is possible and desireable to only think about the 'what'. The fact of the matter is that often the division between 'what' and 'how' becomes more visibly artificial. More often than not, the 'what' is some abstraction of the 'how' described in a 'more abstract' language. Often the semantics are not sufficient to convey relevant meaning for defining the 'what' and elaborating on the 'how' is mandatory. The wise Business Analyst will realise that a division between 'what' and 'how' is only artificial. It will realise that when the metaphor works it helps the requirement gathering progress. At times, however, it does not work. Then one is left with the painful but necessary task of refining the language. Oh, how I wish real people who work with real software knew Linguistics and Philosophy better.

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