creatively developing

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The other day my husband and I, both geeks according to our kids, got into a discussion on the differences between the development processes that were in vogue when we were first both active in IT and how the process and its placement within a company or process ownership has changed since then. It's a discussion we've had a number of times before in various forms. He's no longer in IT but that doesn't mean that he doesn't develop software tools for himself and others to use. And they're tools that follow this development process.

Start with a small idea. Throw it up. Use it for a little bit. Decide what else it needs to be more effective. Add that in. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

This diagram was the start of our discussion. As soon as I saw it, I knew he would appreciate what it communicated.

iterative development process diagram
Click for larger image

The diagram comes courtesy of Ben Malbon of Made By Many and the Powerpoint slides from his talk at the IPA Game Changers conference posted at Slideshare which is an interesting resource all on its own but that's another post.

It's a development process that works well with web design and development. And its philosophy is supported by the Agile Manifesto.

agile manifesto screen shot
Click for larger image

The left side elements are definitely my preferred mode of working, particularly the emphasis on 'individuals and interaction' and 'customer collaboration'. And 'working software' is always better than lots of pretty books and presentations that promise life will be better when you install xyz but don't actually deliver. Though I must add, as a former maintainer of systems and websites whose creator had long departed the scene, that some documentation is always of value.

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