You cannot not design

…with apologies to Erik Spiekermann. Here’s the always-excellent Joel Spolsky on what “just enough design” really means:

“Incremental design and implementation is good. Frequent releases are fine (although for shrink-wrapped or mass market software, it drives customers crazy, never a good idea — instead do frequent internal milestones.) Too much formality in design is a waste of time — I’ve never seen a project benefit from mindless flowcharting or UMLing or CRCing or whatever the flavor-du-jour is. And those huge 10 million lines-of-code behemoth systems Linus is talking about should evolve, because humans don’t really know how to design software on that scale.

But when you sit down to write File Copy, or when you sit down to plan the features of the next release of your software, you gotta design. Don’t let the sirens persuade you otherwise.”

» Joel on Software: “Nothing is as simple as it seems”

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