Development Methods in the real world.

Dave Smith dave at
Wed Sep 26 11:52:24 MDT 2007

Charles Curley wrote:
> Customers?!? Customers don't know squat about good software. If they
> did, they'd be writing the project themselves. Why would I ever want
> to talk to them?

I agree 100%. From Joel Spolsky:

   Customers Don't Know What They Want. Stop Expecting Customers to Know 
What They Want.

More pertinent wisdom from the article:

Put yourself in [the customer's] shoes. Imagine that you've just made 
$100,000,000 selling your company to Yahoo!, and you've decided that 
it's about time to renovate your kitchen. So you hire an expert 
architect with instructions to make it "as cool as Will and Grace's 
Kitchen." You have no idea how to accomplish this. You don't know that 
you want a Viking stove and a Subzero refrigerator -- these are not 
words in your vocabulary. You want the architect to do something good, 
that's why you hired him.

The Extreme Programming folks say that the solution to this is to get 
the customer in the room and involve them in the design process every 
step of the way, as a member of the development team. This is, I think, 
a bit too "extreme." It's as if my architect made me show up while they 
were designing the kitchen and asked me to provide input on every little 
detail. It's boring for me, if I wanted to be an architect I would have 
become an architect.


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