I'm Not Sure That Word Means What You Think It Means

Potential customers can be hard to come by, especially since you’re building something that nobody will ever, EVER want. Well, that’s getting ahead of myself. Let’s just agree that when you’re setting out to Gather Business Requirements, your potential customers usually aren’t already sitting in the room with you. link

I’m not sure what to say. At the intersection of people who need shit built but can’t program and people who know how to build shit but don’t know the domain you have business requirements. Steve Yegge seems to think that business requirements are something you gather using focus groups, and loathes them; on the types of projects I work on, we typically gather them from the domain experts and we build them for people who need shit built desperately badly. The fact that they grow out of line with what you need is an immediate consequence of the fact that his teams have tried to Do It All Up Front rather than iterate and improve, and this coming from a man who loathes Agile but just as clearly doesn’t understand that any better than he understands business.

A curious, inquisitive, and passionate person can find the passion in virtually any domain they’re asked to turn their keyboards to; in the past year I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in areas that I never thought I’d enjoy. It’s sad to see that Yegge seems to be advocating a kind the kind of intellectual blinders that confine you and your work to the things you’re already interested in and understand, all the more because it seems to run counter to a lot of what he’s written so eloquently about in the past.

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