The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

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Convincing bosses of the value of design.

We've all had one or more bosses who don't think that you're working unless you're writing code. I'm lucky I now have a boss who understands the value of design.  But, his boss isn't yet convinced.

I'm wondering what you do or did to convince your boss that spending the time to do a good design is worthwhile.

Joel, maybe you should write an article about that?
skeens Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
I suspect Joel's solution was that he *became* the boss.
Michael Zuschlag Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
At a company where design isn't valued, you can often prove its worth in trial by fire.

Suppose two similar-scope projects get started at about the same time. You insist that your team do some solid up-front design before writing any code (bucking the system as you go). The other team follows corporate culture and dives right into coding from day one.

Naturally, your project has a much better chance of coming in on schedule and on budget. Beyond that, just LOOKING at both products will show anyone the difference between a well-designed product and one that was built ad-hoc. And then you can gracefully remind management of the differences at all future occasions :)
Ian Schreiber Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
I have found that spotting design problems early, going on record with a critique that is informed and detailed and prophesying the specific problems that will result gives me a great sense of satisfaction and **sometimes** registers with people AFTER THE EXPECTED PROBLEM SURFACES.

"I told you so" never works if all you told them is "you'll be sorry!"

Waiting for things to break because good design practices were not followed is the hard part.  If you find yourself warning too much and waiting too much, it is time to get a new job.  (In effect, you fire your boss.)

You can take your commitment to good design to the next job.  Otherwise, if you have no principles who would want to hire you?
Bob Syslo-Seel Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
You don't.  Mid to Larger companies who haven't figured out the value of design are too cheap to ever do so in the future.  Design takes a long time to prove its worth, and to a cheapskate company, if the knob they turn doesn't result in immediate revenues, then they dont see its value.

You are fighting an uphill battle that you'll never win.

Find a company that isn't ran like a used car sales shop.
Been there, done that...
Friday, January 27, 2006
The article has already been written by Kim Goodwin at Cooper:
MT Heart
Saturday, January 28, 2006

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