Two areas of development for me emerged out of the chaos this week.
The first was back to basics on software engineering processes courtesy of Occ-Bam - who has reintroduced me to the virtues of a simple approach to software development. You can make a meal of this documentation stuff can't you - and its tough to keep a 'linear' record of what you are doing up-to-date when you are iterating code development at a rapid pace! Just go away and let me code or nothing will work will it. Keeping the documentation as integrated into development activity as much as possible is the key. Also keeping the 'stages' of development at a fairly high level not only helps you better follow the 'story' of the development but also stops you getting lost describing a very nice looking weed!
- project initiation
- requirements capture
- systems design
- coding - with version control and design information integrated into the code
- final documentation - including user manual
Are all you need for most simple projects to ensure you are 'building the right thing, rather than just building something right' as a colleague recently pointed out. Steps 1 to 3 basically make sure you know what it is you are coding and stop you diving straight in to hacking stuff out. Step 4 lets you get stuck in and document as you progress the code. Steps 5 and 6 are a check to see it turned out as originally planned (or not ;).
The second area of development for me has opened up another Pandora's box of stuff to consider. Bambofy has introduced me to Quora http://www.quora.com/ - well what to do with this? Its like a living Wikipedia, you can post questions on topics and get responses from 'others'. I have been on a bit of a quest for something like this for a while - to really give some depth to the LinkedIn group type discussions - how do you broaden the thinking on topics of discussion? Well this site seems to offer that facility. I am just starting to play with it and have posted some Quality Assurance tester questions - so far I have been impressed.
Got to stop myself wading into answering physics questions though .....