Tuesday, 22 October, 2002

Alan Cooper on Software Construction

Visual Studio Magazine ran an interview with Alan Cooper, author of About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design, and The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.  The interview focuses on the topic of software construction, which I've been pondering recently (see October 14).  I don't agree with everything that Cooper says in the article, but he does make some very good points, and validates what I and some of my co-workers have been thinking for some time.  Software construction (Cooper doesn't like using the word "development"—see the article for the reasons) can be approached as a craft, or as an engineering discipline.  The way you approach it depends on the type and size of the project.  Who would have thought that it comes down to "use the right tool for the job"?  And there's no magic all-around hammer.

There's a lot of food for thought in that article.  I highly recommend reading it.  I've also read his About Face book, and recommend it as well.