Behind the blip: essays on the culture of software by Matthew Fuller
By Matthew Fuller
A far-reaching and strikingly unique selection of essays at the “culture of software program” through British new-media critic Matthew Fuller, at the back of the Blip seems on the many ways within which the ostensibly impartial consumer interfaces, se's, “intelligent agents,” and note processors which are now a part of our lifestyle are actively reshaping the best way we glance at and engage with the area.
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Additional info for Behind the blip: essays on the culture of software
1. THE WATERFALL MODEL Both the model introduced in chapter 1 and the waterfall model place considerable emphasis on a careful analysis before the system is actually built. We want to prevent putting much energy into constructing a system which later turns out not to satisfy the user’s requirements. We therefore try to identify and tie down the user’s requirements as early as possible. These requirements are documented in the requirements specification. On the basis of this document we may verify in subsequent phases whether or not these requirements are being met.
The Regional Health Authority established an Inquiry Team to investigate the failures and the history that led to them. They came up with an 80-page report, which reads like a suspense novel. Below, we highlight some of the issues raised in this report. The envisaged CAD system would be a major undertaking. No other emergency service had attempted to go as far. The plan was to move from a wholly manual process -- in which forms were filled in and transported from one employee to the next via a conveyor belt -- to complete automation, in one shot.
It is a train that does not easily change direction. This has been recognized over the years, and methods like prototyping and evolutionary development ensued. But these methods still somehow carry an engineering flavor with them. Essentially, they still assume the world is ordered. It may be difficult to pinpoint the true requirements right away, but they will accrue over time. True agile methods view the world as fundamentally chaotic. They assume change is inevitable. Their focus is to deliver value to the customer as quickly as possible, and not bother about extensive plans and processes that won’t be followed anyway.