Specs from Joel

I think Joel is a smart guy with a lot of good advice for both new and vetern programmers.  


Here’s an example of what Joel Sposky thinks is a bad spec


 And a good one (that of course he wrote πŸ˜‰



 I guess to follow some of Joel’s advice I’m practicing my writing by thinking about the pros and cons of his ideas.

 It’s my opinion that to just take on what he says blindly would be a discredit both to his amusing ranting style and my own intelligence.


Joel says you shouldn’t template functional specs. However another argument says that if you don’t have a template, how do you know what isn’t there ?? While I like the idea that I think Joel is trying to express …


KISS; Have fun; Let others have fun with you.


I think this can sometimes come into conflict with another idea. People using systems have generally gotten along a lot further than people just winging it (Joel seems to argue this as well); and isn’t a template a lot like a system.


So to quote, and implement, another perl of wisdom from one of Joel’s articles

‘Decisions in ten minutes or the next one is free’ πŸ˜‰ 


I’d say that a battery of well targeted templates (so that each section is one that is both expected by the reader and relevant) would be the way to go.


Pros: Benefits of consistent reader expectations. Joel argues that all books on your shelf arent’ the same but at the same time don’t you hate it when you’ve got one of those bit Biology encylopedias that just doen’t fit.


Cons: You might end up having to write ‘this section not relevant’ in a few lame duck templates; which might in turn prompt to you to create another more specialised template if the same problem keeps coming up.  


One Response to “Specs from Joel”

  1. Ben Maslen » Specs from Joel Says:

    […] Specs from Joel […]

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