May 10, 2005

Martin Fowler (again): design + XP

Writing about web page http://www.martinfowler.com/articles/designDead.html

When approaching agile methodologies (i.e. XP), there can be a lot of confusion about the role of up front design. It would appear that there is no place for a large up-front design.

This is nonsense. How in the world can you implement something you haven't designed?

The difference is that XP promotes leaving out the details. You still need an overall picture, you just don't need to fill in every possible detail.

Think of a jigsaw, you know what the pieces look like and how they go together, but you don't need to worry about the individual pieces in detail.

After you have implemented some of the pieces, you will inevitably find that the overall picture has changed, so fine, change the overall picture. You haven't lost that much because you don't have unwieldly 300 page design documents. It is a simple divide and conquer strategy.

So, design isn't dead.


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