A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.

Issue 039: Methodology

Download PDF of this issue.

Issue 039: Methodology

Welcome to the thirty-ninth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Methodology. In this edition, Graham forecasts what the next two decades might bring in terms of methodologies; Adrian warns of the danger of methodologies becoming all-or-nothing dogmas; and in the Library section, Graham reviews the collective work of "The Three Amigos": Grady Booch, Jim Rumbaugh, and Ivar Jacobson.

Methodologies: The Next Two Decades

Let me start by getting something off my chest that has been annoying me this whole millennium. Methodology is the study of method. The process you use to develop software, and the practices embedded in that process, constitute a method. The understanding of how that process results in working software, in customer value, in arguments between business analysts and QAs, and in the modification of that process to yield different outcomes, that is a methodology.

You Are Doing It Wrong

On March 13, 1995 in Paris, during a press gathering held at a conference called Le cinéma vers son deuxième siècle, Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg introduced a new artistic movement called Dogme 95. In the world of arts, this declaration is comparable to the Agile Manifesto in many ways; not only are they both contemporary, they are also a reaction to the current state of things in each of their respective industries.

The Three Amigos, Among Others

This month, the methodology issue, is a good opportunity to take a look across a whole swathe of my bookshelf and deal with it all at once. The important point to bear in mind is that methodology is about the approach you take to building software. That means how you decide what to build, plan it out, design it, implement it, test it, deploy it, document it, and manage (and even pay for) all of that. The 1990s was the decade when object-oriented techniques hit the mainstream: it was also the time of the methodology wars.

Back to top