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Code Craft by Pete Goodliffe

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Why Don't We Write Specifications?

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:15

Decent specifications are conspicuous by their absence in the Real World. We know it's not good practice to avoid them, so hasty developers gloss over their absense and pretend that there's no problem. It's not unusual to be given a coding task without an adequate requirements or functional specification. (This is a procedural problem that must be overcome by persistent moaning, education, and abuse of the powers that be.)

But it's equally common for sloppy programmers to sidestep their own document writing. Why is this? There are a few excuses we meet repeatedly. Developers don't write specifications because:

  • They ...

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