Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The "Is it quick?" methodololgy. Worth it?

The biggest lesson I learnt on Oracle Fusion applications development was the importance of a well engineered product (no-brainer, isn't it?) 

This post recaps why you need a system that is well designed rather than just 'quick' - 
http://thinkoracle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-two-ways-of-doing-job.html

Working with different kinds of IT requirements, one often needs quick solutions in these scenarios:
- tactical fixes 
- prototypes or proofs of concept
- examples

Sometimes, quick is often the side effect of knowing the technology well and knowing how to get the most out of it. 

ADF is the perfect technology to showcase a lot of business value quickly (vis a vis comparable web technologies) - but it's easy for new practitioners to get overconfident with it and ignore some basics, to the long term detriment or even failure of the project. 


Fusion applications (check out the videos if you haven't already) illustrates power of well thought out, well designed, well engineered systems. 
Design = Functional and Technical (Two different things) 


On a related note, I have started to have mixed feelings about the agile approach, and I have come to suspect it promotes the above three over and above a well thought out design. 

Pros:
- It keeps a team focussed on the "most important tasks that need to be done based on the state of the product now".
- Helps keep track of the big picture with a prioritised backlog. 
- Promotes test driven development 

Cons:
- A team inexperienced with both the technology and the agile methodology can get short-sighted and only focus on immediate 'quick' fixes.

- Sometimes old habits just die hard: if you don't invest in automated testing, at least create well documented acceptance criteria in your stories or test plans to avoid regression. 
"Doesn't look pretty" is NOT a valid or helpful test result. 

Even an internal system, expected to be used by a few hundred concurrent users deserves more than that. You might get by with the old ways until you can't - that is usually a stage where things can't be salvaged any more. 

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