In search of a contacts database solution

This blog may be quite technical. I want to record my findings in relation to a particular need I had to meet for a client. The brief, in short, was this: Visitors to his site needed to be able to subscribe to an email newsletter from the site.

Where have we got to?

We are now well into the planning process. We have drafts of the requirements documents, including the long outline of 'Functional Requirements'. The next stage is to prepare the 'use cases' which detail exactly what users need to achieve through the steps they go through on our sites. I am getting started on this, and it may take between now and Christmas to get these all ready.

Lessons from a dog

I hope you won't mind a slightly coarse metaphor, but it makes a point...

I walk our black labrador dog Carla each morning. When she does her poo, she usually follows it by scratching her hind legs into the ground to propel debris backwards, presumably to try to cover the poo. The trouble is, that the scratching usually takes place several metres from the poo.

What's my point? That Carla seems to be 'programmed' with a behaviour that is automatic, unconscious and ineffective.

Project milestones

In practice, there never seams to be enough time to do modeling, analysis, and design. There’s always pressure from management to jump to code, to start coding prematurely because progress on software projects tends to get measured by how much code exists. In reality, premature coding , without detailed analysis and design, creates a wide variety of problems, starting from rewriting small pieces of code, as new requirements reveal, ending with even switch of technology or framework.

Below is a proposed list of milestones for our project.

Getting our requirements clear

Pavel, a Moldovan systems analyst, has joined our team part-time. He is helping us to structure our project properly. The first big thing we are working on is to write the various Requirements documentation - both the functional and non-functional requirements. As we draft and finalise these documents, they appear in the Documentation section of this website.

Start the ball rolling

Hi All,

This is it, my first day in IofC, my first blog, my first contribution. Please do not throw stones at me.

Today I had a short discussion with Edward, and it is almost clear for me where should I start. Well, let me start and share some thoughts of mine for you, to consider. Each time, as a new software project starts I begin to ascertain all requirements. Requirements are crucial.

Norham Rd.

Back in Norham Rd. now living here!!!

Getting started in earnest

Last Tuesday John Freebury arrived back in Oxford. He has come to work with me until the end of the year, as we design and start to implement this project. It is good to have someone to talk with face to face, as email and Skype don't quite do it always.

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