Code over Requirements

On Brian Marick’s Oddly Influenced, he was talking about the historical antecedents of the Agile Manifesto. He explains that agile emerged at a time of tension in software development. There was a pushback against the distinction between creating software requirements and doing software development. Marick tells the story that before agile, the work of creating the documents that directed software development was seen as higher status than writing the code. Agile is a rejection of that, and an elevation of code over requirements.

For Agile, code is seen as real and requirements are speculation or a model. (This is maybe why programmers call themselves engineers: engineers make things that are real.)

Here’s the problem: code is a model, too.

September 23, 2023


Dorian Taylor, on agile and requirements gathering”:

The problem is that a requirements gathering phase” has a persistent downward pressure because everybody wants to get building”. As such they are very rarely adequately resourced, because if they were, they would literally be the job, as the requirements don’t stop accruing just because the requirements phase does.

But what if we’re discovering new ways of creating software?

The Agile people assert that this is what iterating is for, and they’re right some of the time, but many of the questions about what the software should or should not do can be settled without writing even a single line of code

September 21, 2023

All fandoms are about the same thing

Kennedy is also a perfect example of what I believe was one of the biggest mistakes of the 2010s, which was to treat conspiracy theories as political movements and conspiracy theorists as those movements’ leaders. These communities, obviously, have political dimensions to them, but I think they are, first and foremost, fandoms. And are all fandoms about the same thing: the news.

Ryan Broderick

August 28, 2023

Learn and Play

The only way to learn is by playing
the only way to win is by learning
and the only way to begin is by beginning

– Sam Reich’s introduction to every Game Changer show.

August 27, 2023

Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work.

– Denzel Washington, NAACP Image Awards 2017

July 29, 2023

Five things I like right now


Kurt Elling’s forthcoming album SuperBlue: The iridescent Spree with Charlie Hunter is getting released slowly on Apple Music. So good!


Finally got around to watching The Mandalorian. A-


Gosh Roger Martin can write. Just finished Playing to Win.


Made my banana bread (actually Donna Hay’s recipe) but subbed out the eggs for flax meal. I reckon I could tell the difference in a side-by-side but it’s minor.


AG Lafley and Roger Martin:

Deep consumer understanding is at the heart of the strategy discussion. To be effective, strategy must be rooted in a desire to meet user needs in a way that creates value for both the company and the consumer.


innovation must be consumer centered if it is to be meaningful and provide competitive advantage

July 4, 2023 now

Unless you’re Miles Davis, there’s always some brother, some other, smoother than you

– Kurt Elling, Freeman Square

July 3, 2023

Five things I like right now


Nubya Garcia’s Nubya’s 5Ive is spectacular.


Patricia Arquette in High Desert is hilarious.


Just finished David Rooney’s About Time: A history of civilisation in 12 clocks.


Doing a bunch of gluten free baking as one of the people I live with is maybe gluten intolerant.

Some lessons:

  • Things based on non-gluten flours cannot be indistinguishable from gluten-including things. The texture is fundamentally different.
  • you can fake” gluten with xantham gum, which is often included in bakes like real flour” gluten-free flours. The texture is almost the same as wheat-flour.


As UX becomes commoditised, something else will become possible. I’m not sure what it’s called yet, but I think I almost know what it might be.

June 4, 2023 now

You don’t have to read fashion magazines. Open the window and look outside when you wake up in the morning. A man who can cook rice is a hundred times cooler.”

– Yukio Akamine, quoted by Derek Guy

April 20, 2023

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