114 Software Engineering Methods Extreme programming follows this general sequence: 1. The customer defines the program requirements. The customer may need more features later, but initially, the customer knows the main features he needs in a program. 2. A small team of programmers designs a simple program (a prototype) that acts like a model for the customer to study and approve. Because this prototype is a simple program, it’s easy to make and even easier to modify based on the customer’s feedback and desire. 3. The programmers implement their idea as an actual program, with the customer giving them feedback along the way. By keeping the customer in close contact with the programmers, extreme programming makes sure the customer can make changes to the program while the changes are still easy to make, rather than when the program’s finally done. 4. After the programmers create a simple program that the customer likes, the programmers can slowly start adding additional features that the customer may suddenly want. In this way, a program evolves slowly with the customer guiding its development at all times. Extreme programming isn’t without its critics, who argue the following points: ✦ The chaotic nature of extreme programming means that it’s nearly impossible to determine when a project gets done. ✦ The close relationship between the customer and the programmers can be crucial. ✦ If a programmer suddenly leaves, the entire project can slow down while the customer gets used to working with a new programmer (and vice versa). ✦ Close communication is essential between • The programmers and the customers • The programmers themselves Without constant communication, an extreme programming project can fall apart.
Automating Software Engineering with CASE 115 Automating Software Engineering with CASE Software engineering consists of generally accepted practices for writing reliable software on time. Avoiding spaghetti programming (see Book 1, Chapter 2) is one example of an accepted software engineering practice. To make software engineering practices easier to follow, computer scientists have developed Computer-Aided Software Engineering(CASE) tools. CASE tools are meant to simplify the practices of software engineering. The easier it is for programmers to follow software engineering practices, the more likely they’ll do it and create reliable software. Some common CASE tools include Book I Chapter 5 Managing Large Projects with Software Engineering ✦ Project modelers ✦ Code generators ✦ Source code formatters ✦ Revision control ✦ Project management Modeling a large project Before programmers rush off to write a program, they need to design it first. The problem with designing a program is making sure everyone understands the design, and part of understanding a program design is using a consistent method. For example, one programmer might design a program by scribbling a few notes on a napkin, whereas a second programmer might design a program by typing a description of that program in a word processor document. Neither approach is good or bad, but the problem lies in understanding everyone’s design. The programmer who scribbles notes on a napkin may understand the design of his program perfectly, but nobody else may understand the design of that program. To make sure everyone can understand the design of a program, everyone needs to use the same design method. Flowcharts One of the earliest modeling methods are flowcharts, as shown in Figure 5-2. Flowcharts must specify every action and decision that the program goes through.
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