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Q. Whats the way to learn how to develop software?

To get a good understanding of how to develop software using PSDP, spend about day to a day doing the following:

  1. Go through the Overview online self paced session.
  2. Download and read the PSDP standard.
  3. Go through the rest of the online self paced sessions.

After that, I would just keep studying and applying PSDP to software development projects youre involved in.

Q. How does a project iteration differ from a software title version?

A. Many times, they are one and the same. However, a project iteration may include several versions and even several software titles.

Q. How does PSDP compare to the Unified Process?

A. PSDP is much more complete then the Unified Process. The following is a comparison of the PSDP phases to the Unified Process workflows:


Requirements (part of our Requirement and Analysis Workflow)

Analysis (part of our Requirement and Analysis Workflow)

Design (same as our Design)

Implementation (same as our Initial Coding Workflow)

Test (we break this into "Testing and Rework" and Deployment)

Q. Why the name change?

A. The reason for the change was two fold: an evolutionary maturing in the industry and semantics.

PSDM was created out of a need to define both a methodology and process for developing software. The methodology had to be scalable from a project that lasted only a few weeks to one that lasted several years. At the time PSDM was created, there were many competing methodologies. Some of the methodologies were object oriented and some were not. In our experience, none of the methodologies worked well. We found it necessary to create PSDM, which merged several existing methodologies and added process. Since the creation of PSDM the Unified Modeling Language has emerged and matured to the point where it is clearly the methodology of choice for developing object oriented systems. However it does not address process. Thus the need for PSDP.

A method is a specific technique for building a particular type of model or other representation of a software system, application, or component. A methodology is a gathering of various methods into a coherent group of interrelated techniques. A process uses one or more methodologies along with the required project management techniques to successfully complete a project.

Feasibility Phase

Q. Give me an example or two when the answer to the feasibility phase was no.


A. Here are two examples:


Example 1: Recently a client came to us that was intrigued by the idea of automating his office. He wanted a state of the art phone system including a fax machine that automatically wrote files to hard disk and a voice mail system that automatically put messages into his database. After digging into the details, it turned out the client wanted both faxes and voice mail in text format. Although the fax half was mostly doable with current software technology (save as a bitmap and then use OCR software to extract text), converting voice mail to text is not currently possible. The client read and believed the marketing hype regarding Dragon Naturally Speaking, but never used it. We can save voice mail as a WAV file, but current voice recognition software requires training before it can recognize a high enough percentage to make this project worth while.


Example 2: A came to us and wanted us to develop a Macintosh based database system. In this case, the answer to whether the project can be done was yes, but our company was not the correct choice to do the project. We ended up referring them to a few Macintosh resources we found on the Internet.

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