Back in the Old Days…

I still remember …back in the old days…when Software Prototyping was the center of attention. Remember these 4GL languages: Powerbuilder, DataFlex, Dephi? If not, then google it if you are curious.

simple cycleScenario for me and my clients back then: I meet with a client…about an idea… then do some research (as a Business Analyst / Systems Analyst would do)… and then synthesize it: put all the research / learnings into a prototype …to get feedback…and then based on the feedback, adjust things accordingly. All these activities were done in a few days…some went further to a week or two…but not months. For example, Powerbuilder, Delphi and Dataflex were the tools that I used back then to quickly prototype something… and those were not throw-away prototypes…those evolved overtime and were foundational to the finished product.

design thinking lean agileEven back then, we understood the value of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and ‘incremental and iterative’ approach vis-a-vis prototyping. This approach of prototyping and ‘incremental and iterative’ approach worked for me and for my clients.business_design_2_-1024x582

Let me remind you that I have a view of this “Prototyping” as a Civil Engineer — builder of buildings: miniature of the building, architectural renderings, and blueprints are common visualization tools before construction begins — and as a Software Developer — builder of software: software prototypes are used as visuals before the real thing that will go to production gets going. Having a ‘visual’ is powerful in terms of synthesizing and communicating the vision and intent/aim/purpose to everyone … as a result, everyone is on a common ground.

I am also into Filmmaking… it is no different…storyboard kingdom of heavenhaving a visual — a storyboard — is helpful in conveying the intent to everyone before the production shoot begins. Agile, in fact, mimic-ed the movie industry: Epics, Features, Stories…

Fast forward to today’s software development landscape. The essence of the aforementioned approach is still very much alive…just in different names…and different packaging…and different mechanisms.

Ah…the good old days… nothing much has changed, really, if you can see through all their B.S. … i.e. the “differentiating” value that they claim / promote just to get your business. But, they might be on to something … they might have built a framework that you can customize to fit your situation/needs and call it — and proudly so — your very own framework… your very own s_ _ _ _ !

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