Reading Assignment 4

Cockburn, A. The interaction of social issues and software architecture
Spolsky, J. The Joel Test

There are two readings for this week, and you have a choice between four questions. After having read the two assigned papers, respond to one of the four questions below (4 points). Indicate clearly in your response which question you are responding to.

  1. As you begin working on your project, you are choosing (or have chosen) one or more software frameworks to build around. Give an example of a pattern that is important to your framework, and explain how it helps your project.
  2. Joel Spolsky recommends “hallway usability tests,” where you use your peers to test your products. Can you think of examples where this would be a bad idea?
  3. Another definition of a software pattern is “a named nugget of insight that conveys the essence of a proven solution to a recurring problem within a certain context amidst competing concerns.” Give an example of a software pattern you know of and a “competing concern” which would suggest not applying the pattern.
  4. Describe a design decision you have made or seen (not necessarily for this course) in the social context as described in Cockburn’s paper. Try to use the same Intent-Context-Forces-Resolution format.