Requirements, and the impact thereof

Dec 01 2005

Well, I’m beat. I’ve been suffering from weird sleep patterns for the last few days; I went to bed at 9:00 on Tuesday, then on Wednesday couldn’t go to sleep until 2 a.m. I came home from work early and slept the afternoon away, and now I feel exhausted. Weird, and a bit frustrating.

I’ve also spent the past few days supporting Saalon as he attempts to assemble a video for a youth group he’s working with. I feel bad for him. He signs up for projects that have vague requirements, only to find out that the requirements are not all that vague. People actually do know what they want; they just don’t communicate it well.

The same is true in software. A customer can provide detailed requirements, but those requirements don’t necessarily communicate what the customer really wants. And it’s not because there’s something wrong with the customer; most people just have a tough time formulating an exact vision of their desires. They don’t have a clear idea of what they want until they see some an actual implementation, at which point their subconscious can tell them, “No, I don’t want that; I want it more like this.”

I’ve noticed the same as I use eHarmony. When I first started using the service, I had no idea of what I wanted. As I spent time looking at literally hundreds of matches, I realized I needed to narrow down my search, so I scheduled some time to sit down and brainstorm my ideal wife. ‘Twas quite revealing; I realized that I want a quiet, bookish girl, similar to myself, who thinks deeply. That said, I don’t want a complete book nerd. That became my template, and my search became much easier.

That experience opened my eyes to the number of girls whose specifications of “what they want” were so vague as to be almost useless. “I want someone kind, who I can talk to.” Well, duh; who says they want an abusive, uncommunicative boor for a husband?

Anyvay. Good news on the Otherspace front: we’re going to start work on a 30-second TV commercial for the DC Anime Club. The animators came up with three ideas, which we presented to the club president. He picked a Dragonball Z parody, so we’ll be mapping out the work on that whe we meet this weekend. I’m looking forward to it; it’ll be a nice break from our Summer Storm work, and something to keep us busy as I build up some cash.

Speaking of which, I may have a renter! I spoke with a very nice guy who’s looking for a room to rent just during the week, as he’s commuting a long way to work a few minutes’ away from here. So he’d basically just be sleeping here, which works nicely for me. It seems pretty ideal to me, though now I need to contact the other potential renter who disappeared for a while, and check on her availability. I’d complain, except that I’m complaining about finding different ways to make money off my spare room. Ain’t that bad.

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