Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
Early in my patterns & practices days, each time I built a new team, we had a hard time figuring out what level to cater our writing for because we had such a variety of audience, even among architects.
After a lot of pain, we finally adopted a three-level system that serves us very well. It helped us focus our writing and nail problems in an incremental way. You’ll never see this in our docs, but it shaped how we prioritize our docs. We used three levels …
Three Levels of Guidance Here is the behind-the-scenes look at how we talked about these three levels of guidance on the team:
Prioritizing Guidance As a rule of thumb, we decided that we would focus on first addressing Level 1 – “My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me.” This way, we could at least leave a trail of proven practices and pave a path of success. As a result, many of the guides I shipped from patterns & practices are heavy on “How Tos.” In fact, the guides are really “action guides.” The first half of the guide, sets the stage by sharing mental models, key concepts, and principles. This is optimized for reading in a sequential flow, but still modular so you can hop around. The second half of the guides is a focus on “action” and is a set of action modules (Cheat Sheets, Checklists, Guidelines, How Tos). It’s optimized for random access, and the individual modules link back to the related items.
This simple way to think about the majority of our guidance helped us significantly priorities the work we did for the following projects:
Way it is that most of links in something posted today already point to MSDN pages decorated with:
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@ stic -- Because many of those links are to past projects that are archived. The focus of the post is timeless -- the technical guidance is not.
@JD Meier - I was rather asking if we are going to see update anytime soon?
.net 4 moved ahead, but it seems that MSDN doc was left a little behind :(
@ stic -- I don't think so. I believe that for two reasons:
* 1. I don't see it on the <a href="msdn.microsoft.com/.../bb232643">patterns & practices roadmap</a>.
* 2. patterns & practices has a new model for guides that's different than the model I used. For an example, see <a href="msdn.microsoft.com/.../ff423674.aspx">Claim& Guide</a>