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I'm sure you all have heard managers saying that "we need an analyzer", or "we need a designer". While I'm a .NET developer, I hardly can differentiate an analyzer from a designer (not web designer or UI designer).

Who is analyzer? Who is designer? Do they overlap?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Analysis: Define the problem. Answer this: "What do we need?"

Design: Define the solution. Answer this: "How will we build it?"

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Therefore analysis is mostly used to meet functional requirements, design is used to meet non functional requirements. –  refro Jul 26 '11 at 9:52
    
+1 @S.Lott. I love your minimalistic approach and simplicity. –  Saeed Neamati Jul 26 '11 at 9:55
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@S.Lott: You know you can stop writing Python when writing English, don't you? –  Vinko Vrsalovic Jul 26 '11 at 10:01
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@SF: Video games have two levels of analysis. The tools to build the game are sort of ordinary analysis to solve a problem ("what do we need to edit the levels?") The game levels, themselves, are crafted by story-tellers who are essentially analysts. The designers handle the implementation details for the tools or the levels. –  S.Lott Jul 26 '11 at 10:04
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@refro: No. Analysis: Figure out what the requirements are. Design: Figure out how to meet the requirements. Note the complete lack of "functional" or "non-functional" anywhere in either statement. This is intentional. –  Jerry Coffin Jul 26 '11 at 16:15

Study the Software Development Life Cycle. This question was answered within the first two weeks of Software Engineering 101. Its a relevant question, and there is a definite but sometimes not so clear answer.

If you can imagine the analysts, designers, coders, project manager, other roles as a large Venn diagram, analysts and designers overlap considerably.

Analysts are usually the pioneers in a project. They take usually a set of basic requirements provided to them by project managers and stakeholders, to nail them down and go over things with a fine tooth comb to figure out what exactly the project is. More specifically what the non-functional requirements are.

Designers take this information gathering from the analysts to iron out a functional requirements, along with many others possibly (hopefully) including UML.

On a side note, analysts are usually paid more than programmers.

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