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comment Learn a language bottom-up or top-down?
Totally agree, but for me, one of the best parts of the whole StackExchange range of sites is finding out all those things you didn't know you didn't know, regardless of years of experience or skill. Even if you do things from the bottom up, it's no guarantee you know everything :-)
Apr
10
comment How important is knowing functionality before coding?
Also, it sounds like everyone is getting frustrated; I wouldn't necessarily state that the customers are not willing to work with the dev team - the OP doesn't say that, but he does basically say that both sides aren't getting what they want, which is unhealthy. The only real suggestions I can offer the OP are to try and focus on some requirements that can be delivered to build momentum and trust, to try and get some of the dev team to work nearby the customers in order to more effectively gather requirements, and maybe to do full post mortems on the last big mistakes, and let everyone know
Apr
10
comment How important is knowing functionality before coding?
Disagree; for the most part I don't use Agile. The software development model the OP is using appears to be actively hindering their development efforts. Agile puts customer requirements front and center, which is apparently not what is happening with the OP's project. They need to learn the customer's requirements, if the current system isn't working or proving to be unlearnable. If the current system isn't doing the job required of it, then learning it is probably not going to help.
Apr
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awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
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comment How important is knowing functionality before coding?
Just delivering or revising a few pieces of functionality correctly with good customer communications would be enough to build momentum; agile makes that easier by encouraging bite size chunks. Designing everything up front is almost always a mistake in many software development projects (but not all). In this instance, the team seems to be following a methodology that isn't working for them, but also seems unable to change. Not sure how that would end well.
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awarded  Teacher
Apr
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comment How important is knowing functionality before coding?
If you don't change anything, then things will either stay the same, or someone else will change something and you may either have less control than you do now, or no job :-( I'm not advocating throwing the baby out with the dishwater, but you can't really go on developing what you think the client wants. Perhaps you can get someone based with the clients working with them day to day? Preferably someone with decent analytical skills, but anything you do to build a closer relationship is going to benefit you.
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revised How important is knowing functionality before coding?
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Apr
10
answered How important is knowing functionality before coding?
Apr
10
comment How important is knowing functionality before coding?
It's a personal opinion, but you are using exactly the wrong software development methodology (Waterfall) for the environment you are describing. RAD, or Agile would suit you better.