Sunday, April 25, 2010

Code Specification Development

Recently I was given a unique opportunity. I was charged with the task of creating the code specification document for the official project which resulted from the proof-of-concept I developed. I was eager to take on such an assignment, as it presented a chance to learn a new area of the engineering process.

Since I'd never written one before, it took a bit of explaination from my boss for me to get the picture. Before he explainsed it to me, I had an idea, but was not completely comfortable with what I was doing.

I created an initial revision in Pages, using on a previous document as a template and screen mockups which illustrated the app's intended functionality. I went through each of the screens defined and established global variables, inputs and outputs, and specific functionality and data constructs necessary for the app to operate properly.

Being that it was a small project, the code specification didn't take long to develop. It took about a full work day to complete.

One of my favorite professors, Ben Sweet, preaches about the importance of engineering documentation. The time spent up front on providing detailed specifications saves time down the road on clarification and debugging.

I agree that this process is a necessity, and feel more well-rounded as an engineer because of this experience. It's good to have knowledge in multiple areas of development in order to be a proficient engineer.

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