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A Rational Design Process: How and Why to Fake It (1986) [pdf] (uci.edu)
18 points by nkurz on Feb 15, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments

I've always found the arguments in this paper so bizarre that when reading it I have to constantly keep reminding myself that in the 80s this nonsense must have seemed like a practical way forward. (Parnas in particular was one of the giants of software engineering research.) I wrote a piece about it a few years back:


Another good take on it:


I am not convinced that the description of why faking it is useful is...useful.

"We will come closer to a rational design if we try to follow the process rather than proceed on an ad hoc basis."

No. We don't get better if we pretend that stuff that doesn't work works.

Obligatory reference Henrik Gedenryd’s 1998 PhD Thesis from Lund University: "How Designer Work"

Single PDF:




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