[Haskell-cafe] Maybe off-topic -- Writing contracts or software specifications

A Smith asmith9983 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 20:20:31 EDT 2009

My 2cents on this is. Make sure you use the most appropriate programming
language for the task you want to achieve, and hire a programmer  who knows
the language really well. Make sure they are productive. i.e. They can type
at a fast rate. They know the editor  really well. i.e. They know all the
obscure features of ViM, such as abbreviations,functions,keyboard mappings.
They know how to create a Make file. As they will know the language really
well, they will be able to quickly interpret compile time errors.  As they
know the language well, they will be able to work with you creating a really
good detailed design. e.g. Abstracting any required objects and their
methods. as this is a Haskell list, functions structure. A program design
always changes during the implementation as you go through the learning
curve of needs. You, the programmer and the customer  will have a fairly
continuous dialog  of questions.  Write all these down in such a way you can
ensure the programs being written encompass them.  Things will go best if
everyone has trust in each other and a commitment to producing  a top
quality product.
Andrew in Edinburgh,Scotland

2009/4/11 Henning Thielemann <lemming at henning-thielemann.de>

> On Wed, 8 Apr 2009, Maurí­cio wrote:
>  Hi,
>> I'm an engineer, and as a programmer I'm just an amateur.
>> This easied things to me, since I could take decisions about
>> practices based on what made sense to me.  But now I need
>> to take responsability for some formal programming tasks,
>> and I don't know which examples to follow.
>> I need, for instance, to write a contract with a programmer
>> we are hiring for a task. But the only example I have of
>> such contracts seemed to me (as I said, an amateur. I may be
>> completely wrong) impractical. It was a 150 pages document
>> with every possible user action and every imaginable allowed
>> consequences. But it would be easier to me write the software
>> than such contract itself.
> I think such a contract won't help you, because after writing and using the
> software, you will always find things, that you now like to do different
> from what you wrote into the contract. I think the best to do is to divide
> the project into small pieces. If the programmer is not the right one, this
> should turn out after the first piece and you can try another one. I don't
> expect that you can turn an inappropriate programmer into a better one using
> a tight contract.
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