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Newbie looking for guidance

 
Greenhorn
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Take a look at this thread for some background:

Prior Post

This is my first JAVA project, and I am at a loss as to where to begin. I have written down a "requirements document" to outline what needs to be done with this application, but don't know where the next step should be.

Part of me wants to start working on GUI, another wants to get database work going, and another still wants to get to serial I/O handling. Then in the back of my head I keep telling myself all of these things need to work to together, and in some cases work at the same time as eachother.

I am hoping someone here might be able to offer some sage advice about where to start with this project.
 
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The first thing you should do is break the requirements document down into small chunks of functionality. My preferred way of doing so is by writing User Stories (http://www.extremeprogramming.org/rules/userstories.html). Ideally you can discuss those with a domain expert (for example a future user of the system).

Then you should probably try to get priorities for the identified stories, such as "must have", "should have" and "nice to have". Make sure that every category has around the same amount of stories. You might need to change stories again here, for example split one when its content has varying priority.

Then try to estimate the effort for at least all "must have stories". If you don't know how to estimate a story, you might need break it further down and/or experiment a bit.

When you've estimated the stories, go back to the domain expert, show them the estimates, and ask them which stories, in the light of their costs, would now be most important to them.

Pick the highest priority story, and implement it end-to-end. Then pick the next one. Try to show he business people a system with the highest priorities stories being implemented, tested and running at the end of every week.

Rinse, repeat - until you run out of either time, money or stories. (The last is the least likely...)

Does that sound reasonable to you?
 
Brett Williams
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I like the "stories" concept and will give it a try. Part of my problem is that I am the domain expert, developer, owner, etc. Luckily I do have some people that I can bounce the stories off of to ensure that I am not missing something. Cost isn't a matter, since I am developing this for my own organization.
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Brett Williams:
I like the "stories" concept and will give it a try. Part of my problem is that I am the domain expert, developer, owner, etc. Luckily I do have some people that I can bounce the stories off of to ensure that I am not missing something. Cost isn't a matter, since I am developing this for my own organization.



I see.

In that case, I'd try to get some real users and discuss with them what's most important to them, and let them use an early system regularly to get early feedback.

"Cost isn't a matter" - in that case, please send some amount of your choice to my paypal account...
 
Brett Williams
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I was meaning that I don't get anything money-wise for doing this.

Thanks for the help. I am sure to be hear in the near future asking many more questions.
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Brett Williams:
I was meaning that I don't get anything money-wise for doing this.





In that case, time will probably be the most restricting factor...


Thanks for the help. I am sure to be hear in the near future asking many more questions.



You're welcome! I see forward to hearing more from you!
 
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