Author malexander

Why Bother?

Why even bother? When’s the last time you asked yourself that? Was it something trivial — “Oh, I forgot to get canned lentils on aisle 6, but I’ll be back in the store tomorrow, so why bother to go back and get them now?” Or was it something more meaningful, …

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That’s a Completely Useless Answer!

Have you ever asked someone a question, only to have him/her respond with, “Well, it depends…”? It can be extremely frustrating, especially when all you want is a simple, direct answer. For example, if I’m looking for directions to a restaurant and someone tells me that it depends on whether …

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I’m NOT Going to Read Your Requirements

Ever get the impression that your stakeholders simply aren’t going to read the requirements documents you create? Better yet, have you ever had a stakeholder actually tell you directly that he or she just isn’t going to read the requirements? I haven’t, but I wish someone would. That sort of …

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The Odd Couple

Remember the play, movie and/or TV show The Odd Couple? The main characters were Felix and Oscar, two recently-divorced men who were sharing an apartment. Their marital status was just about the only thing they had in common. Felix was a neat-freak – everything in its proper place, neat and …

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Keeping up Appearances

Remember the old adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” I’d like to share my thoughts on that conventional wisdom. I both totally agree with it and think it’s crazy. Maybe that makes ME crazy. I’ll let you decide for yourself on that one. In …

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RE is not a Fiefdom

There’s a sense of security in knowing what’s mine and what’s yours. Not so much a sense of ownership (keep your hands off my stuff!), but a sense of responsibility. I know that I’m responsible for mowing my own yard, but not responsible for mowing yours. You know that you’re …

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Becoming a REvangelist

The term “evangelist” probably brings up a pretty specific picture for most people. For me, I immediately see someone on television, often yelling and gesturing wildly, trying to convince me that his or her perspective is worth my monetary investment. That person might be a religious figure preaching a certain …

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Back to School

The first day of school brings back great memories for me. Going shopping for a Superman backpack, trying out the new lunchbox (how will the thermos, two desserts and a note from mom all fit in there?), and getting ready to see old friends and make new ones. It’s a …

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How did I miss that?

A few weeks ago, I was participating in a design review session for my current project. The visual designer was walking the project team through his UI mockups for a particular feature of the system. He asked us a question to clarify the functionality of one of the UI “widgets,” …

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