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Models. And Cake!

The other day I overheard someone say that all they needed to write code was the list of functional requirements–that they didn’t need the accompanying use case (that we were producing as part of our reqs methodology for the project).

Well, here’s a list of requirements (ingredients): sugar, flour, salt, butter, cocoa, baking soda, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, powdered sugar, milk, and pecans.

Go bake me a cake.

Seems pretty obvious that the “order of things” is pretty important in this case. In fact, to not have the order of steps to take (and to follow them) means failure. (Full cake instructions below.)

Here is another set of requirements (muscle groups): triceps, abs, legs, chest, biceps, back, shoulders.

Go work out.

Order is also important here (although less so since each of these exercises is independent), but if I said that it is recommended that you work out large muscle groups before smaller ones, and that you should design your regime around working opposing muscle groups on the same day, you’d want to know this information.

A use case might not be the best model for defining a work out routine, but I recommend some model to help you extract the full set of requirments for the functionality.

A model is like alcohol–it gets people talking about stuff they wouldn’t otherwise talk about under normal circumstances. “Under the influence” of a model, you are going to find more information–some of it extraneous, but some of it valuable and necessary.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Combine in a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, melt:
2 sticks butter
Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa.

Stir together.

Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.

2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture.

Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make icing:

Chop 1/2 cup pecans finely (optional).

Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan.

Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.

6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Stir together.

Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

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