How poor information design led to Waterfall

I just took part in a great 3 day training session with Uncle Bob Martin on TDD and healthy software design. One of the tidbits Bob shared was the history behind the Waterfall methodology that some of us older folks strained against until agile and lean methodologies started to get well known. Waterfall originated in a paper by Winston W. Royce, in which he describes the process… as a straw man to tear down! Unfortunately, the poor information design of the paper (it puts the summary tearing down the methodology on later pages instead of right up front) led those who read the nice graphics on leading pages to come away thinking they found the solution to their software engineering process needs.

Watch Glenn Vanderburg’s “Real Software Engineering” talk on Vimeo about this.

Real Software Engineering – Glenn Vanderburg from Engine Yard on Vimeo.