Danger, Will Robinson! Lost in Space?

I need someone to explain something to me.  Too often I hear the following statement.  “Our software is too complex to document, so we just code.”   Danger, Will Robinson!  Think about his from a logical perspective.

When software applications become very large or complex, it is hard to keep track of all the functionality contained within the application.   To really understand any complex system you need to use a technique called functional decomposition. So how do you perform a functional decomposition of a software application?   The basic idea is to divide a system into small logical parts. These logical parts are called elementary processes.  This technique works when solving complex mathematical equations, engineering systems, software applications and even your home entertainment system.

Before you begin to classify and organize your documentation, you will need a functional decomposition of your software applications.

  • What are all those small parts (or elementary processes)?
  • How are all these parts interconnected?

Danger, Will Robinson!  If you can’t perform a functional decomposition of your software application because it is too complex, then you software application is too complex.  You need to simplify it and you are probably lost in space.  It is not a matter of complexity, but a matter of not knowing how to properly document the software application.

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 01:01  Leave a Comment  
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