Sketch driven – approach


A simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, esp. a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details. [dict.]

Sketch driven software engineering or development (SDD) is an approach to drive work with the goal to stay focused and to use code-sketches. The term sketch should underline the way of driving the code, design, architecture & … like:

  • hastily executed – be spontaneous and keep it simple
  • essential features – focus on the core
  • fails fast – if you don’t like it throw it away
  • it’s cheap and lightweight – don’t care of throwing it away

Applying this on developing software is hard to achieve, but it could be worth thinking about it during an idle hour.

To distinguish between a prototype and a code-sketch in this context the sketch resp. sketching is a step before prototyping and is more focused on the activity and a way to communicate. However a prototype could be the result of sketching. Sketching, respectively creating real working code-sketches, is a vital way to outline and discuss approaches with dev peers.

Additionally I choose the term sketch because prototype could sound from a manager’s perspective like unnecessary overhead. Sketch could rather sound more lightweight and faster. But I have to underline: a sketch is not supposed to be deployed to a production environment!

I appreciate your comments, ideas and experience.

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