Draw no more

“Draw no more” means withdrawing from the frenetic urge to consume commodities and signs. On a deeper level, it also means a firm refusal to place the self and its subjectivity centre-stage. It means making a deliberate choice not to draw on the self as the creative driving force. (Françoise Guichon)

Martin Szekely’s work is created by working with the customer to extract the real requirements and using the most appropriate material in the simplest way to create truly functional and strangely beautiful designs. The method seems to remove the opportunity for creativity but the results are simple and ingenius.

Wouldn’t it be great if creating software could be this focused on the requirements? When developing software we are constantly drawing on unnecessary processes, frameworks and rules. Our own biases distort the truth and we work hard to make our solutions use the latest trends whether they are relevant or not.

Is it possible to create software without these influences focused purely on really good clear stories and selecting the best material (the framework?) and using it in the way it was designed? If frameworks are our materials then they need to be kept simple and unobtrusive. Ruby on Rails is a great example of this. Decisions are made for you so you can focus on requirements without having to make literally 100’s of decisions required to make a framework that tries to be all things to all men fit. TDD/BDD help us focus on the requirement without going off on architectural escapades. The necessary architecture evolves through refactoring and decisions are only made when needed.

So is Agile a help or a hindrance to this goal? Well I think that depends on whether it is the correct material for the problem you are trying to solve.

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