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Don’t You Have to LOGIN first?

This post is from George Dinwiddie's blog by George Dinwiddie. Click here to see the original post in full.

In my previous post, Avoiding Iteration Zero, I suggested starting with “the one obvious thing that needs to be done? (Hint: it’s not ‘login.’)” As Jon Kern has recently mentioned, this same topic has come up elsewhere.
I was also in that list discussion.

Jon is, of course, right in a narrow sense. You can start with login, if you want. You can also start with an Iteration Zero. (Or, an Iteration Minus One, as I’ve seen one organization do when their list of pre-planning outgrew one iteration.) I’ve observed that you can generally get better software, faster if you start somewhere else.

There are some very good reasons for this. For one thing, it’s unlikely that you’ll find much business value in delivering a system that allows people to login, but do nothing else. Unless you’re writing a login package for others to integrate into their code, something else is the central idea of the system. Surely there are some things about that central idea that we don’t yet know in detail. By contrast, “login” is fairly widely known and understood (even if sometimes implemented poorly). Even if we decide we can’t deliver the system without...

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