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JOEL ON SOFTWARE: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity by Joel Spolsky

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sevenPAINLESS FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATIONSPART 3: BUT...HOW?

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2000

Now that you've read all about why you need a spec and what a spec has in it, let's talk about who should write them.

Who Writes Specs?

Let me give you a little Microsoft history here. When Microsoft started growing seriously in the 1980s, everybody there had read The Mythical Man-Month, one of the classics of software management.1 (If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.) The main point of that book was that when you add more programmers to a late project, it gets even later. That's because when you have n programmers on a team, the number of communication paths is n(n−1)/2, which grows at O(n2).

So the programmers at Microsoft were worried about how ...

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