Software Reqiuirements and Specifications is the latest book from Michael Jackson, one of the foremost contributors to software development method and practice. The book brings together some 75 short pieces about principles and techniques for requirements analysis, specification and design.
The ideas discussed are deep, but at the same time lightly and wittily expressed. The book is fun to read, rewarding the reader with many valuble and novel insights. Some sacred cows, including top-down development, dataflow diagrams and the distinction between What and How, are led to the slaughter. Readers will be provoked--perhaps to fury, perhaps to enthusiasm, but surely to think more deeply about topics and issues of central importance in the field of software development.
There are new ideas about problem structuring, based on the concept of a problem frame, leading to a clearer notion of complexity and how to deal with it. And other important topics include:
Principles for evaluating development methods
New approaches to capturing and describing requirements and specifications, based on the relationship between the software system and the problem context
The technology of desciption in software, including new ideas such as designations, the separation of descriptive moods and the scope and span of description
Incisive information about the proper role of mathematics and formalism.
Michael Jackson has worked in software for over thirty years, during which time he has been involved in all aspects of program and system development. In 1971 he started his own company offering courses, project support and tools for software developers. He now works as an independent consultant in London, and works part time in software development at AT&T Research in New Jersey. He played the leading role in developing the JSP and JSD methods of program and system develpment.