DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

I've come across a truly revolutionary software development methodology called Front Ahead Design (FAD). Essentially, it's a fundamental paradigm shift over "traditional" and "neo" ways of building software. Not only does it surpass every software development methodology out there, it solves every problem there is to building software (and then some). But don't take my word for it, here are the Top Five fundamentals ...

I. Front Ahead Design
The essence of FAD is conveyed directly in its name: design your front-end/user-interface first, ahead of everything else. The customer could care less what's behind the scenes, so long as it looks good and does what its supposed to. Deliver a working front-end first and then Do What It Takes to fill in the functionality gaps.

II. Do What It Takes
Other methodologies are great at delivering excuses. How many times have you heard (or have been told) "we can't do that here because it could throw off the whole design?"  In FAD, you just do it (that would have been the bullet point, but Nike has it trademarked). To get it done, you Do What It Takes. Your customer will love you.

III. Code Light, Not "Right"
A traditional methodology calls a complex framework with layer after layer of objects. In those ways, adding a simple value to a form can be a monumental task, requiring it to be added to every single layer. Does that sound right? Proponents of the other methodologies will tell you it is, but what about your customer? With FAD, you just Do What It Takes to add the functionality to your interface. No more.

IV. "Throw Away" Diagrams
Think of all the Visio diagrams you've drawn over the years. Sequence diagrams, context diagrams, flow charts, and so on. Was that really productive? Did your customer ever see any of those? Were those diagrams even relevant after the system was finally developed? Didn't think so.

In FAD, all diagrams are made on a disposable medium. Whiteboards, napkins, even your forearms work. And there is no formal modeling language to battle with: just Do What It Takes to draw and explain your design to other developers.

V. Life Is Short (a.k.a. Patchwork)
The average software system has a life expectancy of seven years. No matter how "properly" the system is designed from the start, within the first year of its life, maintenance programmers unfamiliar with the complex architecture (and having no help from out-of-date documentation) will turn the system into a complete mess with bug fixes and change requests.

In FAD, this isn't even a concern. We know the short life span of a system and develop every feature (from the interface) as a patch. Maintenance programmers can come in and Do What It Takes to add their patches. In FAD, we don't even try to stop the aging process. We encourage it.


There's quite a few more fundamentals, but that's all I've got time for today. I'm incredibly busy trying to finish a book on the topic (halfway through it!!). Hopefully, it'll make it as the first FAD book. I hear some other big names are in the first FAD book race, too.

I also came across some community sites:
  FADblogs.com - .TEXT blogging site, open for anyone to blog about FAD
  FADisIn.com - general informational site with articles, help, discussion, and tools
  ItsAFAD.com - gallery of successful projects (from small business to enterprise) that have successfully used FAD

They're all under construction, but I'm helping a lot with the FADblogs.com, so let me know if you'd like to be one of the FAD bloggers.

Next article: a comparison of the FAD design tools, including H/YPe and nFAD.

Published Thursday, May 5, 2005 10:35 AM by Alex Papadimoulis

Comments

Thursday, May 5, 2005 11:18 AM by Dwight

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

I used this methodolgy 15 years ago. It's called Application Prototyping. Moving forward into the past.
Thursday, May 5, 2005 11:38 AM by sureshot

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

har har. keep sniffing that paint dude. something in me really wants this to exist though....
Thursday, May 5, 2005 11:40 AM by Jeremy Miller

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

LOL. How about a "WAP" methodology - WTF Avoidance Programming?
Thursday, May 5, 2005 2:39 PM by Jason Hoekstra

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Good stuff. I have to admit, I try the URLs to make sure this was not a real trend in project architecure/methods.
Friday, May 6, 2005 4:20 AM by Jon Limjap

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Hell, I thought this was gone.

And W-ever TF happened to N-tier systems and OOP? Throw them out the window and embrace DWIT?
Friday, May 6, 2005 6:52 AM by Alex Hoffman

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

" ... solves every problem there is to building software (and then some) ..."

LOL - is it April 1st?
Friday, May 6, 2005 2:23 PM by Thomas Wagner

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Personally I see a nice convergence opportunity between a FAD front end coder and a WTF architect on the back. That's got to be the most flexible approach. I can't wait for MS to deliver the WTF Architect Certificate course. Yeah thats it!
Friday, May 6, 2005 7:07 PM by MeCoder

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

This reminds me of SCAM
SCAM Can Adapt Methodology
Saturday, May 7, 2005 11:32 AM by Hussein Zahran

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

i think this approach is already exists in small to medium organization where you need to satisfy your customer and you think only in delivery
Saturday, May 7, 2005 11:55 PM by Tim Haines

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

FAD will be taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time.
Sunday, May 8, 2005 3:37 PM by Richard Spindler

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Is this supposed to be funny?

Designing the Interface first is actually not a bad Idea at all!
Monday, May 9, 2005 8:14 AM by Benjy

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

it does seem rather late to be an April 1 joke...like the Unix&C hoax joke that went around a few years ago ..i dont think its even worth adding anything more in reply.
Friday, May 13, 2005 4:33 PM by Sergey

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Judging from the comments, some people didn't notice the sarcasm dripping from the screen... FAD is the way to go - I'm a big evangilist of FAD. Works every time.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 3:56 PM by Oliver Klozoff

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

I believe what's going to help the DWIT methodology along is the fact that most managers are clueless zombies who will embrace any FAD that comes along.
Friday, May 27, 2005 10:47 AM by Adam Machanic

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Best post this month, by far.
Sunday, September 3, 2006 11:05 PM by Matt

# Falling behind?

Oh, sure, as long as the back end is stable and robust, who gives a damn whether anyone except the programmer can actually use it? The interface should always be based on the fundamental and immovable assumptions of whatever genius built the database schema.

An interface anyone can use without at least one computer science degree is not only a sure sign that not enough 'design' went into the architecture, it's also downright dangerous! Hell, if anyone can use your corporate accounts software, anyone can screw up your corporate accounts.

Friday, November 24, 2006 11:03 AM by Alexander Temerev

# Smells like XP

It is just in match with XP's popular motto 'get it work, get it right, get it fast'. And it's OK.

Monday, December 11, 2006 10:51 PM by David W.

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

Not, of course, to be confused with the FUD strategy of application development...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 3:26 AM by StarLite

# re: DNA, XP, SOA, ESB, ETC Are Dead; FAD is the Future

I was kinda hoping for a thedailyWTF kind of sites with FAD examples on those URL's ;)