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Using paper and pencil for OOAD/UML

 
Ranch Hand
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Many clients talk about wanting to purchase a tool for doing OOAD and UML design, but really are just starting to learn the process. They commonly mention wanting to purchase Rational Rose and make it a standard. This worries me, as I see this as trying to find a tool to do OOAD without spending time to learn the process. Now, Rational Rose is a great tool and it can do many useful things. Do I use it for my work? No, mostly I do sequence and timing diagrams on paper, figuring out the design that way and then coding it. Yes, I know this isn't great high level documentation, but managers want to see code quickly and really don't care about having good design documents.
How many of you are in this same boat? Do most people actually use Rational Rose (or another tool) for OOAD?
 
Rancher
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Definitely, yes!
I usually do some amount of design on paper, a lot on the whiteboard, and some directly in Rose. All of it (or most of it ) ends up in Rose. I use Rose as a drawing tool and most of the other people I know who use it treat it the same way. (We don't generate code from the diagrams, either.) As a side note I've tried using Visio to do diagrams but compared to Rose it was very painful.
As far as managers (or clients) not wanting design documents - I have never run into that situation. As long the code is written well enough that someone new can come in and maintain it with a minimum of pain then the design docs shouldn't be needed.
John
 
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I've never used Rose or any of the other UML diagramming tools on a real commercial project. The people who hire me are not usually keen to invest in the training, software and process to make use of UML in any sensible way. We usually end up using a combination of pencil/paper, whiteboards, CRC cards, roleplay and general discussion.
It does mean that design decisions are never really documented or passed on to whoever takes over maintenance, which is one of the reasons I see such a high degree of "code churn".
 
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Tool is definitely easier than paper and pencile. The problem is I can not get a copy of Rose even for an evaluation edition. So I use objecteering which has a free but not full feature version. Since it is free, the UML actually is defined by the Objecteering.
 
mister krabs
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We use Rational Rose and love it. Having UML diagrams stored in PVCS make it much easier for the next developer to get a quick understanding of an application without struggling through dozens of classes and thousands of lines of code. Management here has been converted into believers in the use of UML. It wasn't always that way but we fought the good fight and won.
 
John Wetherbie
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Good going, Thomas! Getting management to back something new, at least at most companies, is a real accomplishment. It also looks good on your resume to say something like "Championed use of UML for OO design. Obtained management buy-in and increased ROI by 10%."
John
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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