Sunday, 23 June 2013

Programmer or Analyst Developer?

I know these terms to mean different things in different countries or even different organisations so I'll explain.

  • A Programmer is a person who is given a task and codes that task as it is described. Usually this task is described by a Business Analyst in the form of a Requirements Document or a User Story.
  • An Analyst Developer will speak to the users to help define what their need is, then code that need.

I had an interesting talk the other day with a Software Development Manager who was looking at the whole idea of the Business Analyst that so prevails our thinking around software development. A number of years ago there was a push never to allow the programmers to talk to the users. The huge push for Business Analysts was on and the Analyst Developer idea disappeared from our vocabulary.

What this person was suggesting was to reintroduce that idea. He recognised that not every programmer was an analyst developer and there was still room for the programmer in the teams, but that instead of having a number of business analyst producing streams of paper and diagrams, this function was sometimes better produced by an analyst developer.