I've always wanted to know more about the patterns and practice group at Microsoft.
I've read many of their white papers and prescriptive guidance papers but I've always wondered about who exactly makes up the group (are they all deep CS PHD research candidates?) because they seem to publish scary smart stuff that has really great technical breath and depth.
The video didn't answer that question so much it highlighted one of the group's core principles of giving real world guidance about deep technical engineering issues.
I've got one more day with the P&P team here in Redmond before going back to my cave in Arkansas.
They are all very bright, a few are outrageously talented. It has been fun recognizing their voices from Ron Jacobs ARCasts and podcasts and from Robert's videos.
My favorite metaphor from Alan Cooper is that "users are 5-year old kindergarten kids who have absolutely no business telling the teachers how to do their jobs". So true. My best software was delivered without any prototypes or user inspections.
Documenting the expectations is imperative. Iterative design, going over and over requirements with the clients, is essential. At least that is what I picked up from Alan's interview.
Good professionals know how and when to tell their clients "No", just like the kindergarten teachers "feed the kids beets and brocolli when they ask for candy". (Kids don't die when they don't get candy.) It isn't like "the customer is always right" it is that the customer needs guidance, just like me here today.