Yeah I'd say we have needed better tools for software from day one, the problem is in part that the complexity of the systems seems to grow at a much faster rate then the tools that help build the systems.
also in some ways I like the term used by (forget his name but he is well known) he called ORM the "Viet Nam of software"
I will say that tools that try to build code often go that way, it's a tough war with nasty issues.
take the web service software factory that MSFT has published, I found that it does some things very well but has so many warts that it's not really ready for general use. I recall during the pre-launch wave for VS 2005 there was a lot of talk about software
factories and new tools to build parts of the system.
so far i have not seen any huge sweeping advances in modeling that generates code.
sure we got the linq-to-sql gen but that is now officialy a dead end per MSFT edict.
I am not all negative here, please understand that I *KNOW* this stuff really truely starts to be "Rocket Science" to build the AI to understand a DB design and the client server / n-tier MVC / MVVM / whatever layers and so on.
just that the tools have a long way to go.
as you said: it's the eng. guys who have to communicate back to sales and marketing types.
that's the nut to crack....
not as hard when you have a setup like MSFT
hate to say this Charles but in the street a lot of guys like me need a one man version of TeamSystem!
that's right -- I need a cut down one man TS to help me do what the big teams do but on the scale of one guy doing almost all the roles.
I have to:
get the request
architecht the design / or chnages
work out the plan for how to do it.
write the code
update the server
update the client
check for bugs
tell the boss where it's at and how long.
keep track of the chnages.
make some graphcs when needed
and anything else ...
so which SKU of Team system is the right one? all of them.
but I do not have 5 guys to farm the work out to nor the time to run a server
and it's hard to get a spare server to run TFS on and keep it working ....
and the thing is the small shops like the one i work at often get lots of work but never get the big budget.
so I have like 6 servers i manage, 30 CE handhelds, 60 desktops and about 4 customers.
we mostly keep all that going with 2 staff, me and the CEO of our company.
I would love to be able to spend more time planning and stuff... but no one wants to pay for that, they want to have things done today.
So I do what I can....