Webvisions Notes: What Software Development Can Learn from Filmmaking by Justin Garrity


What Software Development Can Learn from Filmmaking
Justin Garrity
(Webtrends)
  • Example: doing paper prototyping at a very small shared table. Gets people out of their cubes, away from their computer, and working together
  • director vs manager
    • photo: steve carroll as manager on the office
    • photo: movie director behind the camera
  • definition of product manager and project manager is about the process and artifacts.
  • a film director definition is about the relationship of the director to the other people. 
  • a film producer definition talks about preserving the integrity and vision of a film.
    • (note to self: use film director and producer definitions as inspiration for what a product and project manager’s roles should be.)
  • a script...
    • has the dialogue and very brief directions about what it takes to get from one scene to the next. it’s not to be as exhaustive as possible, but the bare minimum necessary.
  • the storyboard for a project...
    • it is up on the wall.
    • it shows the sequence of a film
    • it’s on the wall where everyone can see it.
    • you can do the same thing for software. put all the screenshots up on the wall. so that people can see how it all fits together.
  • too often we measure how we have added... how many lines of code? how many features?
    • but in film, it is the reverse. we cut away film. we try to do the minimum necessary to convey the story and the emotions.
  • paper prototyping...
    • when you are dealing with paper, people don’t invest too much in it.
    • if you show someone a piece of paper, and they hate it, you can throw it away.
    • if you have written a bunch of code, it is hard to throw it all away. you try to save what you can.
  • credits
    • in movies, everyone gets credited.
    • where is that in software?
    • adobe does this in the about screen.
    • we can use more credits in the actual software.
  • director’s cut
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