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The Case for Use Cases

This approach puts user interaction front and center
By Howard Hughes. Practice Lead, Java and Open Systems, LearnQuest


As a developer, you’re tasked with assembling information about what to build and how exactly it will be used. If you’re working in Agile or Unified Process-based development, you’re probably writing use cases. And if you’re not, you should consider adopting this practice.


Back in the old days of IT — when IT was known as data processing — we’d gather our requirements in the form of lists to help us design and build systems. They might be high-level requirements or the specific main features of the systems — what I call the “apple-polishing” stuff. They might also include requirements from the user level or the application level. These SHALLs, MUSTs and WILLs were helpful as a list of statements about the system’s capabilities and constraints, but they were difficult to understand in the context of an actual system with real users and real business needs.

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