Karl Wiegers - Process Impact

TBAC 020 | Author Cast : Karl Wiegers – From Chemistry to Computers

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo5

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When I was burning the midnight oil reading Karl Wiegers’s “Software Requirements” book (first edition) during my engineering education, I had absolutely no clue that I would have the good fortune of interviewing the Author someday in my life.

Karl’s contributions to the software engineering community is quite significant. He is the author of some of the must-reads for aspiring and practicing software engineers. His books include: Creating a Software Engineering Culture, Peer Reviews in Software, Software Requirements, More About Software Requirements, Practical Project Initiations, and most recently Pearls From Sand, a memoir of his life lessons. (See below for a special offer on this book for TheBACoach readers)

In this episode, Karl and I walkthrough these books, along with a brief background of what motivated him to author these.

Here is Karl Wiegers discussing his books and how they came about:

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Here is a Sneak Peek of The Episode:

  • Transition from ph.d. in chemistry into requirements engineering
  • Discussion around the days when there were no requirements
  • His career as a research scientist at Kodak
  • The panic during coding and what caused it
  • The importance of analysis models
  • The importance of doing it right the first time
  • What is being done to enable people to do more with less
  • His presentation style in books
  • Discussion on “What to do on Monday” .. an intriguing section in one of his books
  • The importance of paying attention to small life incidents

Insightful Quotes From This Episode:

“And of course we had no requirements, we just had a vague idea of what we were trying to do…”

“And it wasn’t long before we realized that we had to get a little more serious about improving our requirements.”

“You can always write bad code on good requirements, but its pretty hard to write good code based on bad requirements and come up with the success.”

“… in our business, people feel that they never had the time to do it right the first time. But we always have time to fix the program after that.”

“You don’t say lets throw it away and do something else… you fix it.. you find the people find the money and time.”

“You’ve gotto build the idea of continous improvement into just the way you work.”

“I am not a big of methodology and just say follow the script and ur problems will go away.”

“I really tried to be practical and pragmatic.” (guiding principle for his books)

“Everything I describe in my books I have personally done in my projects.”

“I think that the BA job is a real important job and I think requirements are real important.”

Items Mentioned in The Show:

Karl Wiegers in Brief:

Karl Wiegers’s professional goal is to provide discussions, presentations, books, articles, training materials, templates, and other materials that can help improve the effectiveness of any individual or organization that develops products that contain software. He has many years of experience as a software developer, requirements analyst, manager, quality engineer, and process improvement leader. As a consultant and trainer, he has worked with more than 100 companies and government organizations of all types, helping them improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their software development activities. His publications have been recognized as helpful contributions to the domains of software requirements, process improvement, project management, and quality improvement.

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to spread the word about this awesome episode using the social sharing links.


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Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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5 Responses to “TBAC 020 | Author Cast : Karl Wiegers – From Chemistry to Computers”

  1. Karl Wiegers says:

    Thanks for inviting me to participate in your BA author podcast, Yamo. You did a nice job with the interview and asked some insightful questions; I enjoyed our conversation. I hope your visitors find my comments interesting and useful. Keep up the good work!… Karl

    • Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo says:

      Thanks for doing this AuthorCast with me, Karl. I had a great time talking through the books your authored. It was also fascinating to know your transition from Chemistry to Computers. (I managed to pen the topic of your ph.d.: “Kenetics and Mechanism of lifting a maluminum hydride reduction of ketones”).

      Thanks again, Karl and I look forward to interviewing you again in future. ~ Yamo

  2. […] Karl Wiegers – for being an inspiring author, mentor and an active member of TheBACoach community. […]

  3. […] 10 -> From Chemistry to Computers – AuthorCast with Karl Wiegers […]

  4. […] and “Software Requirements” by Karl Wiegers is one of them. If you remember I had interviewed Karl in a previous AuthorCast episode and we had a detailed discussion about the second edition of the […]

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