The software world has been changing rapidly. A new engineering approach is at the heart of these changes. Agile software development methodologies have revolutionized the world of software engineering. This comes by embracing self-organizing teams, flexibility, and iterative development. However, user stories are more important than ever in gathering proper requirements.

The Waterfall Method

Traditional software engineering used the waterfall method. This is where each step of the software engineering process is completed before moving on to the next step. However, it tends to create bloated software that lags behind the needs of the users. Agile methodologies seek to address these inefficiencies. It is accomplished by running through software development stages in short iterations.  These are called sprints. At the heart of these sprints are user stories. They are the ideas your engineering teams will put into action.

User Stories

User stories approach software problems from the user’s perspective. They place developers in the shoes of their customers. These replace traditional software specifications, which outline some functionality expected of the software. Each user story consists of a way in which a user would hope to interact with the application.

For example, a user might wish to visit the website, log in to their account, and check the remaining balance from a gift card. The team writes out this user story. Then the functionality is designed around it. In this way, engineers and designers can empathize with users. Thus, allowing them to build their product to meet their needs more effectively.

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Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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