“I just want to get started.”   How commonly uttered is this phrase in the life of a new project?

My wife is tiling our bathroom and she’s carefully laying out tiles, measuring, preparing to make cuts that accommodate the cabinets, and various other tasks that are required before anyone can lay a single tile on grout and have it stay there forever. She lamented to me, “I just want to get started.”

“You’ve started!” I replied. “You’re doing this project. This is what it takes.”

“Yeah, I know, but I just want to get to it already.”

It’s the same thing with any software project. Coders are always saying they just want to get started. Writing code is fun. Figuring out what code to write or how to write it … not so much fun.

Visual progress on a bathroom with newly laid tiles is fun. Planning, measuring, cutting, and laying it out before grouting … not so much fun.

It’s all part of the project. In fact, it’s the essential part. Fred Brooks, Steve McConnell, and other software luminaries have already demonstrated that actual construction (coders writing code) represents a minority of time for a well-run software project. Requirements, design, and testing the fidelity of the implementation is the bulk of software development costs.

But we all just want to get started.