Bullet Tracer

Hello everyone! In today’s post I will be talking a little bit about software engineering and the techniques we use when it comes to developing a new software product. Let’s begin!

Because NeatMP3 was thought to be a rather small program (somewhere around 10000 lines of code for version 1.0.0) that performs non-critical tasks we decided to use a development technique called “Bullet Tracer”. This approach gives the designers access to a working software early on in the development process so that they can change incomplete or unrealistic requirements before they are implemented.

The “Bullet Tracer” technique implies creating a working “skeleton” of your software. Just the “bones” and no “flesh” attached. If the software consists of more than  one major component, this approach should be used to connect these components as early as possible. Bear in mind that “Bullet Tracer” is not equivalent to prototyping. The early working software is not some code that can be partially used to implement a feature in the program, it is the program itself, let’s call it a pre-alpha version of the final software. By creating a working pre-alpha version of the product, future users can form an early opinion of the software and maybe contribute with suggestions to the development process. You can download the pre-alpha version of NeatMP3 from here.

“Bullet Tracer” is not a perfect development technique since, sometimes, it may lead to throwing away some code, some bad “attempts”, before managing to get the first working version of the software, but it is the best technique we could think of for the development process of NeatMP3. And so far it has proved to be a good decision!

Best regards, Cezar Popescu

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