Handy guide to Classic / Waterfall Software Teams in the Real World

So, you’ve graduated with your computer science degree and now you landed your first job! You’ve joined an aerospace, government, or financial industry firm, which means you’re going to be doing waterfall. You might be wondering who is responsible for what on your new software team. Let me just translate that textbook understanding you now have a little bit to the real world, so that you can understand who is who when you see them.

Waterfall software team according to textbooks

PM – make things happen

Devs – professional programmers with deep technical knowledge

BSA – visionary who seamlessly transitions between business and technical contexts and exhibits flawless communication whether written or verbal

Manager – experienced PM or BSA who is great at motivating employees and keeping them happy

Testers – professionals with deep insight into how customers actually use the software

DBA’s – database experts who can perfectly tune and optimize every database they come in contact with

Waterfall software teams in the real world

PM – make things elaborate MS Project files happen

Devs – lackeys who caffeinate too much, copy/paste from Stack Overflow and then code-and-fix directly in production when it doesn’t work

BSA – meet with customer and write requirements docs no one will ever look at

Manager – ex-dev who blows air up CEO’s ass, CYA’s for the team’s mistakes, and codes-and-fixes directly in production

Testers – files the first bug found then surfs the internet all day

DBA’s – crankily yells at the devs for calling the DB the wrong way and insist that stored procedures are where all the business logic should be executed

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