Modeling systems (not UML)

In software, we are really used to UML for the modeling of our systems to understand what we are needed to do or just for documentation, if you don’t get what I’m talking about here, check this awesome post I did last semester.

But here I’m not going to write how to model software, but how to model the systems involved in software creation and the importance of it.

And you may be asking what I mean with “systems involved in software development,” well a system is basically anything (the Merriam-webster more or less endorses my definition). Some of these systems may be about how the team works together and delivers the project, or maybe about how a new team member disrupts the flow.

Back to the book

Our friend Mr. T. always decided how to guide its team based on his hunch, but he met this new person who describes this new software, where he can input his hunch about how the team (our main system) will react to different stimulations and what their result is going to be.

These kinds of diagrams are key to understand how systems work and a way to visualize data that sometimes maybe only a “hunch.” This is a great example of how this diagrams work:

I recommend increasing the speed of the video (yeah, I’m that kind of person).

In the book, Mr. T. and his friend worked on a model describing how a team will react based on how much the total of people increases:

System Dynami Diagram (From “The Deadline”)

And after they run this diagram, they were able to understand quantitative data from the hunches of Mr. T.

How to make these diagrams

In the book, they say they used iThink, but when I started to research for it, it is really expensive (not in the budget of a student at least). So I found InsightMaker, and it looks really neat (and looks free or at least freer than iThink)!

Consider that as in the video above, these diagrams are useful to all kinds of systems, so don’t limit yourself when in need to understand something!