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Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Whats half a hole?

My mum enjoys wordplay. I may have inherited that a little...

Here is one of her favourites: "If it takes a man and a half a day and a half to dig a hole and a half. How long does it take to dig a hole?"

This fun to say. Yet word play is more than silly fun. It is an insight into linguistics, culture and human psychology.

This specific question is also an insight into one of the biggest challenges in software projects: understanding requirements.

Let's pretend this is a project brief. The inconsistencies, the missing information and the lack of context is obvious. In that regard fun word play like this is not much different from many a real world project brief!

It's full of holes.

Many software folks will jump straight to clarifying the specifics: What's half a hole? What's half a person?

Yet the bigger opportunity is to dig deeper. Why holes at all? What is the purpose? What context are we working in? Who's it for?

As coders, we are too keen by half to leave these questions to the business analyst, the product owner or service designer.

Software is too complex for us to be focused just on the code or even the immediate "requirements". We must keep half an eye on the bigger picture if we want our skills to be even halfway useful.

That is why I'm currently spending so much time digging into the importance of understanding the "why" of the Circular Economy. And, critically, tying that "why" back to the role of software within the Circular Economy.

It's more than half the challenge.