software master at the intersection of technology, science and art




RAD was initially named and used at the New York Telephone Development Center in the mid 1970s. After James Martin's book Rapid Application Development in 1990, the concept gained popularity and acceptance. James Martin has written over 100 books in Information Technology and was a major proponent for Rapid Application Development.

I have used RAD concepts since the 90's, particulary in the larger projects. Although the methodology had not been fully formalized, the need to report progress and demonstrate functionality required short well defined "sprints" with weekly or biweekly meetings to insure against creep. Frequent review of interfaces and functionality permitted incorporation of business changes into the final product. This was essential in dealing with scientific applications whose success relied on scientific project owners.

RAD has been broken down into several components - no matter which component model is chosen, the core idea is to iterate through these components. RAD includes a team composed of business knowledge as well as engineers with active prototyping, writing and performing unit tests, iterating through well defined deliverables which demonstrate measurable progress.