Where Americans will refer to 'print(ed)' and 'cursive' handwriting, the British are much more likely to use the word 'joined-up' instead of 'cursive' 1
In the late 90's the phrase Joined-up Government was used by the Blair administration to promote the idea that government departments should work together. How well this can work for government departments is a matter of debate, but I feel that the idea has serious applicability to software engineering.
The AnalogyIf we consider the different tasks, or types of task, in a software project to be the letters, are we 'printing' and performing the tasks in isolation, or performing 'joined-up engineering' and allowing the tasks to naturally flow into and influence their neighbors?
Non-trivial projects have more than one engineer, different tasks and roles are filled by different people with different abilities and specializations — large projects have more than one team.
To me, joined-up engineering emphasizes the importance of that everyone is working on the same project, that there is a line of work or responsibility that flows cleanly through each task/engineer/role/team, rather than the hard boundaries that produce problems like: fiefdoms; impedance mismatch; feature and code ownership arguments; &c.
Stretching the Analogy
- While the general principal of joined-up writing is that the pen never leaves the page, there are well known exceptions, we "dot the i's and cross the t's" (hopefully not forgetting j's (or accents)), x is usually written by lifting the pen &emdash; knowing when not to apply a principal is important.
- Speaking for myself, I can probably print faster than I can write joined-up, but my joined up writing is (or has the potential to be) far more attractive, and with practice probably faster.
- Bureaucracies prefer print — as anyone who has filled in official paperwork knows — in the most exaggerated cases each letter must be within its own box, this is purely for the benefit of the bureaucracy.
1 The British politician Jonathan Aitken, while serving a prison sentence for perjury, was given the nickname "Joino" by fellow inmates for his ability(!) to use joined-up handwriting.