MSDN Flash Poll: What has been your experience with UML?

Visual Studio 2010 will add UML 2.1.1 based modelling tools and diagrams. Many of us have dabbled with UML over the years. For my part I have been trained in it and trained people in the pragmatic application of UML – but have only used it a handful of times in the last 3 years. What are your experiences with UML?





Comments (12)

  1. odahan says:

    As you did I’ve be trained in it and I also trained people to use UML. I wrote entire chapters in my last three books about using UML.

    But, cause there’s a "but", after such long years of evangilization, I can say that UML seems to be a kind of vaporware…

    You need to speak about it to prove you’re a good IT, you need to add it to your proposal, but, in the reality, I did not see any project really using UML (apart some use cases and class diagrams done automaticaly with VS !).

    There are certainly numerous reasons of this situation, the main is certainly the cost. A well studied project with all UML diagrams is costing much more than other kind of analysis.

    It also seems that too much modeling is leading to something "heavy" and "static". People are affraid of this and prefer to develop without any good plan !

    So there is still no real progress. UML is a fantastic tool, everybody knows the name but it is misused.

  2. MikeHanson says:

    Take a look over at these guys created a very affordable and flexible UML modelling tool that I and many others have been using to successfully deliver projects for many years.  There is even a VS Integration add-in.  I often introduce this to teams I join where there is little process or use of UML and it goes down a storm.

  3. grauenwolf says:

    Please don’t use UML, or at least offer an alternative. UML is by far the worst possible notation for diagrams I’ve ever seen.

  4. Dinesh says:

    As someone who has been exposed to UML + C++ based engineering projects of varying sizes and in various sectors, I personally think UML  is a MUST for any genuine Windows and/or C++ Engineer who is hoping to develop or maintain complex systems involving various objects/entities.

    Love UML and it’s diagramming capabilities!


  5. Andy P says:

    Learned it at University. Never so much as touched it since.

    Some of the diagrammatic features come in handy when I’m sketching designs out – I’d go so far as to say I draw UML-like diagrams to communicate my ideas – but that’s purely informal and on an ad-hoc basis. Which, really, is enough to get the design done, and I don’t need any more than that in my line of work.

  6. ggreig says:

    Love the idea, find it a little hard to get off the ground in practice. I’m also a Sparx Enterprise Architect user – got it open at the moment! – but find it easy to suffer whatever the UML equivalent of writer’s block is when faced with an empty diagram.

  7. Mark Rendle says:

    I use UML in what Martin Fowler calls the UmlAsSketch mode. It’s great for communicating basic class structures and responsibilities, and if everybody in a room understands the basics it makes the whiteboard more useful.

    Reverse-engineering code to UML as part of the documentation can also be very useful, which is one of the main things I’m looking forward to about VS2010’s support.

  8. Brian says:

    UML the official way to mess up the design and documentation…..

    Maybe a Microsoft integrated product with 110% bidirectional UML <-> code(that works!) just might be useful!

    But rather have a development environment that doesn’t crash (still think of those long hot summer days with VS 6.0 ahhh bliss) – priorities please!

  9. Paul says:

    I have never actually learnt UML and work in an envrionment where it does not form a required part of our development methodologies, though those who wish to use it may do so provided they also follow our required standards. I have on occasion been asked to provide UML diagrams by clients. As I am a little in the dark as to what UML is, I simply draw an appropriate kind of diagram which I believe shows them what they need to know and have found this to suffice.

  10. Chris Smith says:

    I use UML (mainly class diagrams) for communicating ideas.  I have little respect for their use outside the scope of forward and reverse engineering scenarios though as systems evolve too rapidly for static diagrams to remain useful.

    Most UML appears to be out of date documentation set to confuse people.

  11. PaulH says:

    I’ve found UML to be useful at the early stages of projects as a way of communicating ideas but becomes less useful and even a hinderence as the project matures

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