Hands-On Modelers

If the people who write the code do not feel responsible for the model, or don't understand how to make the model work for an application, then the model has nothing to do with the software. If developers don't realize that changing code changes the model, then their refactoring will weaken the model rather than strengthen it. Meanwhile, when a modeler is separated from the implementation process, he or she never acquires, or quickly loses, a feel for the constraints of implementation. The basic constraint of model-driven design—that the model supports an effective implementation and abstracts key insights into the domain—is half-gone, and the resulting models will be impractical. Finally, the knowledge and skills of experienced designers won't be transferred to other developers if the division of labor prevents the kind of collaboration that conveys the subtleties of coding a model-driven design.


Any technical person contributing to the model must spend some time touching the code, whatever primary role he or she plays on the project. Anyone responsible for changing code must learn to express a model through the code. Every developer must be involved in some level of discussion about the model and have contact with domain experts. Those who contribute in different ways must consciously engage those who touch the code in a dynamic exchange of model ideas through the ubiquitous language.