Happy Pi Day 2017

Misunderstood Requirement Number 3.14159

“The system shall use Pie to calculate the….”

OK so it’s a homophone, caused by a typo. But misunderstood requirements can have a big impact.

Pi Day itself can throw up the question which part of the world do you live in? Today 14/03/2017 specifying in increasing component granularity dd/mm/yyyy is nothing like π. In reverse as UTC 2017-03-14T12:46:14Z again does not have any π significance. However, living elsewhere in the world, as long as it still used the Julian calendar, dates are written differently, if you swap the components to mm/dd/yyyy 3/14/2017 does have a meaning, although we have to skip back in time to 1592 to really tell the joke!

Writing unambiguous requirements is about being clear in your language, precise in your detail and knowing your audience. Otherwise you may end up with Pi on your face…..

photo of a pie
A Tasty Meat and Vegetable Pie

According to piday.org Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.