My daughter – the fussy client!

Today I started a new project with my wonderful S3 class (actually I have two, but these are my end-of-week favourites). I wanted to give them a chance to work with a client: someone really fussy, who changes their mind as much as a real client does… so my precocious daughter was an obvious choice!

Two years ago I recorded a few video clips of my daughter answering a simple question – “if my class could make you any game, what would you want it be be like?”. Instantly thrilled that strangers would be making a game for her, Mia started describing a scenario involving a baby butterfly, a daddy butterfly, a flower, a vase and an evil flower-stealing bottle!

My S3 class loved the way my daughter described the game, stopping mid-sentence to describe something else that she had forgotten about earlier. They saw that it wasn’t serious, but at the same time they had to listen carefully to understand what she wanted. I helped them by drawing a visual representation on the SmartBoard while they jotted down written paragraphs in their Requirements Specification.

I played the class three videos during the lesson and in the second and third videos the pupils saw what happens when you don’t get your Requirements Specification signed off – Mia moved the goal posts, added in more requirements, changed the enemies, DEMANDED more levels. The class were rapt, the class were fully engaged with this 4 year old who was attempting to describe this wonderful idea inside her head.

Discussions bounced around the classroom as everyone tried to grasp a mental image of the game Mia wanted – what happens if you touch the bottle? Where does the butterfly get the flower from? When does the music play? All valid questions a Systems Analyst should be asking their client.

The bell went far too soon and the class hovered around a little longer than usual on a Friday to see the end of the third video. Two years on from recording I am still surprised, amused and proud of what my daughter is describing and how she is holding the attention of my (her?) class. I think I might need to ask her for some CPD in the future – she seems to have this teaching lark sussed.