One of the nicest ways to learn or understand a new domain is to understand it’s vocabulary. If you can have intelligent, unambiguous domain conversations using this vocabulary, then you are likely to immerse yourself in the domain quite deeply. You see, it’s all about ubiquitous language.
But when do we start building our domain vocabulary? Most likely when we hear domain terms for the first time in conversation. But when we listen, we should not assume meaning. And we should clear ambiguity by establishing the context.
I had a fun moment yesterday filled with aural ambiguous assumptions. I was talking to a group involved in diamond trading and the one person said “… diamond sales at all our sites are …”. Hmmm, that’s not hard to understand – site: the place or location where diamonds are sold.
But what the person actually said was “… diamond sales at all our sights are …”. Ooops, it turns out that the place of sale is actually the location when a cut and polished diamond is first seen by the buyer. Ambiguous – yes, Assumed – definitely, Contextual – absolutely.