zensolo’s e-mailed chronicles posted by morituri.

Building Great Software

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If you’ve ever used a variety of software within one class, e.g., image editors or text editors or word processors, then you can tell in a brief time whether you’re going to be able to work with a particular program. Everybody loves something, whether it’s the worst cacophonous music you’ve ever heard or whether it’s the worst program ever built.

Don’t ask ? I’ve no idea why. Humans manage to both delight and annoy me ? at the same time.

My whole brain seeks quality in everything, whether it’s a garden tool, a garment to wear, or software. And if you’re going to work with a particular type of software every day for most of your working life, why not choose the best? (You decide what’s best; I only recommend?what I believe is the best.) Often however, software is chosen before the employee ever walks through the door. This is tragic, as usually it’s one stupid jackass who bought the software license from a marketing rep in 1991 and still thinks it’s good. Meanwhile, the world moved on.

In the late 1990s I worked for a company that sold the biggest piece of shit crapware you could imagine. They had convinced themselves that it was good, but over time it had grown so complex that no single person in the company held mastery over it. It never let go of it’s god-fucking-awful Windows 3.0 interface ? even in 2002! ? and it was so buggy that customers used only a handful of its features in fear that doing anything else would compromise their data elsewhere.?I was eventually fired for rewriting portions of the Help file to remove the developer’s errors. Trust me, I didn’t mind, since my next job paid far more. You don’t correct others’ mistakes in Corporate Amerika. You shut up and cheer ever louder! You know the routine, because it happens every day in every walk of life, from relationships to organizations to economies.

My point is, don’t settle for second best or worst. Life is too short to spend it in frustration.?Do your homework, test a wide variety of apps, and if it’s an app you will use all day, make sure it’s the best. For me, that’s my text editor. I use UltraEdit. For you, it might be some productivity software or a browser or RSS reader or an image editing app. When you use the best for you, then you will have no tolerance?for poorly coded and ill-designed software, as you should.

Written by morituri

April 18th, 2006 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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