I read Why Software Sucks by David Platt over a month ago, and have been wanting to blog about it since then.
Firstly the book is so true, as an engineer I love control, doesn’t everybody?
No is the answer apparently, and once I got this, I have noticed myself asking questions like, what if I’m wrong? or more to the point, what if less is more?
There where some great quotes in the book, I read a few out to workmates, and they all nodded their heads (testers/managers). I’ve returned the book to the library, so I cannot share them with you.
But the biggest win was a few weeks ago, when discussion a feature in a meeting, one of the testers proposed a different and really stupid ugly way of presenting a concept to the user. I started on my usual, pros/cons discussion. But now taking a less control freak perspective, I slowly found more winning points on his design, and in fact mine had discovery problems (the biggest problem actually), which as a in-the-know person all made sense, but how would we teach the users this feature, or allow them to discover it and learn it.
After a 10 minutes of talking, I said “you win” and he had not said a thing. I’m now ok with it, because I concivnced myself his was the overall better option.
So there you go, a great read, well presented look into software, the mindsets that developers have (me me me) when building software, and how they are not the same people that actually use that software.