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Developers: Don't add what you can't support

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 in Technical Articles (Views: 2189)
Part of this blog is an absolute rant, part of it is a warning, but really part of me wants to expose the stupidity of some companies. One large company in particular, an industry leader in their field who has been in business since the 19th century, released a piece of software I'm working on. What's interesting while I implement this is that they have options in their UI that nobody in their company seems to know anything about, or how to support it.

Now, most reasonable straight forward thinking people have heard from someone (likely your parents), don't use words you don't understand. As a Developer, don't put things in your User Interface you can't or don't know how to support. When I ask a simple question of "what happens when I check this box and click this button", I expect an answer of what requirements I need in order to make the code work as written. Instead, my answer is "most of our customers don't use this feature, so we really don't know anything about it". For those technically inclined, brace yourself – it's about joining a computer to a domain. This just floors me the amount of ignorance that rolls from this company as any sane developer should tell you how their own code works. After all, they own it and (hopefully) wrote it, and didn't upset the person who designed it enough to leave the company.

Companies like this, I hope cease selling their products or simply go out of business like they deserve. They have one way of setting up their software, and if anyone deviates from their defaults, they're completely lost, especially when the options are in their own UI. In this world of technology, you have to be flexible, keep up with trends, be configurable, and work in a variety of environments with at times special requirements. As Bill Gates said in the early days, "for a program to be successful, it has to be compatible with everybody". Think about that one, and think about things that were yet to come – like Windows. Some argue that was just a little bit successful.

 

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