"Developers are from Pluto, Users are from Mercury" describes the chasm between many programmers (especially those working on large-scale software projects) and the ultimate customers of their craft. So often the people writing code lack any clear mental image of what real users need to do, how they operate, and why they demand certain features. So often the people using computers lack any clear mental image of the challenges programmers face in designing algorithms, controlling complexity, and implementing reliable systems. So often the managers on both sides of the fence fail to communicate --- and so often software is late, over budget, and dysfunctional.

There are no simple solutions. The natural bureaucratic path --- building walls between the two worlds, insisting on rigidly-defined "requirements", and pushing projects to meet predefined milestones --- almost guarantees failure. Fine code has to evolve from a collaborative venture involving programmers and users in close communion. It takes time and money, creativity and perseverance, deep thought and mutual respect.

Saturday, July 29, 2000 at 13:55:56 (EDT) = 2000-07-29

TopicProgramming - TopicOrganizations

(correlates: HowToFixIt, Theory of Flight, HolyMatwimony, ...)