I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code”

An opinion column for developers.Brutally honest, no pulled punches.

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  • Blog Post: Courageous design

    Does this sound familiar? You’re meeting to design a solution to a tricky problem. People are alternating between adding new requirements and deriding prior approaches. Everyone agrees with the issues (“Yeah,” “Yup,” “That’s right”), but no one is suggesting...
  • Blog Post: Stupid in any language

    Surely you’re smart enough to know that people outside the United States attempt to use Microsoft software every day. I mean, Nadine Kano first published Developing International Software for Windows 95 and Windows NT back in 1995. By now you must be aware, but how can anyone tell? You could try...
  • Blog Post: Data-driven decisions

    You’re working on a feature and think there’s an obvious customer improvement to be made. The tester thinks you’re in obvious need of medical attention from a psychiatric professional. She believes the shipped design was fine from the start. The PM insists that your suggestion doesn’t...
  • Blog Post: Software engineering—what’s missing?

    To start the new year, my boss gave an all-hands speech to a large group of developers about being an engineer. He equated being an engineer with taking responsibility for quality and using methods that ensure high quality at checkin ( Nailing the nominals ). Naturally, a developer in the crowd took...
  • Blog Post: Green fields are full of maggots

    As I said in Nailing the nominals , the two keys to successful big projects (100K+ LOC) are thinking ahead and defining done. Thinking ahead is about design and planning. Defining done is about setting a quality bar and sticking to it. Yet many big projects go astray even when people think ahead and...
  • Blog Post: My experiment worked! (Prototyping)

    It's summertime. Time to sit out in the sun and daydream, perhaps on a vacation or a weekend afternoon. When your mind is relaxed at times like these, you often think of beautiful new ideas. You further develop those ideas and then, when the time is right, perhaps early in the next release cycle, you...
  • Blog Post: At your service

    Remember this one, "The microprocessor changes everything!" No, it didn't. Yes, it had a big impact, but people still fretted about the same problems and tried to accomplish the same things. They just created problems and accomplished things more efficiently. How about, "The Internet changes everything...
  • Blog Post: Software performance: What are you waiting for?

    You hurt your shoulder playing volleyball, so you make an appointment to see your doctor. You enter the office and wait in line for five minutes just to let the receptionist know you've arrived. He has you verify your contact and insurance information, which haven't changed in ages, and then tells you...
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