Friday, June 6, 2014

It's damn hard to write software

It's damn hard to write software. There are too many variables to track for writing good and successful product. Even the notion of product is different, sometimes it means a new product from scratch sometimes it's a redefined product, perhaps a product which is split into other products. Sometimes the product you are building is the wrong product, or based on something assumed being right but was the wrong choice. Perhaps the product is so old there is no way of tweaking/building/repairing it so it will be a good product but the customer is too afraid/blind/have no idea/clueless/careless/reckless/"hopefully-you-can-fix-it" to acknowledge that. Sometimes there will be some business case describing some fantasy world where the ability of changing the system is either estimated by an ant or the business haven't even taken things into account that there are a system actually doing the work here. Sometimes you have customers you can ask if you are creating the thing they want, sometimes there are no customers to ask, sometimes the customers doesn't even know what they want, or understand what they need or understand what they are getting. Sometimes the customer is some other system and the true customer has no idea what that system does or even do.

You have project managers which have no idea how to do the things you are doing and how important it is to make sure you are able to do what needs to be done. The same project managers only speak timelines and resources, understanding only the next release and only half understanding the customer or stakeholders. Project leaders with no technical knowledge make decisions they cannot even comprehend since they don't know how to code or they haven't event looked at the code. Most of the project leaders are either strictly religious to some belief of process and/or have minions which notoriously upheld sit, or you have the psychopath which does everything by his or her book, no matter what.

You have architects which are, most probably, the only ones in the whole system which are decoupled, and with reality. They do talk about decoupling and systems but have no idea if it's actually true because they are not in development. They draw fancy diagrams about things which should be like how things should be but they are not even close, so they are just doing drawing things. You have some architects which have no idea what your system really does but still comes up with solutions which just messes thing up more. You have enterprise architects which are even more remotely from the system but dreams up some  un achievable goal, aiming for the stars but satisfied if you end up in the tree tops. Problems are both the goal and the material the goal is decided upon is not even close to the reality since they are not even close to the action. There are also strong religious beliefs making up their decisions because of that (*cough* REST).

You have management which only thinks of their next promotion, and thus they just need to make decisions which are just enough so it will look good to their management. The management just over your management makes descisions about things they cannot make since the information about which decision they should do are in the code. They most often have no idea that they are not in charge anymore since every decision is ruled by your system. It really doesn't matter what the management wants, it's the system which has to be convinced.

You have developers which just want to go home for the day, bored at work, disgruntled. You have developers which want do a perfect job but there are no time. You have developers which doesn't understand what they are doing or why. They don't understand the current technology they are using or language. They are swapping between different languages which makes their code less efficient because it's hard enough with context switching as it is. You have developers which works best in a closed room but they are out with everyone else. You have developers that doesn't talk, doesn't share or even care. There are developers with beliefs they cannot prove, they have beliefs which are true to them but irrelevant to everyone else. They are developers which believe what they are doing is art, and in that case everything that applies artistry should apply to their coding and because of that flame wars starts and things turns ugly.

Then there are the system which hosts the products. If you are lucky there are no previous system and you are building it, but then you probably have to deal with politics and religious flamewars. Otherwise you have to wade through bad decisions, all those quick fixes which bleeds the system until the system is no more than duck tape, because some managers just didn't have the balls to do the right thing. You have to write code with technology which is either outdated or not suitable for the things you try to do. You have to integrate with a system which some suit have bought because he believed the sales guy that sold the system to him, and it turns out it doesn't do what he suit thought he needed or it doesn't work with your current tech stack and somehow your competence suddenly is at stake. You have to integrate with a system which is outdated and even if you applies every tech known to man to make it scale it won't. Or you have to deal with some tech consultant which has "the new next super tech which solves all your previous and new problems" and it still won't fit in with the current technology.

Luckily none of this have happened to me.

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