Links, May 2nd

Normally I don’t even look at things with titles of the form /Sucks$/. I clicked on this expecting something obnoxious that would upset me enough get the blood flowing, and wake me up. Instead I laughed hard enough to wake up.

I appreciate the part about the bridge project; I feel that it conveys a sense of the way in which software developers make their own projects more miserable. The line or two about Phil are the only ones that touch on the expectations of others, though.

I think that most of the people who purchase bridges have a sense that certain design requests become unreasonable once construction has begun. And that asking for a bridge twice as big is going to at least double your materials costs.

Unfortunately software developers don’t get the same consideration. I’m not sure I know why. (Not that there necessarily has to be a single reason.) Perhaps those commissioning us to develop software on their behavior are so in awe of our ability to build castles in the air (see below) that they assume we can accomplish anything. That’s certainly a much more pleasant possibility than the one normally bandied about.

This one is a response, at least in part, to “Programming Sucks”. I feel it takes “Programming Sucks” a bit too seriously (or maybe literally). I see “Programming Sucks” not as a complaint, but rather an attempt to explain some negative aspects of programming as an activity, which non-programmers probably have no inkling of. This piece then comes along an attempts to explain positive aspects of programming, which non-programmers probably have no inkling of.

I feel it is worth pointing out that you can have aspects of an activity which you don’t enjoy, while still very much enjoying the activity overall. Hikers don’t like bad weather, but you deal with a bit of that in exchange for the good weather. Fencers don’t enjoy being hit by their opponents, but the winning (or at least interplay that happens before losing), makes it worthwhile.

Building castles in the air is worth it, even if Phil makes us leave the railings off all the parapets.