Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch

India's global march is on the shoulders of IT. Which to many people gives images of nerds sitting in front of computers doing god knows what ! If you are the ones who consider the above and don't know what these nerds are doing - this article is not for you ! :-D

However, some of the concepts here can be applied to other creative streams also.

The problem is that though we are an IT force, in my experience, we don't really know how to make good software. So, even after being an IT superpower as some profess loudly we don't have any great products coming out. Sure - we have some great companies like WIPRO and INFOSYS, but they are into services. WIPRO has over the last few years stared working on products like RFID, but the focus there is more to be able to show a proof of concept to get more clients.

As a result of the service mentality, we seem to be lagging behind a lot in the development front. Google recently said that they are not getting quality people, and more recently NY Times has come up with an article on As a result of the service mentality, we seem to be lagging behind a lot in the development front. Google recently said that they are , and more recently NY Times has come up with an article on College Education without a future.

For college students I will be putting up an article in the near future (as soon as I am done with the Fedora 6 installations). But for now, for the people already out there, coding, and wondering what they may be doing wrong - here are some gems that I have picked up from various sources :
1. Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch.
2. Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).
3. ``Plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.'' (Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, Chapter 11)
4. If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find you
5. When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor.
6. Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.
7. Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.
8. Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
9. Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.
10. If you treat your beta-testers as if they're your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.
11. The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
12. Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.
13. ``Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.'' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
14. Any tool should be useful in the expected way, but a truly great tool lends itself to uses you never expected.
15. When writing gateway software of any kind, take pains to disturb the data stream as little as possible-and never throw away information unless the recipient forces you to!

3 comments:

  1. Some very strong points there.
    Being with Wipro for the past 1 year, the work environment is very good.
    But there is little encouragement to explore outside the box or may be its that there is lost of work that you seldom meet people of your taste. But i hear that at Yahoo they are encouraged to do things real crazy and creatively.

    And about writing error free code, you need to love the project in the first place. Down here its all money and not the value that people are after. Its the moments glory and not the long run people are after.

    Blame it on the Educational System.

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  2. hmmmmmmm...........
    I am impressed. Perhaps what i need to keep in mind when doing what I am gonna do ;)

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  3. Impressive..
    Would be handy the task I am upto ;)

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