fixing the doorknobs in software.

January 10, 2011

Fixing a doorknob. It’s one of the more painful tasks that needs doing every now and then, and for a number of very good reasons: First of all it’s time consuming: removing an old doorknob and replacing it can take a lot longer than you would think. Second, it’s frustratingly tedious: it takes no real skill in order to replace said knob, making it more boring than you can imagine. Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, nobody will ever notice: If it works, nobody notices that it does. If you fix it, nobody notices if it’s fixed. But if its broken, everybody notices. The most frustrating elements in software development (for me at least): memory optimization, cpu optimization etc are a lot like those doorknobs – very time consuming with almost no reward other than acceptance.

The thing is, while those elements may be tedious, they’re vital to any good software product. You can spend as much time as you like on the more enjoyable tasks, but if you’re hoping to release something that will be successful – it needs to be top class in every aspect. This isn’t only applicable to software development, but to almost everything in life: make sure you don’t spend all your time on the door, you’ve got to leave just as much time for the knob – even if nobody notices.

 

Follow me on Twitter, if you like. Or check out my latest project, TapType.

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