Utterly failing your users

Ever since Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood announced StackOverflow, almost counterintuitively, I’ve spent more time reading their individual blogs.

I really enjoyed Jeff’s latest, Crash Responsibly. [Even though it is not the headline I want to see just before boarding a transatlantic flight.]

I love the four “rules” Jeff puts forward, particularly the first one: “It is not the user’s job to tell you about errors in your software”. Even in perennial beta environments, what we have to provide is software that works, even if the functionality is very limited. Providing additional functionality incrementally is fine and dandy, everyone understands that. But the software has to work in the first place.

2 thoughts on “Utterly failing your users”

  1. Absolutely. As a (former) project manager, there are few things more frustrating than developers who use a beta release as an excuse to release poorly written or incomplete code. And modern software development tools allow products to be built and published so easily that, sometimes, the disciplines of code review and testing go right out the window.

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