Thursday, January 18, 2007

Coding Inside and Out

Steve Jobs really makes sense in this quoted interview on Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror. He really identifies that Microsoft may be great financial company, but their products are third rate. They are third-rate because they have no thought about taste, style or culture in their design process.

And here's Jeff Atwood's comment, that really sinks the hole in one for me.

At Apple, taste and culture are designed into every product from day one. Nothing is released until it looks as good on the outside as it works on the inside.

That is so blindingly true, look at the ipod, maybe it doesn't have every feature that other mp3 players have, but it is so easy to use, and it is so intuitive.

And part of the cause of the not thinking about taste and culture, is short-term thinking.

Here's another comment by Jeff Atwood, that makes this clearer, and I do hope you read his blog posting, it is well worth it.

Jobs is dead on with his criticism. But the problem is much deeper than Microsoft; it extends to the entire PC industry. In the PC world, taste and culture are rarely considered, and if they are, it's always as an afterthought. Ship it first, make it look good later. If you ever do.
Isn't it time for us to wake up smell the roses, see the huge consequences of not caring about the quality of our applications, other than ship it fast, ship it now!

I mean it's obvious that Google has a similar strategy,, all the really good companies, care about the long term.

It's even in 37signals, philosophy, to release fast, but release with less features.

Or like how Google has a very simple page for their front page. which is so attractive in fulfilling our basic needs to search the internet.

Where are the people who really care about their applications, more than just when their creating it, or having to fix some one else's code.

I think I am personally sick to death of always having to fix someone else's code, or that it is so horribly complex and undocumented, that it takes forever to figure out what does what.

I think it's time for us application programmers to take a stand, we're not just monkey's on type-writers, we care for our apps, we want them to be the best, inside and outside.

I mean, they say your just a coldfusion programmer, so that is supposed to mean, don't care about the database, don't care about the design, interface or usability of their apps.

Just create it, and create it now..

And let someone else try to fix what bugs you introduce...

I know I am a tad cynical, but I also have hope, and would love to hear from anyone else who cares too...


  1. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Very interesting thoughts you have here. I am no expert in computers (thankfully), so maybe I miss the point...please forgive me if I do.

    I think it says something though, about how impoverished our culture is when we hear people complaining about how technology is failing to be cultured or artistic (you aren't the first). Technology to me, is at best a tool for achieving some other goal. I don't like my iPod because of its beautiful lines or color, but because it brings me Stravinsky.

    I don't hate microsoft word because it's klunky and hard to use, I hate it because it eats my attempts at creative writing.

    So, to all who feel we're missing something with our technology, I think it is because we're asking mundane, consumer products to fulfill the promise of our humanity--one that's better realized by attending a live performance, visiting an art museum, or reading a classic book. If we can get fulfillment from those sources, I think we'll start to talk more clearly about what technology really gives us, and what we can expect from it.

  2. Perhaps, but still I am talking about more than a piece of technology to be art, but to be well designed inside and out.

    But thanks for well said comment.