Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Companies : Don't Rush & Ruin your Software!

Why do some companies do software backwards?  I'm not going to be talking about my employer, this isn't a comment about the work I do for them, it's a comment about a company which supplies us, and whom has provided subsystems for us.  Building blocks which we want to stick together into a product... A little like putting together a PC at home, you build the machine, but Intel make the CPU... I hope you're getting me so far...

The problem I have is the increasing number of vendors whom seem to see Software as either, at best, an after thought, or at worst, an evil necessity.

The software in your systems today are the glue which hold everything together, they coordinate the physical to the component level, if you make a great button to turn on a great machine that's fine; if it's mechanical; but if that button is driving a piece of software, a trigger, a service or just a PIC for heavens sake test it, think about it, write the software, try it yourself!

A great chef should never ever deliver a dish to a table before they have tasted it!  So you as a software engineer, as a provider of components, as a system integrator should taste test your own software!

The number of absolutely abysmal software packages backing up otherwise very good products is ever increasing, and it's not acceptable, either as a third party receiving such devices to re-package, integrate & push upstream, or as a consumer spending their hard earned cash on items which then go on to not work.

I review very many things, and many of them are let down by Software, and it's not acceptable; get quality Software Engineers into do your code, don't just pay the tea boy to bash up a script over a weekend!

And if you're not sure about your software offering, you think it might need work, post it clearly and neatly on github (or wherever) for the customer to take a look, don't obfuscate things, don't hide behind great massive Red Wood Tree style tall stacks of build tools.  Because as much as I like Docker & Yocto & CMake & Make & Gradle and all the others I've used right down to DOS Batch files or Bash Shell scripts, if they don't work for the customer, if they need their machine setting up a certain way, with a certain set of libraries DO NOT blame the customer when they turn around and reject your product because your documentation is utterly lacking in depth or accuracy!

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