How Programmers Think About Service

18 February 2005

Computer programmers need business people to set their directions, monitor their progress and remove them from the mire. They don’t believe this, but it’s true. For too many years, I’ve witnessed projects—some of which should never have been launched—stuck in endless loops of missed due dates and fuzzy status reports.

Because they are smarter than everyone else and they believe they hold the keys to the kingdom, or at least the backdoor bypass to all the security in your software, programmers often miss the point. Software is a capitalist tool. It isn’t a hobby unless you are pursuing it on your own time. It’s a vehicle for helping a business do things more effectively.

Unless this happens:

The first program I spotted was Adobe Acrobat 5, which I don’t need any more because I now have Acrobat 6. But when I tried to remove Acrobat 5 (using Windows’s Add/Remove Programs program), a message said, “The system indicates that the following shared file is no longer used by any programs and may be deleted: C:/program Files/Dell/ShareDLL/djbsdk.dll. If any programs are still using this file and it is removed those programs may not function. Do you want to remove the shared file? Yes/No.” WHAT THE…!?!? Like I’m supposed to know if some other program is going to need C:/program Files/Dell/ShareDLL/djbsdk.dll?

Read the rest of David Pogue’s latest essay called Want a New Headache? Try to Uninstall?.

You’ll eventually get to this:

Of course, you already know the answer. Microsoft doesn’t improve this kind of thing because it doesn’t have to. It’s got a bad case of a little thing called Monopoly Complacence.

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