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Re: Uncomplicating IT: Simpler Said Than Done

4/8/01 12:16:31 AM, "Clark C. Evans" <cce@clarkevans.com> wrote:
>I like the quote about "trying to show the complexity in the system"
>through the interface.  It is easier to justify a high price for
>a product if it is deemed complicated.  There is a particular section
>in Tom DeMarco's book Why Does Software Cost So Much where Tom discusses
>a consluting experience where he was asked to evaluate two
>programmers.  One of them has complicated diagrams up on all of his
>walls and the manager has come to believe that the stuff he is working
>on is _so_ complicated that they couldn't possibly find someone else
>to do it.  The other programmer is constantly on schedule, and has
>such clean interfaces that the manager concludes that he just didn't
>give her really hard work.  Tom explained how the manager believed
>the first programmer was "brilliant".  I couldn't stop laughing.
>Who knows... mabye the complicated programmer was the brilliant 
>one -- I bet he had the higher salary.  *sigh*

Gerald Weinberg describes several cases of programmers who were rewarded for 
making mountains out of molehills.  The problem is that if a manager doesn't 
understand the work his people are doing, he's likely to reward them for 
maximizing the amount of effort needed to accomplish a given task.

MHO on the software usability problem is that the main factor is that in most 
cases the people *buying* the software aren't the people *using* the software, 
which means there's no real direct feedback path from the end users to the 
developers.  If you're trying to sell to managers who don't actually use the 
software, then loading it up with lots of features is the way to go, since 
while the managers don't know what it's like to use the software, they 
certainly can count.