Re: [agile-usability] Re: Today's article on UseIt.com
I think this is a topic where we'll never agree, but since you keep coming back to it, I wanted to try to explain why, in hopes that we can have new and different conversations in the future. Rather than what, at least to me, feels like the same one every six months or so.
Owen Thomas wrote:
True. Indeed, I prefer to be where the action is; in my head.
In at least three ways, this is antithetical to my understanding of what professional software development is:
- I make software with other developers. The code is our collective
work, an expression of our continually evolving shared vision. The
action is in our joint doing, and in our discussion.
- I make software with other people. I work closely with a host of
domain experts, including analysts, product managers, designers,
sysadmins, and businesspeople of many stripes. The action is in our
conversations, our planning, our collaborative investigations.
- I make software for other people. In my professional life, the
whole point is to provide value to others through software. I talk with
them, listen to them, and most definitely study and observe them. The
action is in their actions, their lived experience of my software.
I believe that what's in my head is a fragmentary, partial, and distorted map of what the actual action is. At least for myself, I know of no better way to improve that and to make the most of what I have than to find the highest-bandwidth, fastest-feedback connections to as much of that action as possible. For now, that involves personal presence, and lots of it.
I also find that surrounding myself with those things that I'm familiar with and help me to relax to keep me in my head; where I'm most comfortable and feel most personally productive.
Just to be clear, I understand that you feel this way, and would like to work that way. I feel sympathy for you, as I also like the comforts of home, hate commuting, and am not entirely comfortable around people. I encourage you, as with everybody, to find ways to work that you enjoy and find satisfying.
But at the same time, it's worth considering that in the same way you don't like being pushed to work in a way that you don't like, others may have a similar reaction to your desire for them to think and work differently.
- I make software with other developers. The code is our collective work, an expression of our continually evolving shared vision. The action is in our joint doing, and in our discussion.
> > There are other studies (I don't have the exact quote) that showthat
> > the difference between a top-notch developer and a run-of-the-millone
> > is a factor of 10 or so.http://forums.construx.com/blogs/stevemcc/archive/2008/03/27/productivit
> The back up for that is here :-
Thx James. I always assumed that this was indeed supported by actual
studies, but still had a small nagging doubt that it might be one of
those urban legends that start with "studies show that ...." ;-). This
is a good reference which eliminates that doubt.