When Software Engineers Whine With Reason

Not long ago, Slashdot’s Jeff Cogswell set out to see if two business intelligence tools would come back with the same answer to a single question. Two months later, he’s come back with a horror story instead. Not about BI, but about the state of software installation. It’s a tale, he says, of “everything that can go wrong in the customer end of the software world, and some thoughts on what needs to be done, especially in an area known as Installers.”

The quicksand Jeff stumbled into doesn’t only threaten those who work in BI. Enterprise software is filled with holes where you can sink up to your neck. So think of this as a cautionary tale, with some possible escape routes included.

Read Jeff’s full story on Slashdot.

2 Responses to “When Software Engineers Whine With Reason”

  1. We have a phrase for this – for what Jeff encountered. It is “la vida loca.” And no, I do not refer to Ricky Martin’s song by the same name. “La vida loca” means the “crazy life.”

    Software installs on new configurations that are supposed to be the same never go well. Look for my upcoming blog on installing and configuring Hadoop in the Cloud.

  2. I’ve found that installation and documentation are rarely a priority to companies. They think that this stuff is automatic and rarely plan for it the way they would with software development. They seem to think that, as with various “non-critical” bugs, they can fix them after-the-fact. In reality, unless you have a captive audience/fanbase, this will mean lost sales from a bad reputation. Of course, companies blame things like this on a bad economy rather than their own failure to manage the project correctly.