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Old 11-22-2014, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,375 posts, read 5,263,755 times
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As a software engineer myself, I've come to the realization that the reason behind bad developers is usually bad management. And behind any bad manager is usually a bad Product Manager. Furthermore any bad Product Manager is usually the result of a bad Marketing department. And we all know bad marketing departments come from terrible sales departments.

I also noticed that a lot of software engineers get promoted are usually cowboy coders. The guys who copy and paste code, do very little testing, and only write code they can understand. Since upper management never see how bad the code is, they never put bugs in production and speed together.

I have noticed a lot of service based offshore companies tend to be more about high volume than quality work. Generally developers offshore seem to be working under duress and extreme micromanaging, which will ulimately lead to rushed and shoddy coding. Seems like Agile has made the problem worse, having Project Managers and Product Managers they can send knowingly buggy code into production and just patch it right away. Seems like this practice has become very common in the gaming industry.


I wonder is the industry just doomed to be lead by this style of management? The Product Managers cracking the whip and over-promising?
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:31 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
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Well, if a software engineer is spending a significant amount of time coding, that's a big problem. Cowboy coding is perfectly fine for a software engineer. They're only creating a proof of concept. When a software developer gets on the project, they have the responsibility to write the actual code that will be used.

So if your question is why do software engineers write bad code? Because they aren't software developers and that's not their job. They are just supposed to put together examples... where sloppy coding is good enough to show a developer a concept.

If you're sending buggy code to production regularly, that's a problem with the process.... agile or not.
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,375 posts, read 5,263,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
Well, if a software engineer is spending a significant amount of time coding, that's a big problem. Cowboy coding is perfectly fine for a software engineer. They're only creating a proof of concept. When a software developer gets on the project, they have the responsibility to write the actual code that will be used.

So if your question is why do software engineers write bad code? Because they aren't software developers and that's not their job. They are just supposed to put together examples... where sloppy coding is good enough to show a developer a concept.

If you're sending buggy code to production regularly, that's a problem with the process.... agile or not.


Yes I actually like Agile. But man does it get abused sometimes. And you're completely right. Process is a huge part of it. But from what I've seen, it's usually Product Managers being able to break process at will to get things done. And them not having the proper check and balances, OR engineering managers not bothering to stand their ground against them.
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:52 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
Yes I actually like Agile. But man does it get abused sometimes. And you're completely right. Process is a huge part of it. But from what I've seen, it's usually Product Managers being able to break process at will to get things done. And them not having the proper check and balances, OR engineering managers not bothering to stand their ground against them.
If product managers can break the process, then you aren't agile. This needs to be escalated to your management. Management needs to set expectations. It's the technology team that chooses what gets done and when. The product manager's only responsibility is to write stories and prioritize them.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:10 PM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
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Because they are engineers... no really. They often don't consider their audience.

Best example I can think of is the permission set in phpBB. This is a fantastic system that allows you to drill down permissions even for specific things for individual users but good luck learning how to use it.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:14 PM
 
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Just to add I heard a great question and answer years ago when Apple was absolutely dominating the market with phones that went something like this:

Q:Why is it Samsung with their 25 thousand engineers can't compete with Apple?

A:Because they have 25 thousand engineers.
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:06 AM
 
28,638 posts, read 40,617,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Because they are engineers... no really. They often don't consider their audience.

Best example I can think of is the permission set in phpBB. This is a fantastic system that allows you to drill down permissions even for specific things for individual users but good luck learning how to use it.
22 tears of working with engineers tells me this is correct.
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:11 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Because they are engineers... no really. They often don't consider their audience.

Best example I can think of is the permission set in phpBB. This is a fantastic system that allows you to drill down permissions even for specific things for individual users but good luck learning how to use it.
There's truth to this. Engineers aren't trying to provide a good experience. They are trying to solve a problem. There are designers for providing a good experience. You need both to make a good product. The industry is well aware of that now.

The first attempt at something is typically a poor implementation. phpBB is a good example of that. A lot of great stuff, but since they were the first at a lot of it, they weren't the best. Now that we're in a post-PHP world, a lot of the issues with PHP and phpBB have been resolved.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:21 AM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
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Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
A lot of great stuff, but since they were the first at a lot of it, they weren't the best.
Actually this would be in phpBB3, phpBB2 had simple permission set but it wasn't very flexible. 3 is very flexible but complicated to understand. It went from one extreme to the other. If you understand how to use it and need that flexibility fantastic but the average person installing phpBB3 is going to be lost.

I don't think you dumb down the product however they needed an "idiot"mode that would have been effective for most installations.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:24 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Actually this would be in phpBB3, phpBB2 had simple permission set but it wasn't very flexible. 3 is very flexible but complicated to understand. It went from one extreme to the other. If you understand how to use it and need that flexibility fantastic but the average person installing phpBB3 is going to be lost.

I don't think you dumb down the product however they needed an "idiot"mode that would have been effective for most installations.
Alan Cooper has an interesting piece in his book "About Face" regarding multiple interfaces for the same feature. It's against all modern design principles (not that I would call him modern).
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