Worse Than Failure
I spent a little time this week speaking with Alex Papadimoulis, better known
as the man who runs TheDailyWTF.com, recently renamed "Worse
." His site recounts tales of disastrous development, from
project management gone spectacularly bad to inexplicable coding choices. Over
the past three or four years, Alex has seen a lot of bad programming, and he
offers a few solutions in an interview to appear in the April 15 issue of Redmond
"It's amazing. It's kind of disheartening to see how this is just so common
in the industry," he says of the epic programming meltdowns. "It really
shows that the industry as a whole has a lot of maturing to do. We're getting
there. But it's the same pattern, time and time again."
Papadimoulis says programmers are often their own worst enemy, creating overly
complex systems to solve problems that haven't emerged yet. His solution? Simplify.
Focus on the challenge at hand, rather than build lofty frameworks and systems
in the hope of shortcutting an issue down the road.
Is it frustrating, watching allegedly smart people make the same mistakes over
and over? Absolutely, says Papadimoulis.
"At the same time, we can have fun laughing at it because we all have
the same experience each day. And there's a lot of take-away to these stories
and how to avoid these things yourself," he says.
Have you learned from bitter experience? We'd love to hear your stories of
great WTF moments in development. Maybe, just maybe, you can save one of our
readers from making the same, tragic mistake. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Michael Desmond on 04/04/2007 at 1:15 PM