is this why software can be so crap

Mon, Apr 23, 2007

This interesting post seems to suggest that there are basically two reasons people use eclipse. Peer pressure or miserliness. I wonder how much effect IDE wars have on the production of reliable software? I know some people who would rather produce naff code as they don’t understand how to use eclipse, rather than buy, yes, buy! a tool that makes them far more productive. So why are these people in the software programming profession? Well, they’re not. They’re just snuffling around the edges, not willing to commit to anything pricey. Not willing to invest in their future. They regard hanging out in open source message fora as cool. “Hey, I’ve just ‘developed’ a really groovy new plugin for GroovyEd” will be more likely heard from then than, “so how do you see the application fulfuling your business requirements?”. They become open source hermits. They’re also more likely to say “I don’t do Windows”, no matter who their client is or whether their requirements are better met by use of a non freebie OS.

A lot of open source software is superb but a lot of is just garbage. I happen to think eclipse is garbage but that’s just my opinion of it. I use it for C++ and Python development on Linux but I wouldn’t touch it for Java. I use IntelliJ IDEA for Java. When I develop C++ on Windows I use VisualStudio. I use the best tool for the job.

Can you image engineers at NASA behaving the same way some software engineers behave?

“NO, I will NOT build the space shuttle from 5 million dollar composites. I will instead build it from cardboard. It’s free and can be found in most skips. However, if the price of cardboard should rise above 0 dollars I shall find some other open source alternative, such as used paper. We must support those who produce free building materials.”.

Our job, as software engineers, is not to support the continuance of naff freebie software. It’s to produce reliable, robust systems that our clients can trust to do the job they ask it to do.

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