Monday, May 08, 2006

The Top Ten Lies of Engineers

Another good one from Steve at tingilinde, this made me laugh in my coffee: Guy Kawasaki: The Top Ten Lies of Engineers. I already posted Scott Berkun's Things VP's Never Say, and this makes a great complement. Things lots of engineers say... whether intentionally lies or not. A sample:

“Our beta sites loved the software.”In twenty five years of working in technology, I've never heard a company report that its beta sites didn't like its software. There are three reasons for this: first, many beta sites are so honored to get pre-release software that they don't want say anything negative. Second, most beta sites haven't used the software very much. Third, most beta sites don't want to seem cruel by criticizing a company's new product. Doing so is as socially unacceptable as telling someone that his baby is ugly.

“I'll comment the code, so that the next person can understand what I did.” This is a lie of good intentions. Really, the engineer did intend to comment the code but as the schedule slipped, priorities changed. The question put to management became: “Do you want me to comment the code or finish it sooner?” Guess what the answer was. Luckily, the lack of comments usually doesn't matter because the code is so crappy that a total rewrite is necessary in a year.

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