justification of inconvenience

The German software developers are not that different from the rest of the crowd – with one exception. I guess it may even be a feature of the national character because it shows up in the people of other trades as well. However it is most harmful when developing software.

Our daily job is to make our software products better: faster, more reliable, more convenient, more universal etc. We are only sometimes forced to tolerate a problem because normally we can just fix it. The more surprises me the reaction I sometimes see from German software developers and non-developers. After hearing a proposal on how to improve an obviously problematic interface they respond with an almost standard sentence: ”But the user can...“ followed by sequence of several non-trivial steps requiring a deep knowledge of internal logic of the software. And the look of “Problem solved”.

This stuns me every time. I cannot fathom the motive or logic that make people respond like that. The words ”What you are proposing can be done in a significantly more complicated way“ may be technically correct but they only add absurdness to the discussion, nothing helpful.

Maybe this has something in common with the fact that most Germans prefer to pay cash. The stereotype about German practicality doesn’t seem to be well grounded in reality.

If Germans want to develop competitive software they really need to weed out such knee jerk reactions during Computer Science 101.

Artemy Tregubenko,
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