Tonight my wife’s parents brought us to a Super Bowl party hosted by ADP (her dad owns a car dealership; they use ADP’s software for internal accounting purposes). The party was quite lavish and a lot of fun; the company had clearly pulled out all the stops in organizing it. It was funny, though, hearing my father-in-law talk about how terrible their software is—or anyway, how much he hates using it.
It just made me think: I can remember all kinds of terrible software I’ve used in office jobs prior to becoming a developer (and I’m sure I’ll use plenty more before my time on this earth is over). Why is this? With so much awesome software out there being built by so many great software companies, it just seems odd that there would still be such an abundance of poor-quality (or difficult-to-use, which implies its own brand of poor quality) software in office environments.
If I were to venture a guess, it would honestly have to be that enterprise software is just boring to develop compared to a lot of other options (e.g., social- or media-related software). That is, at least, my impression. I get the sense that plenty of large organizations would love to change over a large portion of their internal software tools to leaner, simpler, better-designed, higher-quality choices. And I don’t think those choices would be particularly difficult to build, given the right talent and sufficient time and resources. I just think nobody wants to do it.
Obviously, I could be way off about this. In any case, I don’t particularly want to do it either. Though I do think there’s a lot of potential opportunity there—if someone could just endure the boredom, and roll up their sleeves and build some superior enterprisey solutions, I bet they’d make a killing.
On an unrelated note, while I’m not a big sports person myself, I do enjoy how exciting sports can be for those who follow a particular game and/or team (and I can definitely get into a game every now and then, when I do happen to watch). But what I don’t get is how cocky people get when their team wins. I mean, seriously, how can you claim any credit whatsoever when the team you’re cheering for happens to win a game? What role did you play in that victory?
And yet, fans of opposing teams will mock each other, taunt each other, make every kind of condescending remark you can think of (this didn’t happen tonight, mind you; I’m more referring to general observations I’ve made in my lifetime). I just don’t get it. It seems even less sensible than the old “my dad could beat up your dad” arguments we all (?) had in grade school—and those didn’t make any sense, either.