[CSS_ACM_General_List] Philosophical question about software engineering: are we failingto manage complexity?

Andrew Kwan acreoaeneas at gmail.com
Thu May 6 00:18:35 CDT 2010


Usability testing, interviews, observation, etc are all things we need to do
in order to find the needs and wants of a user or demographic.  There are
times when there are needs that aren't even obvious until you see someone
using the product/software.

(Just one benefit of IM 220.)

On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 10:25 PM, Nick Anderson
<mtgathering2000 at hotmail.com>wrote:

>  I would say a user's needs are the wants we can actually meet as software
> providers, but that would just be me being zen. Though, that's basically
> what it boils down to I guess.
>
> So, their wants are the things which are seemingly easy but that no one has
> provided because they're actually much more complicated. Their needs are the
> things that they expect from something based on previous experiences.
>
> But that's just my "wants"/"needs" theory.
>
> - Nick
>
> (P.S. Hotmail selectively replies to the sender or the list so there was a
> lost pair of responses which are below.)
>
> ------------------------------
> From: sean at seanneilan.com
> Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 22:13:18 -0500
> Subject: Re: [CSS_ACM_General_List] Philosophical question about software
> engineering: are we failingto manage complexity?
> To: mtgathering2000 at hotmail.com
>
> Interesting. Questions: how do you define needs versus wants? They're kind
> of the same to me nowadays.
>
> That makes sense though. These time requirements definitely do make for a
> lot of cheap fixes.
>
> On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 10:08 PM, Nick Anderson <
> mtgathering2000 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>  I'd definitely say the needs of users is becoming more complex a dangerous
> pace. Moreover, the wants of users is becoming more complex even faster.
>
> That's not to say that it's impossible to satisfy those needs/wants with
> comparatively simple methods. But it is nearly impossible to do so in the
> time-dependent environment we're going into. That's why google, who
> implements the 20% time works so well and they're thriving so thoroughly
> while business applications are thick with redundancy and
> retro-architectures.
>
> There, that's an answer, and one I like.
>
> - Nick
>
> > From: sean at seanneilan.com
> > Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 15:49:43 -0500
> > To: css_acm_general_list at mailman.depaul.edu
> > Subject: [CSS_ACM_General_List] Philosophical question about software
> engineering: are we failingto manage complexity?
>
> >
> > In general, software engineers are supposed to manage complexity. Yet,
> > every year it seems the complexity of computing in general grows. Are
> > we failing to manage complexity? Are the needs of users just becoming
> > more complex?
> >
> > What do you think my fellow technocrats?
> >
> > -Sean
> > sean at seanneilan.com
> > _______________________________________________
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>
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