Lekunutu la Indasteri ea Software

MorekisiIt's an exciting time to be in the software industry. With the dot com boom and bust, and now “web 2.0” and social networking in the mainstream, we're still in our infancy but growing up.

On a grade level, I'd say we're probably around the 9th grade. We're still uncomfortable in our skin, we get excited by the the software that looks a little ‘overdeveloped', and we're just starting to build friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Consumers are finally getting serious with our software. Product managers are finally getting some good taste – complimenting a great product with good design that's sales and marketing worthy.

That said, the fallacy of the software purchase still exists. When you buy a new car, you generally know that it's going to be comfortable, ride well, how it corners and how it accelerates just from the test drive. If you read about it in an auto magazine by a great journalist, you get a real feeling about how the car is going to feel before you ever get in it.

Software has test drives and reviews as well, but they never live up to our expectations, do they? Part of the problem is that, while cars go forward, backward and have doors and wheels, software doesn't follow the same rules… and nor do any two people use it alike. It isn't until we're mired in our day to day work that we figure out what's ‘missing' with the application. It's missed when it was designed. It's missed when it was developed. And worst, it's always missed in the sale.

This is because you and I don't buy software for how we're going to use it. Often times, we don't actually buy it at all – someone buys it for us. The software we use is often mandated due to a corporate relationship, discount, or the manner in which it interacts with our other systems. It amazes me how many times that companies have a robust purchasing process, certification requirements, service level agreements, security compliance, operating system compatibility… but no one actually sebelisa khanya kopo ho fihlela nako e telele kamora ho reka le ho kenya tšebetsong.

It's, perhaps, one of the reasons why pirating software is so rampant. I don't want to even count how many thousands of dollars of software I've purchased that I used and gave up on, and never used again.

Pono e tsoang ho Khampani ea Software

The view from the software company is quite different altogether! Though our applications usually fix a primary problem and that's why people pay for it… there are so many tertiary issues out there that we have to take into consideration when developing it.

  • E shebahala joang? - ho fapana le tumelo e atileng, software is a beauty contest. I can point to dozens of applications that should ‘own' the market but don't even make the cut because they lack the aesthetics that grab the headlines.
  • E rekisa joang? - ka linako tse ling likarolo lia rekisoa, empa ha li hlile ha li na thuso. Indastering ea lengolo-tsoibila, ho bile le khatello e kholo ka nakoana moo bakeng sa RSS. Everyone was asking for it but only a couple Email Service Providers had it. The funny thing is, a year later, and it's still not adopted in the mainstream by email marketers. It's one of those features that are marketable, but not really useful (yet).
  • E sireletsehile hakae? – this is one of those ‘small' items that are overlooked but can always sink a deal. As software providers, we should always strive for security and have it backed up through independent audits. Not doing so is irresponsible.
  • E tsitsitse hakae? – surprisingly, stability is not something that's purchased – but it will make your life miserable if it's an issue. Stability is key to an application's reputation and profitability. The last thing you want to do is hire people to overcome stability issues. Stability is also a key strategy that should be at the foundation of every application. If you don't have a stable foundation, you're building a home that will one day crumble and fall.
  • E lokisa bothata bofe? - ke ka hona o hlokang software le hore na e tla thusa khoebo ea hau kapa che. Ho utloisisa bothata le ho nts'etsapele tharollo ke hore hobaneng re ea mosebetsing letsatsi le leng le le leng.

The secret of the software industry is that we DO NOT sell, buy, build, market and use software well. We have a long way to go before we graduate someday and do it all consistently. To last in this industry, companies often have to develop features and security to sell, but sacrifice usability and stability. It's a dangerous game. I look forward to the next decade and hope that we've matured enough to gain the right balance.

3 Comments

  1. 1

    E 'ngoe ea lipotso tse thata ka ho fetisisa tseo nkileng ka li araba ke hore, "Haeba u e bitsa software ea boenjiniere, hobaneng u sa khone ho ba le sephetho se ikemiselitseng merero ea hau."

    Karabo ea ka e ts'oana le seo u buang ka sona mona. Ena ke indasteri e ncha. Ho re nkile lilemo tse likete ho khutlela moo Baroma ba neng ba fihletse ka boenjineri. E 'ngoe ea linako tseo ke li ratang haholo Italy e ne e le ho etela Pantheon e Roma le ho bona lesoba leo ho thoeng Brunelleschi o ile a lema sekoti ho bona hore na Baroma ba thehile sebaka se seholo hakae (joalo ka ha a ne a leka ho tseba hore na a ka qeta Duomo joang Florence ).

    Re khalemelo e nyane mme ho tla nka nako pele re hlahisa software ea boleng bo holimo ka mokhoa o lumellanang. Ke ka lebaka leo bahlahisi ba ntseng ba talingoa e le mefuta ea boloi. Re hloka ho laola ka hohle kamoo re ka khonang (ho kenyelletsa ho kenella, ho lumella barekisi ho khanna meralo ea software, tsamaiso e mpe), empa re ke ke ra sisinya taba ea hore software e 'ngoe e na le eona' me e meng ha e eo. Ho fihlela ka nako eo, ena ke nako ea khauta e potlakileng!

  2. 2

    Khopolo e tsoetseng pele haholo ke 'nete ho Web 2.0 Ho bonahala lik'hamphani tse ngata li ntse li etsoa ho pota sehlahisoa se le seng seo u neng u ke ke ua nahana hore se ka khona ho ts'ehetsa k'hamphani eohle… ka nako eo, e ka fumaneha (e leng ntle bakeng sa k'hamphani) kapa eona fizzles ka mor'a ho amoheloa hanyane.

  3. 3

    Ke lumellana ka botlalo le mohopolo oa hore indasteri ea software ha e so ntlafatse ka botlalo ho fihlela boemong boo e lokelang ho ba ho bona pele e ka laola hore software e ajoe ho moreki. Ke bolela hore e nepahetse ka botlalo ha o re software e sebelisoa ka tsela e fapaneng le moreki e mong le e mong ka hona ha e khotsofatse motho e mong le e mong. Mohopolo oa software e pirated o hlaha ka lebaka la ho se khotsofale ha moreki hobane u nepile hore u lefa chelete e ngata bakeng sa software 'me ua e sebelisa ebe ua e tela ebe ha u sa e sebelisa hape' me ke nahana hore mohopolo ona ha o tšoanelehe ha u bua ka ho sebelisa chelete hodima ntho e sa tlo nka nako e telele. Kahoo qetellong mohopolo ona ke oa nnete ho fihlela re ka lula re tsitsitse ho reka, ho aha, ho bapatsa le ho sebelisa software eo re sa khoneng ho emisa mehopolo ena e fosahetseng ho hlaha.

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