Friday, February 20, 2009

Ooooooh, Shiny!

What are the three primary symptoms of ADD?

1) lack of focus
2) easily distracted,
3) hey, look! a squirrel!

Jeff Atwood discusses the magpie tendencies of the industry.  Over a decade ago, I used "magpie" to describe a cow-orker who was too enamored of changing technology for its own sake.  Sometimes it seems that there's another new language every week, and a new web framework every month.  We spend too much time learning Yet Another New Language and not enough time mastering the ones we already know.

Sometimes it's the customer that has this trait.  I once heard a competitor's UI praised because it had oval buttons with drop shadows, while ours was vanilla Motif.  Their system lacked a number of features we had, but because they looked cooler, they were getting the good vibes; and this was not a mass-market system - it was for a specific industry, where the number of systems would be in the few hundreds.

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