A site devoted to discussing techniques that promote quality and ethical practices in software development.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What do you call an MP3 player not supporting MP3?

Well, I honestly don't know what do you call it but I saw them today.

I wandered into this electrical shop in the middle of the CBD and was browsing items in the cabinet for MP3 players. I noticed in front of each player, there was a cardboard listing the make, model etc. Prominently included were features like size, with FM Tuner etc. These features were contained in a grid together with a check or cross indicating if that feature was supported or not. Of course I based that assumption on my experience with Windows GUI programming.

But for a number of Sony MP3 Walkman, I noticed something amiss. Every model had a cross against features of MP3 and WMA format. So what do you call them?

Since the salesman asked me if he could be of any assistance to me, I asked them why were those MP3 players not supporting MP3 or WMA format. He looked stunned and then quickly told me that the person who set these card up made a mistake and that I should not believed in them.

This is not good enough and this highlights a very poor work ethics.

If someone discovers that is wrong, shouldn't he/she take on the initiative to change it or bombard the management with request to correct them?

How hard is to take a marker and change a cross to a tick! It is not exactly a rocket science. The most difficult ingredient is attitude!

These days, I have met numerous developers with similar attitude. Wanting to complete a task without spending the bare minimum amount to learn the technique or principle behind a technology. All one cares is to press a few key strokes or mouse clicks and something coming out the other side. In numerous cases, they grumbled having to read another book when I recommended them to as a way of improving their skill set.

It did not crash and that is their yardstick for job well done!

If problem occurs, more of this mouse clicks and key strokes or even Google it for something remotely like the solution (usually did not bother to study it carefully) until it does not crash. If they have discovered a chant that would do the job, they would have do the chant and dance too I am sure.

This is a sad but very true situation in many development shops.

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