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There is a science and art to great software development. The field draws committed individuals. Some are uniquely talented and capable while other much less so. Software developers are typically intense people that care a great deal about their craft. That intensity can sometimes be displayed in over statement.
With a nod to those I've heard these from over the better part of 30 years, here are a few of my favorite lies or "over statements" that they tell.....
1. I could do that in a weekend
The quick development time line assessment for a new feature, functionality or capability. And that is a weekend that has never happened for me. I have asked for it many times but the desired functionality has never, ever arrived on Monday morning. Or by the following Friday. I am not sure why the accomplishments of their peers are so undervalued by other developers.
2. It's completely modular
In the design phase, it's probably true. At the beginning, it is all Lego block interchangeability. After the second, tenth or hundredth line of code it is no longer true. And never will be true later. Nothing is as interchangeable as promised. Everything is as modular as a cord of wood. A cord of wood is kinda of modular, especially if you put enough effort into making the pieces fit together.
3. With the product debugged, we need to go back into the code and speed it up
Meaning it is time to install new bugs as we attempt to correct poor coding that while functional was slow. Good news is that it will be much faster. Bad news is that it will no longer be reliable. You, as the manager, have to decide whether you prefer reliable or fast. Both isn't on the menu.
4. I was here working until 4am
Which is true if you include "off and on" 10 minute coding periods , online game playing and pornography viewing in your definition of working. The truth is that the food, chair, bandwidth and sodas are better here than at the developer's home and after he was three hours into a game session and it was 11pm, he figured he would hang out and get credit for working late. Plus, the working late session provides air cover for righteous indignation and cranky misbehavior. And righteous indignation and crankiness are comfortable.
5. We need to tweak the UI (User Interface)
Meaning it looks worse than we think we can get away with and none of us really had the skills to deliver anything better prior to this. It is bad and will stay bad until it is taken away from the original developers. If they could have done a slick UI, it would already be there instead of the awful one in front of you.
6. Trust me, it will work for the demo
Just not for very long. Or at least, not for the entire demo. Hope as a strategy as it will be tested prior to the demo.
7. It is the server or bandwidth
"You see, if you weren't such a cheapskate," it implies that "my vision and superior performance would be realized and obvious. Now, my true genius is obscured by your cheap skate sensitivities. Away from me!!" You are the source of the problems with the code, not the author(s).
8. His or Their code is crap
This is said by developers of all other developers. There's is likely some truth to it. Then again, it is just different than the developer delivering the opinion would do it. And that makes it crap.
I must say I admire the creative act of software development and the skills of those capable of great work. Along the way, however, I have run into more than a few mis-leading statements about it from modest and great developers alike.