As I weekly peruse cyberspace for pertinent articles to keep a pulse on the waste industry, it is rare to find an article that succinctly, and blatantly I must add, communicates the state of software development. Too often, one has to labor through pages and pages of pontifications, quotations and disclaimers to get any type of practical content. Before I become guilty of that sin, allow me to get to the point of this morning’s blog.
The article? “A Peek Inside Microsoft’s New ‘Design-First’ Development Strategy”(http://gigaom.com/2013/10/13/a-peek-inside-microsofts-new-design-first-development-strategy/#!) Bottom Line? Microsoft, the monolithic software development engine, has decided to alter their approach to development. For years they created software based on features they thought would sell..regardless of what the users would actually use. It would take years to get a new version, but when the release debut arrived, you could expect it to be packed full of neat, mostly unusable, features. Now, in their new development environment, they send a group of developers into a room for an indeterminable amount of time to explore ways to make their software interface more simple and addictive. Yes, I said addictive.
As a point of disclaimer, I am not a developer. However, I am a super-user and, as such, have definite opinions as to how software can optimally work. My question is rather simple: “Why didn’t Microsoft bring in a handful of users to evaluate the interface and functionality?” Is not Microsoft making the same mistake by allowing their developers to make interface decisions? Addictive functionality does not equate to necessary and optimal functionality (which, if I am not wrong, we all NEED!).
It is refreshing when I finally work with software that seems to be intuitive, works like I think, and opens up opportunities to do things more efficiently. I believe Microsoft has made a bold stride in their new development strategy but don’t think they’ve gone far enough. When I came to Alpine Technology Corporation, the ownership and developers were passionate about many things having to do with software. However, without exception their greatest opinions evolved around proactively making route management software that incorporated the opinions of our end users. Every conversation, every feature request, every bug fix has to move the software in a direction where users are more comfortable with the software. Alpine even provides forums where users from the waste industry are given a voice in the development schedule and project prioritization.
Alpine Technology Corporation has been servicing the Waste Industry for over 35 years with powerful and comprehensive solutions for both their office and their trucks. Their premier applications, AlpineLive, Visual RAMS Pro and Visual On-Route have saved companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can purchase Alpine’s software or allow them to host it in their secure hosting facility in Denver, Colorado. Call (888) 852-7267 or email email@example.com with questions.
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