From the Back Cover
“I’ve just finished reading the best computer book [Why Software Sucks...] since I last re-read one of mine and I wanted to pass along the good word. . . . Put this one on your must-have list if you have software, love software, hate programmers, or even ARE a programmer, because Mr. Platt (who teaches programming) has set out to puncture the bloated egos of all those who think that just because they can write a program, they can make it easy to use. . . . This book is funny, but it is also an important wake-up call for software companies that want to reduce the size of their customer support bills. If you were ever stuck for an answer to the question, ’Why do good programmers make such awful software?’ this book holds the answer.”
—John McCormick, Locksmith columnist, TechRepublic.com
“I must say first, I don’t get many computing manuscripts that make me laugh out loud. Between the laughs, Dave Platt delivers some very interesting insight and perspective, all in a lucid and engaging style. I don’t get much of that either!”
—Henry Leitner, assistant dean for information technology and senior lecturer on computer science, Harvard University
“A riotous book for all of us downtrodden computer users, written in language that we understand.”
—Stacy Baratelli, author’s barber
“David’s unique take on the problems that bedevil software creation made me think about the process in new ways. If you care about the quality of the software you create or use, read this book.”
—Dave Chappell, principal, Chappell & Associates
“I began to read it in my office but stopped before I reached the bottom of the first page. I couldn’t keep a grin off my face! I’ll enjoy it after I go back home and find a safe place to read.”
—Tsukasa Makino, IT manager
“David explains, in terms that my mother-in-law can understand, why the software we use today can be so frustrating, even dangerous at times, and gives us some real ideas on what we can do about it.”A Book for Anyone Who Uses a Computer Today...and Just Wants to Scream!
—Jim Brosseau, Clarrus Consulting Group, Inc.
Today’s software sucks. There’s no other good way to say it. It’s unsafe, allowing criminal programs to creep through the Internet wires into our very bedrooms. It’s unreliable, crashing when we need it most, wiping out hours or days of work with no way to get it back. And it’s hard to use, requiring large amounts of head-banging to figure out the simplest operations.
It’s no secret that software sucks. You know that from personal experience, whether you use computers for work or personal tasks. In this book, programming insider David Platt explains why that’s the case and, more importantly, why it doesn’t have to be that way. And he explains it in plain, jargon-free English that’s a joy to read, using real-world examples with which you’re already familiar. In the end, he suggests what you, as a typical user, without a technical background, can do about this sad state of our software—how you, as an informed consumer, don’t have to take the abuse that bad software dishes out.
As you might expect from the book’s title, Dave’s expose is laced with humor—sometimes outrageous, but always dead on. You’ll laugh out loud as you recall incidents with your own software that made you cry. You’ll slap your thigh with the same hand that so often pounded your computer desk and wished it was a bad programmer’s face. But Dave hasn’t written this book just for laughs. He’s written it to give long-overdue voice to your own discovery—that software does, indeed, suck, but it shouldn’t.
About the Author
David S. Platt runs Rolling Thunder Computing (www.rollthunder.com), an education and consulting practice. He has more than twenty years of experience as a programmer, teaches software development at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world, and is a popular speaker at conferences. He is the author of nine previous books—including Introducing Microsoft .NET, Third Edition, The Microsoft Platform Ahead, and Understanding COM+ (all Microsoft Press)—as well as many journal articles and newsletters. In 2002, Microsoft designated him a Software Legend. Dave lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.