Tag Archives: anti-pattern

Losing product vision

Developers, and I am no exception, usually complain that product management people lose product vision. They are often tempted to fill the product with a bunch of “useless” features which dilute the real purpose of the product, the main job of it. And since one of the most unpleasant thing of a developer is not understanding the reason why a feature should be added, this often causes endless arguments and create a real barrier between us and them.

Now let me tell you a story that happened yesterday.

A teammate and I were were talking about making coffee. As both him and I own a single serving coffee maker at home, we always experience huge difficulties when we have to make coffee with the regular coffeemaker that we share at work. When I first had to use the machine three weeks ago, I had not touched a regular coffeemaker in the past four years. I didn’t know the proportions of coffee and water to put in the machine and the result was…spectacular.

During our conversation we came to think about a product. We had a clear problem to solve : measuring the volume of coffee to put in the coffeemaker. Instead of using a traditional measuring spoon, which would only partially solve our problem (we would still have to know how many spoonfuls to use), we quickly designed a kind of 10-cups measuring bowl :

10-cups measuring bowl

We had a product vision, a problem to solve, a job-to-be-done, or whatever you call it…and then the conversation continued. Within about 2 minutes our simple, easy-to-use, problem-solving, user-focused product was looking like this :

coffeemeasuringrobot

The new product was much more complete and full of really cool features : voice command interface, measures both water and coffee, can deal with more of less strong coffee, can make coffee for any number of cups, changes used coffee filters, washes the coffee pot, etc. But what was the problem we were trying to solve yet? Clearly we had lost our product vision.

Quickly designing a product is easy. Making it evolve in a consistent and coherent way is much harder, and it’s everyone’s job in the team to try and stay focused on the main problems the product is meant to solve. Because losing this focus is also very easy, we must work together on the product, not against each other like we often do.

SOLID – Introduction

On peut constater que la plupart des développeurs qui utilisent quotidiennement la programmation orientée objet connaissent généralement non seulement ses grands principes (interfaces, classes, héritage, polymorphisme, etc.) mais aussi une ribambelle de design patterns qu’ils essaient de placer un peu partout, sans forcément en connaître les subtilités. Continue reading

smell of if

code smell is a hint, a clue which indicates that a potential problem is hidden somewhere in the code. Some of them are well-known by every developer, like too long identifiers, too short identifiers, duplicated code, too many parameters, dead code, etc.

Today, I’m going to tell you about a particular code smell that I recently had to fight against. Failing to find an official term, I will simply call it the if-else tree. Continue reading