How To Suck At Programming- Put a mandatory reboot at the end of your install script


You have created the slickest software this side of the east coast! People will literally chew through the concrete enclosing the office that houses your cubicle just to get their hands on your latest release. You’ve managed to find a niche that nobody else had even considered. You will become an instant success. Now all that stands between you and the yacht you’re sure to be cruising is the loading of your software on an end user’s machine. You’ve got low level hooks into every facet of the host operating system. That’s what makes your software a killer. Explorer shell integration, low level kernel ties that catch signals on disk writes, the works. A reboot is necessary to activate all of the bells and whistles so at the conclusion of your install sequence you trigger not an optional, not even an ignorable, but a mandatory reboot enforced by a modal dialog box. No time to consult the user, you’ve gotta get your binaries out there so you can sip Pina Colada on your way to Cancoon. The user will understand right? After all everybody reboots all the time! Plus with ubiquity of the Windows operating system it’s almost an oddity to not hear individual computers constantly restarting and playing the Windows startup theme in a busy office.

Never mind the critical and possible unrecoverable work that may be in progress as your installer runs on the desktop of an unbeknownst user. Forget about adding a cancel button so that the save button on an Excel spreadsheet trapped behind your installer’s modality may be clicked. Give no warning about the soon to come power cycling because it’s O.K. In fact it’s so ok that ok is what you put on the only responsive screen widget at the tail end of your installer. The install has completed… square an ok button center of the screen. How about that conclusion message? Pick the best wording to enlighten your users, “You computer has been updated with my killer application which is way more important than the thousands of lives you were campaigning to save with your silly little editorial in the background. Don’t bother trying to drag this dialog out of the way as I have taken liberty to dominate your entire workstation with my insistent dialog. Click the only responsive rectangular button in the middle of the screen to trigger an immediate shutdown and restart rendering the thirty other open windows meaningless and obsolete. Thank you for installing my product and please take the time to fill out my survey which will automatically launch in your browser once your machine regains consciousness.”

So if you wanna appear as arrogant S.O.B. developer, totally screw up somebody’s day, change the tide of the upcoming election, and ultimately suck as a software engineer put a reboot at the end of your install script. The remainder of your installer’s good work will only last a minute but the loss of productivity and pain of unrecoverable work will last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s