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JOEL SPOLSKY

 
"Writing specs is like flossing: everybody agrees that it's a good thing, but nobody does it."
- Joel Spolsky
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"A spec is a document that you want people to read. In that way, it is no different than an essay in The New Yorker or a college paper. Have you ever heard of a professor passing out templates for students to write their college papers? Have you ever read two good essays that could be fit into a template? Just drop the idea."
- Joel Spolsky
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"By the way, for those of you who follow the arcane but politically-charged world of blog syndication feed formats, you can see the same thing happening over there. RSS became fragmented with several different versions, inaccurate specs and lots of political fighting, and the attempt to clean everything up by creating yet another format called Atom has resulted in several different versions of RSS plus one version of Atom, inaccurate specs and lots of political fighting. When you try to unify two opposing forces by creating a third alternative, you just end up with three opposing forces. You haven't unified anything and you haven't really fixed anything."
- Joel Spolsky
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"One day, you'll turn off the feature that emails you every time someone buys your software. That's a huge milestone."
- Joel Spolsky
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"The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it’s not whether they prefer Python or Java. It’s whether they can communicate their ideas. By persuading other people, they get leverage. By writing clear comments and technical specs, they let other programmers understand their code, which means other programmers can use and work with their code instead of rewriting it. Absent this, their code is worthless. By writing clear technical documentation for end users, they allow people to figure out what their code is supposed to do, which is the only way those users can see the value in their code. There’s a lot of wonderful, useful code buried on sourceforge somewhere that nobody uses because it was created by programmers who don’t write very well (or don’t write at all), and so nobody knows what they’ve done and their brilliant code languishes.

I won’t hire a programmer unless they can write, and write well, in English. If you can write, wherever you get hired, you’ll soon find that you’re getting asked to write the specifications and that means you’re already leveraging your influence and getting noticed by management."

- Joel Spolsky

"Duct tape programmers don’t give a shit what you think about them. They stick to simple basic and easy to use tools and use the extra brainpower that these tools leave them to write more useful features for their customers."
- Joel Spolsky - http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/09/23.html
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"Instead of charging the going rate of $250, we decided to charge $350. Why not? I figured we could establish ourselves as having the premium product simply by charging a premium. In the absence of additional information, consumers often use prices to judge products."
- Joel Spolsky
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"That’s another flaw with performance-based rewards: They are easy for one of your competitors to top."
- Joel Spolsky
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"Usability is not everything.
If usability engineers designed a nightclub, it would be clean, quiet, brightly lit, with lots of places to sit down, plenty of bartenders, menus written in 18-point sans-serif, and easy-to-find bathrooms.
But nobody would be there. They would all be down the street at Coyote Ugly pouring beer on each other."

- Joel Spolsky
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Tags: 

"Usability is not everything.
If usability engineers designed a nightclub, it would be clean, quiet, brightly lit, with lots of places to sit down, plenty of bartenders, menus written in 18-point sans-serif, and easy-to-find bathrooms.
But nobody would be there. They would all be down the street at Coyote Ugly pouring beer on each other."

- Joel Spolsky
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