The Golden Rules of Great Software

By Mark Orttung, Nexient CEO

Humans are tool-making creatures. Technology is what we’re supposed to be good at. So why is so much of the software we use every day so bad?

You know what I’m talking about: Help boxes that don’t help, buttons that don’t seem to do anything and features hidden in sub-menus three levels down.

You don’t have to be a coder to know when software is good or bad. You can feel it the same way you can feel the balance and heft of a well-made hammer or the flimsy construction of a cheap door handle.

Even among professional coders, the highest praise you can give software is that “it just works.” Developers know how much effort it takes to create the sensation that software is an extension of your mind, presenting everything as you need it, as soon as you want it. But they know something else that’s important: Making good software is hard, but it isn’t complicated. It boils down to a handful of golden rules. They can be memorized in minutes, but mastering them is something you can work on your entire career.

In this series, I’ll walk through five golden rules every business needs to emulate in order to avoid creating bad software.

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