July 25, 2012

Crafted Software

But She’s A Girl explores Crafted Software, with an emphasis on the craft qualities of Vim and Tinderbox.

Mark argues that software engineers who care about crafting good tools should build software to assist people in doing the hard things in life (like making sense of information rather than just collecting it, planning, and thinking); that is reliable enough to allow the user to trust it; and that is occasionally capable of inspiring “delight”. An important part of this (as the quote above states) is not trying to solve everyone’s problem or to be all things to all people. In later essays in the series he suggests that users should expect to have to learn, and that software should “embrace personality and style”. This describes precisely the qualities I value in the software that I love the most.