Using Bad Software

There is nothing worse than struggling with poorly designed software.  Well, OK, lot’s of things are worse, but still it sucks.  It makes you feel helpless, angry, frustrated, stupid and unproductive.  I feel this way when I use JIRA.  It’s so complicated.  Configuration is byzantine.  Links don’t look like links.  Plugins don’t work.  It’s not SaaS so things become outdated.  In general, I hate it.

If only there was a better tool, but I have tried a ton of them and they all stink.  Nothing works right and elegant.  It’s a world full of garbage and you get to choose which garbage you want.  It’s like voting for president.  They are all clowns.

It is the designer’s responsibility to make sure the software doesn’t suck.  It’s hard work and no one succeeds all the time.  However, one must try, and try hard, every day to make a difference.  Software needs to be ripped apart and rebuilt periodically.  Executives don’t want to hear this, but it is true.  Fight the power!

3 replies on “Using Bad Software”

Welcome to the club.
My pet pieve with Jira: When you click a link in one of the e-mails and the session has times out, it gets you to a screen that tells you the session has expired and it takes another screen to present actually a login form (filled in with the credentials, thanks to firefox) and another click to get you to the ticket’s screen.
In case you had a search query open, it does the same two screen dance, only to get you to a screen that is empty and has lost your query.

But I assure you Jira is happy land. Try Atlassian’s sister product Confluence (an enterprise Wiki) and realize that a Corporate Wiki has no Wiki edit mode (all Wysiwyg). Hah?

Or try to index both with a corporate search engine! You can’t easily because they are walled behind non standard authentication schemes.

But then why does a modern Issue Tracking system for software not start with a button in every single screen? I saw some Google properties where you can issue a ticket and it takes a screenshot of the current page, that is some step forward!

Never used Jira. Tried using a bunch of others, thought. I even hacked Mantis to match my preference and to integrate it with our SVN repository. No, never liked one of them. The worse of it all? ClearCase and ClearQuest, the infamous Rational suite. Using it makes my teeth hurt.

Nowadays, for my small startup, I use Fogbugz + Kiln. Works like a charm. I’ll have to pay once I hire more people, but pricing is reasonable.

I love jira! I tried several, but Jira’s the best.
Sure the configuration is hard at the beginning, but once you get used to it, it is awesome! You really have a great control on a lot of things.
About the “out of date”, I think starting 4.3, the update is a simple process (never tried, still stuck at 4.1 at work, except for another instance on 4.4).
Do you use GreenHopper’s plugin? I couldn’t live without!

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