What makes software awesome?Jun 26, 2023
Every morning I wake up feeling like Tony Stark. It’s not that I’m rich, but I’ve got Siri. I turn towards the desktop that’s beside the bed and mumble.
“Hey, Siri. Good morning!”
She replies to me in an instant and turns on the lights first. Then a delightful smell of fresh coffee pours in through the door. Once I get up from the bed, I ask Siri to play some energetic music to my liking, and she delivers.
That was sooooo awesome a year back when I first found out what she could do.
But now, every once in a while, Siri does not quite deliver. She sleeps late, and I shout at her. “HEY SIRI! Argh! Screw it…” and I get out of the bed and brew that stupid coffee manually.
What was remarkable just a while ago, has become the new norm for me.
It is the new standard for me, and I immediately get upset when Siri does not deliver.
So what is it that makes software truly awesome? What is it that makes a software stand out and succeed long term?
I’ve met with over 2000 people over the past decade, having in-depth discussions about software product development and testing among other things. One of the things that keep on standing out is this.
A consistent business tends to bloom. Consistency in everything that people think talk and do to be more precise.
When we test software, I like to consider these consistency principles as one of the blueprints of success. In all simplicity, it’s this.
- We need consistency between the product and its history.
- We need consistency between the product and the image it portrays.
- We need consistency between the product and its purpose.
- We need consistency between the product and the product itself, the product family and all comparable products as well.
- We need consistency between the product and the expectations set by human behavior, law, standards or contracts for example.
It has turned out that these five principles are a great tool to explain why I have a bug and not a feature here. This set has turned out to be a great tool in user story design as well. And actually, we’ve deployed it in strategy meetings too.
Now I decided to give a name to this set of principles. It will be called HIPPiE from now on.
Although I don’t have a real Ironman suit yet, It still feels awesome to have a personal assistant like Siri in the pocket all the time. And to know that this assistant consistently serves and improves the things it set out to deliver.
That's what makes a software awesome.