- Joel Spolsky
I was really looking forward to reading this book. But I felt that it still left many of my questions unanswered. As a software developer myself I can see where the product that I work on for a living falls down in so many areas. I knew that before I read the book and can’t really say that I learnt anything more from it.
The book is quite old, in computer technology years, having being written in 2001 and could do with being revised. There is only one chapter on ‘Designing for the Web’ because back then there were hardly any web applications like there are today.
If you’re a developer then it is worth a read as Joel spent sometime working on Microshite’s® Excel project and points out how useless the briefcase and help search wizard are in Windows.
One chapter that I did like was “But… How Do It Know?” which describes the heuristic technology that came with Word 97. That’s when you’re typing in Word and it starts to auto-format and auto-complete everything. You think that you might try and live with it because trying to find the setting to switch it off is in Tools, or Options, on the eight tab, fourth button down and is labelled Other Settings. I didn’t know that there was a book written about it called Word 97 Annoyances by Woody Leonhard.
One puzzling thing that was mentioned - the Swedes apparently sort lists in an odd way. You would never find yourself in a Swedish telephone book… even if you lived there.