I ran across this article by Mike Gold the other day that asks the rhetorical question “where did all the designers go!”. He raises some good points about our profession (most of which I happen to agree with). This is an excerpt from the opening paragraph:
As a consultant, you often find yourself looking at other people's code. That is because you are often asked to finish an existing product, or to make an existing product work correctly. One of the most frustrating aspects of inheriting preexisting code is that invariably the code was written with only rudimentary consideration of the design process. "How can that be?", you wonder. "I thought all software programmers are designers by nature." If you believe this, you've swallowed the biggest myth of all time. Software developers are rarely designers. In fact, I have come across so few real software designers over the years that I ask myself, who is even creating the software products for our industry? What has caused this dearth of design talent in the industry?
The sad reality and underlying theme in all of the author’s reasoning is mediocrity of expectations. It never ceases to amaze me the garbage clients are willing to put up with and pay for, without complaint out of some obligatory respect to the developers. That is one of the reasons our industry is so rife with amateurs and hobbyists – the great yawning chasm of accountability. It is our responsibility to demand better from ourselves and our colleagues. I think it is time for those of us who see this as an offense to our profession to rise up and go Full Metal Jacket on the Private Pyle developers of this world.