Things have been busy at my workplace so I have not had the time to do much messing around on the web but there have been a couple things that have caught my eye over the past few days. One of them was the My Dream App competition which seemed like the worst idea ever for any number of reasons. My objections or more like 'aspects that make me wince empathetically in anticipation of pain and suffering' mainly have to do with the idea of having someone perhaps on intellectual par with your average marketeer come up with the magical idea for a magical application and then paying a handful of developers to make this idea into real, working software. It sounds wonderful but so do Horatio Alger rags-to-riches stories until you consider the likelihood that the man had himself had some sexual interest in the boy heroes of his stories and then the shit just gets creepy.
Of course my summary of perceptions is clogged with bitterness and a little anemic on real solid criticism other than my usual mission in life further spreading the unconfirmed rumor that Horatio Alger was a child molester or at least pedophile. Lucky for me some of the sharper knives in the drawer immediately saw most of the potential problems with an arrangement like My Dream App and have written them down and expanded on them to the benefit of news skimmers with serious time deficits like myself. I didn't realize earlier that the developers saddled with the task of bringing half baked ideas to life in code pounded out by people hoping to garner some reputation for doing such. Jesus. What an awful fucking idea. I'm sort of glad that I missed that aspect of the process on the first go-round because it sounds like not only the aforementioned worst idea in the history of software development but a fabulous opportunity for those poor bastard developers to get a bad case of burnout trying to craft feasible code out of fucking pipe dreams. Perhaps they could add a crippling RSI or early bout with alcoholism clause to the contracts as well just to perfect the insanity. Oh, and there is the 'no money' thing. That definitely adds to the 'huh' factor of this project. Go read the post on the Red Sweater Blog. Really.
Another aspect of the idea that is tackled pretty agilely in the post is the relative worth of ideas versus concrete implementations that you can actually do something with. I agree that conceptualizations especially by those entirely unfamiliar with the process of writing something larger than hello world are pretty much worthless. I would guess that a large percentage of the jokes thrown around my workplace by the exhausted and frustrated in response to user stupidity and unwillingness to learn anything new (whew!) would likely be a more likely candidate for actual implementation than some cool sounding ideas tossed around by casual users. Casual users have difficulty simply using the features in existing applications much less those dreamed up by someone charged with the task of transmuting those half-assed wishes into cold hard code. I too wish these developers a lot of luck because they're going to need it.