This is probably a bit off-topic but I've been tilting at this windmill for years.Timon wrote:Not true anymore. The gaming industry is filled with counter-examples, even from AAA studios
I'll have to defer to your expertise on this in regards to the gaming industry. I think different industries, and the differences in the size of a company, and sometimes even where they are in the development and release cycle can make a difference. I imagine though that much of the reason for a software company to release bad code comes down to money.
I've worked mostly in the healthcare industry where, over the past 20 years, there have been alot of software decelopment startups. Some successful and alot that failed. I"ve seen software companies that have rushed development and pushed partially tested buggy products out the door for decades. Sometimes it's because they are bullied into it by a customer. Sometimes it's because there's just too much money on the table for the software company to say no to. But, the one's that send out bad code and then can't support it and fix it quickly can gain a reputation of doing poor quality work fast especially in industries where businesses talk to each other. Even if they are able to stick it out word of mouth makes it hard for them to gain new business.
I'm on the opposite side of where you are. I've spent the last 10 years negotiating software contracts to purchase off the shelf as well as custom applications for businesses from small startup developers to companies like IBM, Microsoft, etc. One of the most difficult areas in a contract to negotiate was support because, for any size company, it's expensive to hire, train, and retain good support staff. But mostly, it's expensive which is why companies wanted to control costs and the best way to do that was limit customization of their software and test their software before releasing it.
If a software development company is a bit more mature and, dare I say it, ethical (is that word still around or is it obsolete?), they have become more cautious. Because of the costs involved in support as well as the cost to a software companies reputation (and I'm excluding Microsoft and the other multi-billion dollar giants who don't seem to honestly be concerned about their reputations ever being damaged) the more stable the company the less chance there is of them being bullied or coerced into sending out bad code, either by customers or internal executives. Also, if there's a profit to be made most intelligent business people will do the right thing. But, you're right, there will always be software companies that will push bad product out the door in order to make money.
But sometimes the customer is their own worst enemy. I came off a consulting job about a year ago where IT and a project management group and one business department needed to meet some project deadlines and agreed to purchase a sight unseen, untested, custom software package that was going to automate some parts of a very expensive off-the-shelf package that was being purchased from the same reseller. A year later it still hasn't been completed. The multi-million dollar project they were trying to get done in a hurry ground to a halt over some $70,000 vaporware. Sometimes customers who don't understand, or care about, software development cycles and testing (and there are an amazingly high number working in IT sad to say) can be their own worst enemy. Those are usually the one's who are first to criticize everyone else when they push to get the product and it doesn't work.
Of course, if the software is buggy, crashes, or features don't work as expected, it's the end user that has to deal with it. Like any other end-user I get frustrated and annoyed when something that I think should be a simple fix or change never gets done. I use a newsreader and have had three outstanding issues with the software for almost 3 years. The main function of the program works, but there are a bunch of bugs the programmer can't seem to focus on... for almost 3 years. So, for what it's worth, I feel your pain.
End-users are end-users and we tend to want what we want when we want it, or at least by yesterday. That's true if we're buying a $1,000,000 software package for the enterprise or a $0.99 app for our smartphone.
Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now and going back to work on an AutoIt script that will do at least part of what the other program should be doing....