What is Used By Almost Everyone, But Built Entirely By Hand?

May 9th, 2012 / Shane Larrabee

I was reading some random posts the other day and I came across a post by Scott Porad titled ‘Why do web sites and software take so long to build? And why is it so hard?‘. An interesting point is made during a discussion with a friend, the subject of the post, and it is about the hand-made nature of software. What is used by almost everyone, but built entirely by hand? Software.

I have never thought about Web development in a comparative manner to the history of mass production, but this really does bring software development into perspective. It is developed by hand, there are no true standards (i.e. everyone does it just a little bit differently) and it is customized each and every time it is used. Yet despite the volume of use it is technically a hand made product. And though you can argue that software can be replicated by machines, in cases such as Websites, it is modified to each organization’s, developer’s, designer’s wants, needs, vision and ability.

At FatLab we see it all. From code that borders on the immaculate to absolute atrocities created by people who simply do not have the right to call themselves developers, yet do anyways. The challenging part with this is that despite what the code looks like, the client is looking at the front-end rarely caring the underlying code and how well it was written.