Today, I was watching a new user of mine demo their LIMS and I recognized it. Yet, I had never seen it, before.
I realized that many of the customizations they had created were ones I had written for my other customers, as well. As the user demoed the software, I saw more and more functions that were similar to those I had written. By the end of the demo, I felt as if I’d reunited with a long-lost friend. This led me to wonder, yet again, if there aren’t features we should have as standard in our systems that aren’t currently provided, rather than programming them time and time, again.
Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy. Here are some reasons why we we’re doomed to writing the same features over and over (and over and over…):
1. Lack of resources: Software vendors only have so many resources. They are unlikely to be able to create every feature and fix every bug.
2. Lack of importance: While these features might be recreated by us many, many times, it doesn’t necessarily make the feature important to the software vendors. This could be because the users haven’t clearly identified the feature that they want. It could be because the feature isn’t as important as something that just sounds better in the software vendor’s marketing brochure.
3. Differences: When we get down into what same of these similiar-looking features do, it’s not unusual to find that they do entirely different things. Sometimes, they’re actually just too different to be handled by some standard feature that others might be using.
So, yes, we remained doomed to keep recreating these features. Doomed, I say, DOOMED!!!