Developers: request for complaints

by havoc

I’m looking for a new personal weekend project that would be useful to others. Maybe there’s a useful book or useful piece of software I could create for fellow developers, tech leads, project managers, etc. Doesn’t have to be anything related to any of my current or past work (Linux, C, GTK+, Scala, etc.), but it could be.

Here’s how you can help: complain in the comments (or in private email or on Twitter), about an aggravation, anxiety, ignorance, or unsolved problem that you encounter as part of your work. Where are you wasting time or being kept up nights?

“+1” comments are awesome because if something annoys a bunch of people that makes it more worthwhile to try to solve.

This is once-in-a-lifetime: I’m going to appreciate hearing you complain, and also appreciate “+1” comments! Nobody else is going to do that for you.

I’m not asking for project ideas directly (though if you have them great), I’m just looking for crap you put up with that you wish someone would do something about, problems you had that you couldn’t find a solution to, topics you wanted to learn about that appeared to be undocumented, whatever.

No need to be original; obvious problems are great, as long as it’s still an unsolved problem for you, I don’t care whether it’s obvious, or how many people have already tried to solve it.

No need to have a solution, some of the most important problems are hard to solve, I’m just wondering what’s at the top of your list of sure wish someone would figure out this problem.

Some examples to get you started, if these resonate you could “+1”, but just as good is to come up with more:

  • Wish you knew more about <some topic>? Tell me which and maybe I could research it for everyone and report back.
  • Anything about your bug tracking, sprint planning, etc. that is tedious, ineffective, or broken?
  • Baffled by how to handle trademarks, copyrights, and patents in your projects?
  • Unhappy with how your team communicates?
  • Are there any software tools you’ve looked for only to say “all the choices suck”?
  • Wish you could write your own window manager, if only you had esoteric and rapidly-obsoleting X11 skills? (j/k … right?)

I don’t promise to solve everyone’s problems, but maybe I can solve one real-world actual problem and that would be cool.

Who knows — if we gather enough data someone other than me might run with some of these problems too. Or your fellow commenters might point you to a good existing solution. So let us know what you’re having trouble with.


My Twitter account is @havocp.
Interested in becoming a better software developer? Sign up for my email list and I'll let you know when I write something new.