Developers. Strange Tribe.
Met one the week before last. Darkened room, papers strewn all around.
Target fixation or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I know not which, but he
couldn’t put the keyboard down for more than a few seconds before The
Habit made his fingers make typing motions and the arms reached almost
independently for his prime means of communication. In point of fact, every
question I asked had him reaching for the keyboard, as if he preferred
replying virtually to merely mumbling a simple “yes” or “no”.
Strange thing was, his keyboard persona bore no relation to his physical
presence in the room. Typing, the thoughts flowed through his arms to his
hands. Fingers fairly flew across the backlit input device. Strong, self-
confident opinions and statements appeared on screen in a constant stream,
erudite and self-confident…
…But ask another question verbally, and the stupefied rabbit-in-the-
headlight returned. It was so difficult having a conversation, in the end I
went home and emailed instead. Ah! Much better!
Moral: Don’t meet your heroes, generally they smell of wee and make no
sense when conversing. None. Whatsoever.
Now perhaps at this point I should mention that this particular developer
has nothing to do with flight simulation or any other aspect of our hobby. I
met him in relation to my real life and my business activities, not my virtual
life and my hobby. Just as well really, although I suspect at least one or two
who, reading this thought they knew exactly which FS/X-Plane Scenery/
Aircraft developer I was referring to… strange tribe, y’see?
So why do I make this point, here?
Well normally I like to use this column to take a pop at the more
Neanderthal members of our congregation, the eedjit simmers for whom
stirring a coffee would be a struggle if they were allowed spoons. But this
encounter reminded me that there are some real `types` on the developer
side too. Of this World – but not really on this Planet. So maybe the problem
isn’t you when you make a complaint and get attacked mercilessly. Or me,
when I ask a straight question and get the most obtuse answer since a
politician was asked for a `short, straight` reply. Maybe it’s `us`…because
instead of telling these upstarts to shut up and answer the bloody question
else we’ll see them in court, we have to pretend we understand and tolerate
the supercilious caterwauling pretending to be `support`.
These people have our money, and if they have it under false pretenses
(whether it be product or support deficiency) then if you don’t like what you
hear, kick off. NOT in the forum they call `home` where you can be sure
a sycophancy level resides so strong the oiliness is a hazard to marine life,
instead moan like buggery to everyone else.
I cannot `get` for the life of me, how we got to the stage where half-
assed, half-completed beta projects got foisted on the paying public only
for excuses to get trotted out when inadequacies in the part-release get
highlighted without censure.
Or how we continue to push money at a developer who skips from project to
project, never actually finishing one to the satisfaction of anyone except a
carefully-placed acolyte who’s transparently obvious role is to get in on any
sticky topic, make sure it gets locked, closed, deleted or just left looking
ridiculous before moving on to the next, and the next, and the next.
Contrast this with the helpful considered attitude of others, who are
quite happy to disagree with you if you’re wrong, but on the other hand are
perfectly conciliatory when weakness or fault is exposed, then do something
By now, 6 years in to FSX I ‘d have expected we’d have successfully
weeded-out the verminous element in our product-deliverers, given a
farewell metaphorical kicking to sub-par and incompetent producers and
donated several cans of `Whup Ass` to the deadwood dead-loss developer.
Kicking the weakest is the way nature works. But as we edge ever-closer to
`reality`in the sim world, simming seems to be the one industry that wants
to defy nature, not meld with it. A contradiction, no? And confirmation the
problem, unfortunately, is us.
As for `my` developer. He was invited to deliver a synopsis of the software
gain as sales-oriented features & benefits, as befitting a commercial
supplier. The meandering diatribe that challenged my `right` to even ask for
something so unimportant to him had only a single outcome.
Just because they’re a developer, doesn’t mean they’re not a twat.
Happy Desktop Flying!
Simon Evans (`Irev`)
June 22nd, 2012