The Inmates are Running the Asylum

Tags: book-review technical-book

Great book, especially the first part which told how things are really in tech industry. It’s surprising that there has not been much of a change with respect to project planning, execution and deliverables.* The majority of time a tech job indeed looks like what’s described in the book, with planning coming after the execution, and an overall lack of design which hampers the end product. The way developers feel (and I mean it in the worst way possible) is also a reality, and though I’m not proud to say that I feel the same way a lot of time as well.

But this book presents a lot of ideas with respect to having better design decisions, most importantly having a bit of empathy with the end users. The bits about Dancing Bear and the division of users into Apologists and Survivors kind of opened my eyes. It’s like the reality is right in front of us, but invisible.

The bits about personas and general design patterns for interaction designs were a bit dry and I flipped through a lot of these pieces. A must read for every software designer.

  • (Things did not change in the previous decade since Wirth wrote “A Plea for Lean Software” in 1995, so it’s hardly a surprise).