Outside reading: Enterprise versus consumer software

kids reading outside

Cote’ recently posted a good comparison of the features of Enterprise Software versus Consumer Software.  Although we may not agree with all the items in his lists (consumer software can have a login, and very often does have upgrade paths), we do appreciate the general classification.  And we really like his insight:

the reality is that there is enterprise software and it does have meaning to people. Granted, it has meaning in the same way that the phrase “being American” has meaning: it’s not clear and concise, and the “definition” definitely isn’t the same across different groups

Well said.  There’s always a challenge in using symbolic terms – even if they start out with crisp definitions, some terms develop multiple meanings.

This is always a challenge when eliciting requirements too – in an interview with a user, “reliable” and “fast” can be completely ambiguous terms, because they mean different things to different people.   This is why active listening is such a critical skill – it is the best (only?) way to identify when the same words mean different things to different people.

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