Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why we are making software?

About six years ago, my company launched a video chat software which had excellent performance but was not so popular at the beginning. Just right after releasing the first version, I was visiting the users feedback pages every day and identifying what kind of problem my software had. Most of the feedbacks were dissatisfactions because most of users had never used video chatting software before and didn't know how to use their web cams and adjust their microphones. One day, I found an unusual title, "Thank you." I opened the post with curious and thrill. The author of the poster was a handicap in his eyes. His vision was very poor and should approach his head to the monitor within 2 or 3 inches space to read the text on the screen. According to the posting, he has a very young son who lives very far from him because of his work. He wanted to see his son but it was very difficult. When the video chat software was released, he decided to use it to see the face of his son. Even though he needed to stick his head into the monitor to see his son, he was very happy whenever he saw his son. So he decided to leave a message on the feedback board that he was using this software very usefully and if the video window is bigger, he will be happier because he can see the face of his son more clearly. While reading the post, I was very impressed and reconsidered the meaning of what I'm doing.

After then, I decided that I should put the full-screen video chat function into the program and suggested it to my UX and planning team. They agreed about the requirement and I volunteered to make the function. When the full screen function was released, I notified him about it and he sent me a thank you mail. 
It was one of my impressive things among my entire software development life.

We are developing softwares and it is sometimes very successful but sometimes it is not. But beyond the success of our projects, we should know that we are making software to help our neighbors. 

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