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My love / hate relationship with customer demos

I love customer demos. I love seeing the customer realise that what I've written is going to make his life easier, or save him some time, or give him more control, or just be more useful. I love getting suggestions for making things better, and hearing about how the customer's business works, and being able to visualise a person actually using my GUI whilst I'm writing it.

I hate customer demos. I hate how long it takes to set up a machine to work correctly. I hate having to stop developing the product during that time, knowing that there's a milestone deadline brewing. I hate having to spend time quickly hacking together a feature just to demo, with made up test data, that doesn't do anything yet, but still must be shown.

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11 May 2006