The Trouble With Software (and what to do about it)


Braille on Parking Garage Elevators

Posted in General Overview,Programming by Ernie Schell on August 30, 2011

I recently thought that having braille floor numbers on parking garage elevators made no sense. Why would anyone who can’t read the elevator buttons want to drive a car unaided? And if they are accompanied, then why have the braille markings? Of course, why not? And why discriminate? But my first thought was that it made no sense. If I were to transfer this thought to programming, I would not allow for a set of functions because to me, the programmer, they made no sense. On further reflection, though, I realized that a blind person in a parking garage could easily wish to go back for a forgotten item or to visit the restroom, etc. — any number of reasons having nothing to do with driving — that would require them to determine which button is which on their own. It struck me as an excellent lesson in the perils and pitfalls of systems development.

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