The Fallacy of the Training Issue

Or, as Joe Flood reiterates, “The Software Is Wrong, Not The People“:

The media library in WordPress was discussed. Mullenweg admitted that it is confusing and gets difficult to manage once you have lots of images in the library. A man in the audience brought up a technical issue he had with the library. Mullenweg explained that you could actually do what the man wanted to in WordPress but stated:

The software is wrong, not the people.

This is a revolutionary statement. Mullenweg could have just told the man that “you’re doing it wrong” before telling him the “right” way to work with WordPress. Instead, the fact that users had problems with the media library told him that the software needed to be improved.

I’ve seen too many defects called “training issues,” wherein a non-existent trainer was projected to teach users the convoluted workarounds necessary to avoid bug-infested dark corners of the application. But the motto above, the software is wrong, not the people, nails it, too.

If professionals in the field are having trouble with your software, it’s not those professionals who need to change. It’s the “professionals” in the software industry–and often rank amateurs in the real-world field for which their software is intended–who need to improve.

2 Responses to “The Fallacy of the Training Issue”

  1. dustbury.com » It’s not you, it really does suck Says:

    […] And as The Director points out: I’ve seen too many defects called “training issues,” wherein a non-existent trainer was projected to teach users the convoluted workarounds necessary to avoid bug-infested dark corners of the application. But the motto above, the software is wrong, not the people, nails it, too. […]

  2. ElizaF Says:

    Thanks for this post, it inspired me to write one on pointing out usability issues with software (and the best place in the project to do it)

    The point being it will reduce some of these “it’s a training issue” status that PMs try to inflict on testers


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