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THE BEST SOFTWARE WRITING I by Joel Spolsky

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Gregor HohpeSTARBUCKS DOES NOT USETWO-PHASE COMMIT1

Many years ago, I was working at an ISP that was rolling out a new DSL service. Of course, they could not possibly have actually provided the DSL service themselves. That would have required vans and technicians and splicing wires and yucky stuff like that. Ick. They were simply reselling DSL service provided by a company called Covad, which, in turn, was depending heavily on cooperation from the local incumbent phone companies, who in turn really wanted nothing more than to see Covad die, die, die!

Anyway, what struck me was that the procedure for signing up for DSL was immensely complicated. Our customer service folks had come up this huge poster with a gigantic, immensely complicated flowchart, ...

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