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Writing software is hard but to me the hardest part is always taking a random abstract concept from someone's mind (or worse, several people) and converting that into something "real" in a fixed timeline and budget. There will have to be lots of tradeoffs and miscues by definition. We are always making something that doesn't already exist, it is creation and creation is hard.

I do agree that tools (and process and ....) can make it less hard but that requires real, active participation. And I think that is even harder...

I will parrot what a professor told me years ago. The hardest part of writing software is proper requirements gathering. He said it was like pulling teeth. By proper I mean the developer knows exactly what the client wants and the client knows exactly what will be delivered. A "meeting of the minds," I call it. I always tell clients this is the hardest part.

I am not sure I have worked on a project where gathering requirements was a problem. But, most of the time my work has been on systems that have been a work in progress as they were actively being used. The needs are normally abundantly clear. I am not sure I have worked on a product not currently in use.

And also not forget budget. Most think to build like e-commerce like E BAY or next generation Facebook.The mentality yes, but the basic requirement is non. My most problem on development was to many choices and lack of decision making from the client site.

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