My husband is a CTO. He starts companies. I use software. A lot. I remember several years ago when I was chairing a testing program at my company, using a different program. (Is that clear at all? I worked at a systems company and we were helping an app. developer test their product.) Well, their product pretty much sucked and ... I "helped" them get to know that. About five years later, I ran into one of the team members, who fixed me with a stony gaze and said "you made my life miserable."
Well, yes, possibly. But it was nothing personal and seriously, the product sucked pretty badly. A real poster child for decent architecture, consistency, and all of those hard things, you know?
Since there have been several times in my life where I have achieved absolute "ninja-master" levels of expertise on fairly complex programs, I am pretty relaxed. Even though my body has given birth (resulting in the loss, some speculate, of up to 30 IQ points), I'm not intimidated by new technologies. I'm a great user. And if I can't understand the product, guess what? It sucks.
What a great feeling.
As a matter of fact, I use this technique (or is it a life-approach...? terminology fails me sometimes) when dealing with many new products and even company ideas. I don't have to turn my brain on all the way and focus. I can be kind of zoned, and if it goes right over my head, then it needs to be honed, because real elevator pitches, real product summaries need to be sharp enough to cut through fog. And fog, nowadays, is what I have.
Why am I wasting your time writing this? (Why are you reading it? :-) Because I was speculating with a mom friend of mine this morning about a great service that overqualified, stay-at-home moms could start. My absolutely non-pc code name for it was "bitch.com" and the idea is this. You're tired, fried, and just not in your happy space. You have a master's degree in CS and used to be program manager for a fortune 500 company. What do to? Why not take a part-time job at bitch.com, the UI and final testing company for products where you can let it all hang out?
Imagine. Instead of those nice little "I experienced my third crash today when I clicked on "save as." I was using Firefox and no other programs were running." notes in the bugtracker, you could really wake your coders up with some jewels like "I hate your product. It crashed again, and my fingernails are making huge claw marks down the sides of my keyboard as I look at your stupid guy jumping on his stupid bouncy ball. (Sorry for the reference Yahoomail, but seriously. You just upgraded to a new product rev that takes four times as long to load and you coupled it with a huge, obnoxious logo that basically screams "we don't care about performance.")
At any rate, you could have screamingly hormonal, really pissy bugs logged, and could really give your coders a taste of the real world! What a great idea! And you could always use the Damoclesian threat of letting the testers do a ROUND TABLE with the coders to get even better performance!
Time for lunch. I think that I might have had too much coffee this morning...