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SOLVED

Did anyone developing or architecting AEM itself actually ever bother to USE the software before Adobe published it?

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Look, I know Adobe bought the platform from Day. I get that. But having done so, and after realizing how complex, roundabout, and ugly the resulting experience was for the administrator, developer, and content author layers were, Adobe decides to rework some of the pain points with the whole TouchUI thing. Hey, great! So they hire themselves an architect, a few devs, maybe a designer or three...

 

...and this is what they came up with? Like, on purpose? Show of hands: would this be the route ANY of you went when developing something like this? Has nobody ever SEEN other CMS's, much less USED one? Has ADOBE never?

 

I'm honestly, genuinely baffled. Both by how someone decided this was ready to ship, by how the claim of "WYSIWYG" can even be LEGALLY MADE, WHY they have the market segmentation they DO, and by how, when users invariably started pouring complaints in about the obtuse, counter-intuitive, so-buggy-it-shouldn't-have-cleared-code-review-much-less-qa culmination, they made the executive decision that the solution to the problem was "why, we'll just write thousands of pages of poorly-organized documentation, regularly change our page hierarchy so virtually no hotlinks or search fields can actually FIND the appropriate documentation, restrict and hide 85% of content related to the product unless someone takes the $15,000 in coursework to buy the rights to SEE said archives or has a corporate sponsor, and then we'll make both getting a copy of the software and actually setting up a local development instance prohibitively expensive and as convoluted as we can muster."

 

Most platforms desperately WANT people to get familiar and comfortable with them, so when the time comes for an employer to seek such solutions, their staff unanimously points towards the platform they all know (see React, Angular, Meteor, etc.). The entire "free for non-corporate users" model is DRIVEN off this principle!

 

Indeed, the only reason these practices would make any degree of sense would be if the real revenue stream here was charging people for certifications instead of the software itself. I suppose then one could maintain a few safe paths through the thicket, teach only those paths, and stand behind a shield of "that's not the sanctioned way of handling things" when the remaining 98% of user-journeys that inevitably error out DO. There is literally no other piece of software I've worked with, used, or even SEEN - says the guy who's been in this industry 28 years and managed self-teach himself bash/shell and vi LONG before  YouTube and StackOverflow -  with so many erroneous paths, failure modes, and non-sequitur metaphors, conventions, and data structures. And I'm saying this as someone who spent the first decade of their career custom-coding CMS's for S&P corporations, and the totality of the time since as a Usability Specialist and UIUX Consultant! I KNOW of whence I speak here! Which leads me to my final source of confusion:

 

Who's actually buying this?! Not the companies - THAT'S readily clear - the PEOPLE in positions of power therein. Or perhaps the corollary: who's managing to SELL this!? What kinda boondoggles are Adobe salespeople flinging at the purchase managers, and what kinda spectacular hard-coded demos are they showing them? HOW are they convincing multi-billion dollar companies that the solution that necessitates overly-expensive contractors and/or equally-exorbitant certifications are the way to go, and actually getting them to bite!? Because I GUARANTEE you: literally every project I've seen that involves this platform would have been  built SUBSTANTIALLY faster and cheaper without it, and I'm including the baked-in cost of having a couple FEDs permanently employed by their marketing department thereafter to MAKE the changes this allegedly facilitates. It's like they invented an industry up surrounding the resolution of problems THEY introduced!

 

I'm honestly astonished. Don't get me wrong: I'm also impressed, in a morbid, appalled kinda way... but mostly utterly confounded.

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Correct answer by
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“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let
people see you value both feedback and ideas.”
– Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

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Correct answer by
Level 8

“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let
people see you value both feedback and ideas.”
– Jim Trinka and Les Wallace