Someone recently asked me why developers should care about the “Works On My Machine Problem”.
While I can say that I implicitly know that this is bad, the question caught me off-guard.
I was able to provide a basic answer – needing to deploy applications to production, have coworkers be able to run our code in development, etc. – I realized I don’t have a strong answer for this question.
So I Did Some Research and I Found … Very Little.
It seems all the “Works On My Machine” blog posts and articles out there (at least, the ones I found after a few quick google searches) are focused entirely on the “how I solved <this WOMM instance> with <my favorite tool set>”.
There are few, if any, blog posts and articles that really hit the heart of why this statement is a problem, or the underlying issues that this statement is obscuring.
What I want, then, is a broad view of the situation.
- What causes people to say “Works On My Machine”?
- What are the problems that this statement hides or causes?
- What kinds of solutions exist, to help fix or prevent this?
To that end, I put together a quick survey and I would love to get your input.
A Short Survey Of WOMM
If you’ve ever said “Works On My Machine!” to anyone, or had it said to you, take a few minutes and
I’m planning to use the results as a blog post to start, but there will be other uses for the information. All of the questions are optional, as well.