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What's the Most Useless or Wasteful Software You've Ever Encountered?

Useless software is frustrating, especially when it comes to wasting time and resources. As developers, we come across various software applications throughout our careers, and some are helpful while others are a waste of time.

What's the most useless or wasteful software you've ever encountered, and why? Let's discuss and explore ways to avoid them in the future.

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Top comments (13)

mistval profile image

Lotus Notes, also known as Blotus Notes.

It used to be a popular email system in the corporate world in the late 2000s and early 2010s or so. It was made by IBM and you could think of it as the IBM version of Gmail or Outlook.

It had email of course, plus calendars and scheduling, chat, and... a whole lot of other things.

What was most stupid about it is that it was built on top of Eclipse. Yes, the Java IDE. They built an email client on top of a Java IDE. This still sounds nuts to me, but as far as I know there are a number of other programs that did this too, so honestly I'm probably just missing something. But it sounds pretty silly on the face of it.

It had a ton of other features like spreadsheets and "databases", forums, auth stuff, and custom applications. The interface was extremely cluttered. It took ages to launch.

Basically it tried to do everything. It was obviously an extremely ambitious project, and probably ahead of its time in some ways. But the world chose to go more in the direction of having different, more specialized tools for every job, and I think it's better that way.

merri profile image
Vesa Piittinen

I'll opt to not name any specific sofware and just say: pretty much all front-ends made by back-end developers.

Why? Well, nobody wants to use such software. It may work fast, it may have all the features and the best architecture ever, but if it is hard to understand, lacks proper usability, or worse yet, is advertized with programming tools first mindset even when the actual software product is what should matter, you end up only wasting time and resources of everyone.

Hire a designer and/or a front-end dev who can teach how to do front-end. Or have at least someone bite the bullet and really get into front-end. No, not full-stack. Pure user usability focused front-end. Really get that brain power to focus into it. At least I haven't found anyone who can be truly great in both front-end and back-end at the same time. Maybe some such unicorns exist, but they are so rare you can't really rely on finding one.

The worst thing about these pieces of software is that they've had lots of great thought put into them, but then treat everything else with bare minimum as far as thoughtfulness goes. They may focus on making the software "look pretty" but still miss the point of having an actually good usability. So much wasted potential.

aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese

And on the flip side, databases put together by front end Devs are normally a complete dogs-breakfast. Even if they manage to stick to a naming convention and get the 3rd normal form correct, there will be no indexes, referential integrity or correct data typing (String is not a data type!). And don't get me started on Collation...

philipjohnbasile profile image
Philip John Basile


ben profile image
Ben Halpern

99% of crypto

liftoffstudios profile image
Liftoff Studios

I agree, it's quite useless and only a huge money maker for the rich/early adopters

ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

anything released by Microsoft except Visual Studio Code, but especially Teams

fyodorio profile image

OS Windows

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ( • Edited

It's hard to say because after all, we are taking about tools and tools can either be used wisely, it used badly, or tools can use you.

For example Facebook is on average a mixed bag sometimes interesting but usually wasting your time.
In the best case scenario it can also be a profitable way to build your business if you know what you are going
In the worst case scenario it can be a catastrophe that damages your mental health.

stalwartcoder profile image
Abhishek Mishra

Antiviruses :D, and I don't wanna name "clippy" from Microsoft :P

ferceg profile image

Most of my code, lol :)

flavius_the_0th profile image

stack overflow

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring