Mike Conigliaro

Stop Using Wizards!

My #1 problem with wizards is that they make people think they are capable of configuring things properly, regardless of whether or not they actually know what the hell they’re doing.  This is also one of the major gripes that I have with companies like Microsoft, who have managed to convince people all over the world that a pretty interface with a bunch of wizards is a good substitute for competence.  Sorry, but that’s bullshit, and every IT professional worth their salt knows this.

For the record, I am not just an elitist who advocates doing everything manually through a command line.  I understand that a wizard can help get you up and running quickly, and I think any wizard that tells you all the things it did would be a great learning tool.  However, I have yet to encounter a wizard that tells you much (if anything) about what it’s doing, and nobody is going to convince me that speed of implementation is more important than knowing how to configure something so that you can fix it when it breaks.

The bottom line is that if you feel the need to use the wizard (especially for critical security infrastructure like firewalls), then you have no business using it, because you obviously don’t know what you’re doing.

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