A woman comes across a man crawling under a street lamp. "I've lost my car keys," he explains.
The woman tries to help the man find his keys. After a few minutes of searching, she asks "Where exactly did you drop them?"
"Down the street, next to my car."
Puzzled, she asks "Then why aren't you looking over there?"
"The light is better here."
People often look where it seems easiest or most convenient to look, rather than in a more difficult place. Opinions regarding where the best place to look is often come down to WhereTheLightIsBetter. Some examples in the IT industry:
People base their knowledge of a system upon specs and documentation, rather than observing the actual system or examining its source code.
People make decisions based upon easy-to-collect metrics, rather than on detailed study of the complexities of a situation.
DBAs prefer that database query logic be written as stored procedures in the database, where they can get at it, while many application developers prefer that it be in the application code, where they can get at it. (See CodeAvoidance.) Note that topic is not proposing expansion of stored procedure use.
When a bug is found in someone else's code, many developers will add complex workarounds in their own code, rather than trying to get that bug fixed.
People will use a system they know well to try to solve a problem, even if that system is poorly suited to that problem, rather than to try to use an unfamiliar system that is better suited for that problem. (See HammerTruism.)
People try to gather existing knowledge informally, through conversations, online forums, and wikis, rather than reading papers and books.
People try to gather information about industry practices by reading academic papers, rather than examining real-world work.
Having alternate ways to view something is not a bad thing. What is important is that the viewers not forget that they may no longer be looking at the same thing. Don't confuse expediency with efficacy.