Paola Kathuria [Skip navigation links]
About | Words & pictures | fingers & tongues | My work | Shop |
Home » Words & pictures » Writing (1989-1994)  | Contact me | Site map

On software

demon.local / March 1994
By Paola Kathuria
In article <762736853snz@grove.demon.co.uk> donald@grove.demon.co.uk writes:

In article <762563323snz@arcglade.demon.co.uk> paola@arcglade.demon.co.uk "Paola Kathuria" writes:

I don't know why managers don't take their tech staff to computer shows so that they can say "well, that graphic of a spinning graph may look impression and the woman who gave you the brochure was very pretty but the actual system is a load of bollocks."

That is exactly why managers will not let tech staff anywhere near a customer until the sale is made!

No, I meant the buying manager's tech staff, not the vendor's.

I mean, they buy this crap software, take it back to the office with a huge smile on their face and say to their technical staff "look, you can't say I never spoil you. See what a wonderous thing I have bought you. This will cut development time by 75% because it uses a WIMP interface and runs on a Mac". The manager returns to their office, happy in the knowledge that there will be no more slipping of deadlines. The programmers look at the box left behind and shake their heads in dismay because they soon find out that using this beast will actually cripple development since it was written by persuasive baboons.

A few weeks later, the manager reappears, requesting to see wonderful prototypes and demos. A few minutes later, the manager is perplexed and wonders if perhaps the technical staff should be replaced, saying, "but why has it taken so long? Surely all you do is create a widget here and connect to to this sprocket? I don't think you're using this properly. I paid good money for this!". The programmers then nod obiediently, keeping quiet to keep their jobs, and then work 15-hour days to meet the deadline.

A few weeks later, the manager is ecstatic at the results. They start demonstrating the system to other departments and bristle with pride at what they alone have achieved. When asked, they do not hesitate to let others know of the wonderful new development environment they have bought and tell all the other managers. The other managers go off to computer shows without their technical staff, buy this crap software, take it back to the office with a huge smile on their face and say to their technical staff "look, you can't say I never spoil you. See what a wonderous thing I have bought you." ...

The programming staff notice the response and hastily wipe the redness from their eyes, adjust their clothing and start smiling a lot. They go round to see the new wave of programmers who have to use the software and note the look of dismay in their eyes. The veterans puff out their chests and tell the other people that if they were real programmers, they wouldn't be having any difficulty, that they had problems only at the beginning, but they have faxed a list of all the bugs to the baboon company and so they shouldn't have any problem with this new version, that it would be no challenge at all. "Quit complaining", they say "or go find another job if you don't like it".

Paola

-- 
Paola Kathuria  -*-  ArcGlade Services Ltd  -*-  paola@arcglade.demon.co.uk