LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
Shirley Temple calls you a "Big Meanie", then bitch-slaps you to the floor.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Harold builds a satellite, WTHAIS Product Management thinks they're in the Navy, and schwerwiegender Fehler!
Rocketman and Fek
See? They aren't the same person!
Hey, this is Harold. I was interested to read your latest article about not revealing too much information, and was curious as to how I did with the Lockheed Martin project to measure lightning from space. Here's the publicly available information, for comparison: http://www.goes-r.gov/spacesegment/glm.html
I must say, Harold, looking at the pictures, that is the coolest coffee grinder I've ever seen.
I sit on the WTHAIS Change Management Board. If you want to release something, or make a change to a server, you need to come through this last gate before your deployment is approved. I get the requests the afternoon before which gives me time to ask questions before the board meeting.
WTHAIS was heading to a scaling problem in one part of the offering. A plan was made, engineers were assigned, and here we were. The trouble was, the plan took the wrong approach. The final product was simple to engineer, and required a lot of labor in the Operations department for as long as this program would run.
I asked a question a few issues ago about people's perceptions on working with people in India. I know what I think is a prejudice (My view of a prejudice is when you judge an individual by a group assumption.) I'm of the opinion that most of the Indians I've worked with are uneasy telling people things they know the person doesn't want to hear. I've run into this first hand. The adjunct of this position, is that you get the "No Problem" answer even when there are problems.
The Product Manager assumed that since labor in India is cheap, it's OK to have a labor intensive project. Well... I wasn't ready to stand for that. I've been banging the automation drum for about 8 years now. I firmly believe WTHAIS would be on more-stable ground if these labor intensive processes were completely automated. I mean, we have over two thousand CPUs sitting mostly idle waiting for something to do.
I didn't reject the request. Since there was no published documentation, I put the request on hold so we could have a meeting about this program. The real problem is the Product Manager didn't do his job. He didn't find the requirements of all stakeholders. My group is the main customer of the systems being affected. We were never consulted. My group has very tight service level requirements. Almost no one else in the company have these requirements.
Where the Product Manager thinks it's perfectly fine to throw a lot of people at a problem, I think the better solution is to throw a lot more engineering hours at making a better program that needs almost no operations labor to maintain. Since this program may have to run many years, the short-term engineering costs would be much cheaper than the long-term operations costs. Better yet, since engineering is in Bangalore and operations is in the U.S. of A. the difference in costs is even greater.
What blows me away is that I have to tell people this. To me, this is so obvious. Then I think maybe it's not just Indian culture that I don't understand. I think this low-hanging fruit mentality is the real culprit. The get it done quick and dirty approach has been a weakness of ours for many years. Almost nothing this company builds is elegant, and a marvel to behold. (Except one server product we do, and that was written by a guy we then decided to lay off. Yes, we're that stupid.)
Have you seen this crazy crap? I've found a few programs that took localization too far. Let's say, through no fault of your own, you're German. Your copy of Winders is installed in German, and you like beer.
While celebrating Oktoberfest, you spill your beer on your keyboard, and things start going all wobbly. You contact the company that publishes Space Pokies because your Pokie doesn't work right. They ask for logs.
The trouble is the logs are in German. What the hell's up with that? The end user can't read the logs, because they are written in Engineeringese. The support people can't read German, and neither can the engineer to whom the problem will be escalated. By going hog-wild with localization, the product's logs are made worthless.
I blame the idiots in Product Management. They like to implement features that sound sexy, but since they never have to deal with the grief of their output, dumb stuff like this continues.
2012-08-26 18:46:23:Z Raum Pokies schwerwiegender Fehler. Bitte starten Sie erneut.
Clear as a bell, boys!
Diet Coke Factory Burns to the Ground
Damned Pepsi Terrorists!
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"Look! I have an extra trashcan today. They must be expecting additional output from me."
"Ok, let's throw it over to Jimmy for some trite butt-kissing."
"Those two should get married so they can kill each other."
"Another fine argument for legalizing gay marriage."
"The only Japanese food I like is baklava."
"Whose leg do I have to hump?"
I have to come up with some crap for next month.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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