If the software developers were construction workers



  • Here is the diary of a construction worker that works in some enterprisey construction company (let's call it Concrete-Harderware (r) inc)

    March 1
    Huray! We got the contract to build a twelve story high commercial building. We’re all enthusiastic about the new job. We drank seven or eight six-packs of beer, celebrating.

    March 2
    The client doesn’t appear to like the expression “when it’s done it’s done”. He wants us to use more accurate deadlines. Poor sap. He obviously doesn’t understand high-technology.

    March 3
    We discussed the deadlines. We drank about eleven six-packs. Peterson said that we will probably be ready in four months. So - eight months. We wrote twelve months in the contract but we’ll probably be done in sixteen.

    March 6
    Peterson returned the beer-cans for recycling.

    March 8
    We celebrate the International Women’s Day. There are no women in the company, so nobody spoils the party.

    April 2
    Peterson said that we had better start working. What’s wrong with that guy? Anyway, we cleared the construction area and hung nice posters saying “The construction is performed by Concrete-Harderware inc. (www.concrete-harderware.com)”. Now having fulfilled our duties we play Quake.

    April 20
    The client came to ask how things were going. We had him play Quake with us and let him beat us all.

    April 21
    We discussed the project. Michaels says to use pre-made concrete blocks. Peterson insists that we must build it the old-fashioned way – with bricks. Alex – the new guy – came up with a rather radical approach – to build a few dozen wooden shacks and connect them with tunnels. It was the new *thing* everybody was talking about. We had to remind him that the client wants a twelve-story building. We tried to settle to a solution with 1vs1 matches in Quake. Alex and his bungalows fell quickly but Peterson and Michaels tied. We decided that each of them should build half a building with his method and then connect the two halves.

    April 30
    The first floor is ready. We showed it to the client. He inquired why the ceilings in different rooms are at a different height, why there are bricks falling from the walls, and why there is no door and you have to come in through the windows. We explained that these are shortcomings of the beta-version. Proud of ourselves, we went celebrating.

    May 10
    Peterson got sober and cursed a lot. We thought that Alex had drunk all the beer but it turned out to be worse. We had forgotten to put the foundation. It was written in the project files but who reads specs nowadays?

    May 11
    We demolished the first floor. Que sera, sera…

    July 11
    We are working hard! Peterson is finishing the second floor, Michaels is working on the sixth. Alex has build the elevator shaft up to the ninth floor but it shakes menacingly when it’s windy. We had to put some wooden scaffolding around it.

    July 17
    Alex is building the roof and the terraces. On the ground. We will use a crane to lift them later.

    August 13
    Michaels’ concrete blocks don’t meet up. There are a few holes three feet wide. He asked Peterson for help but Peterson said he had already more than enough to do and, besides, without knowing the internal architecture of the concrete blocks, one cannot do anything.

    August 14
    We broke up a few concrete blocks so Peterson could study the internal architecture. Peterson cursed a lot and said that the developers of the blocks are complete idiots.

    August 17
    Peterson plugged the holes between the concrete blocks with some bricks. The blocks are now a little crooked and there are a lot of little holes instead of few big ones. Peterson put some duct tape on the holes and said that it’s fine as long as it isn’t raining.

    September 1
    The concrete block company released some new blocks – more stable and robust and with built-in file cabinets on the walls. But the truth is that they are incompatible by form with the old ones and are three times as heavy. Who makes these stupid mistakes?

    September 16
    Alex came in, full of ideas. He suggested making all windows with different sizes. The client was going to love them. We told him to shut the f*** up.

    November 2
    Peterson reached the fifth floor. He is proud of himself. We drew his attention to the fact that the walls are in a forty degree angle. He cursed a lot, then he said that we were idiots and don’t understand anything. He promised to think about it.

    November 3
    The client came in today. He asked why the walls were in a forty degree angle. We explained to him what the Coriolis Effect is. He listened to us and said the he isn’t a building expert but next to his house there was a building just like this and the walls were straight. Then that moron – Alex, started talking to him and explained to him the idea for the diferent-sized windows. The client, naturally, liked it. God damn it!

    November 4
    We asked Alex if we had to break everything up because of his windows. He assured us that there is no need. The concrete blocks had an undocumented feature.

    November 5
    Peterson finally admitted that there is something wrong with the walls. He said that he had laid some brick not the way it was supposed to be, but to find out which he needs to check them all. He said that it’s easier to build everything from scratch.

    November 6
    We tried to convinve Peterson that there is no time to buld everything from scratch. We showed him calculations made with a computer. Peterson cursed a lot. He said that the computer was designed by idiots.

    November 7
    Peterson agreed to make everything from concrete blocks and then went to drown his misery in alcocol.

    November 8
    We demolished the brick part. We damaged some parts of the concrete part. The whole building creaks and shakes menacingly. We put some wooden struts on it and went to play some Quake.

    November 17
    Peterson came back from the drinking. We are working hard.

    November 11
    We celebrate Remembrance Day. There are no Canadians in the company, so nobody spoils the party.

    November 15
    We remembered that the crane goes up only to the eighth floor. We sent Michaels for a new one. We are playing Quake. Alex just beat Peterson. There is a new generation growing…

    November 24
    Michaels came back. He hasn’t found a crane but he has brought an excavator. He suggested that we dig a hole and finish de building downwards. He said that in the contract it’s not said that all the floors should be above the ground.

    November 25
    We brainstormed the crane issue. At last can of beer we found a solution. We put off the main construction. We will build a four-story building and then put the crane on top of it.

    December 25
    We celebrate Christmas. Santa doesn’t work in the company so nobody spoils the party.

    January 14
    I don’t remember anything. My head hurts.

    February 4
    We are ready with all twelve floors. Tomorrow we put the roof that Alex built.

    February 5
    Alex is an idiot! The roof keeps falling. We propped it up with the crane for now. We’ll think what to do.

    February 6
    Alex said he’s innocent. It’s just that Michaels’ twelfth floor is 10 feet wider and 8 feet longer than Peterson’s twelfth floor. Obviously they’ve been using different concrete blocks. But Alex is an idiot nevertheless. His damn roof doesn’t fit any of the floors. The elevator shaft, too.

    February 7
    We glued the roof. Peterson said that it’s fine as long as it isn’t snowing.

    February 8
    It started snowing…

     



  • Let me be the first to say that was beautiful.  It speaks so much truth, it's "sobering". </pun>  



  • that was most excellent.



  • I'm glad you liked it. =)



  • We discussed the deadlines. We drank about eleven six-packs. Peterson
    said that we will probably be ready in four months. So - eight months.
    We wrote twelve months in the contract but we’ll probably be done in
    sixteen.

    Is that your company fixing the road outside my office? 



  • Well done!  How long do you estimate it will take to convert the thing into seperate pages for each entry with pictures, comment pages, and an interactive timeline?



  • @Oscar L said:

    Well done!  How long do you estimate it will take to convert the thing into seperate pages for each entry with pictures, comment pages, and an interactive timeline?

    This is 2007 - you'd have to format it as a blog. 



  • [URL=http://img403.imageshack.us/my.php?image=24431278ai1.jpg][IMG]http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/8893/24431278ai1.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]



  • @RayS said:

    @Oscar L said:

    Well done!  How long do you estimate it will take to convert the thing into seperate pages for each entry with pictures, comment pages, and an interactive timeline?

    This is 2007 - you'd have to format it as a blog. 

     That's so 2005; No you will have to make short 5 second video's of people holding signes with those lines and make a videoBLOG of it. So the websphere will know your creative and original and ... (can't take it any longer and starts to vomit in spasms)

    ermm. but besides that, good stuff.
     



  • @stratos said:

    @RayS said:

    @Oscar L said:

    Well done!  How long do you estimate it will take to convert the thing into seperate pages for each entry with pictures, comment pages, and an interactive timeline?

    This is 2007 - you'd have to format it as a blog. 

     That's so 2005; No you will have to make short 5 second video's of people holding signes with those lines and make a videoBLOG of it. So the websphere will know your creative and original and ... (can't take it any longer and starts to vomit in spasms)

    ermm. but besides that, good stuff.
     

     Don't you mean web2.0sphere?  Continue with the vomiting "after the jump".
     



  • @RayS said:

    @Oscar L said:

    Well done!  How long do you estimate it will take to convert the thing into seperate pages for each entry with pictures, comment pages, and an interactive timeline?

    This is 2007 - you'd have to format it as a blog. 

     

    Oh god, thats the last thing we need. Then all of a sudden, millions of developers around the world start building commerical buildings and the commerical industry crumbles, all because of one damn blog... 



  • Sorry but I can't resist posting a response:

    If customers dealt with a construction company the way they deal with a software company:

    February 3:
    We decided that our business needs a new building.  We called a construction company and said to them, "we need a building, please build us one." 

    They started asking us a bunch of ridiculous technical questions like "how many rooms do you need."  We informed them that we are not a construction company, so DUH obviously we don't know the answer to stuff like that.  Why would they even ask us those questions??

    February 8:
    The construction company asked us to write down exactly what our requires are for our new building.  This is so exciting!  We have identified the following requirements:
    1.    the building should be blue
    2.    we want visitors to be impressed by the size of our building
    3.    the building should be white

    February 11:
    Our first meeting with the construction company went terribly.  These guys don't seem to know anything at all!  They kept asking about rooms.  We kept telling them that we are not a construction company.  Finally, in exacerbation, we told them we needed 13 rooms.

    February 25:
    The construction company has produced some detailed drawings.  Our building actually looks pretty nice!  This is so exciting.  Our business is really going to grow.  Construction will begin on May 1st.  We don't understand why this construction company is so lazy that they can't start building today.

    March 3:
    The construction company gave us an estimate of the cost of our building.  It is absolutely ridiculous!  Where do they get off charging that much when all they are doing is putting one brick on top of another brick.  My nephew does that all the time.  He builds beautiful things out of Legos.

    April 1:
    Someone from the construction company called to ask about a "lot."  I didn't understand what they meant.  I told him we only needed one building, not a lot of them.  He clarified that he was talking about "property."  I said that yes, our business would be storing property in our building.  He then asked about "land."  I told him that we didn't own any helicopters, but it would be great if the building had a place for them to land because we know that our business is growing.  I suspect that this whole phone call was some kind of April Fools joke.

    April 5:
    I AM SO MAD! THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SAYS THAT IN ADDITION TO PAYING FOR THE BUILDING, WE ALSO HAVE TO BUY A PLACE TO PUT THE BUILDING.  THIS IS GOING TO COST US A FORTUNE!

    May 1:
    Construction has finally begun.  We are starting to get very frustrated with this whole process.

    May 14:
    We got a tour of the construction site today and saw the foundation for our building.  That afternoon, we had a meeting amongst ourselves and we all decided that the building is being built too close to the street.  We will email the construction company tomorrow and ask that they move it.

    May 16:
    Oops, I forgot to email the construction company to move the building.  I called them today though but they actually laughed (very unprofessional) and told me it is too late to move it.  That is ridiculous!  Just because I waited one extra day, now they claim it is too late!

    May 20:
    They have started laying bricks for our building.  In the time it has taken to make this building (not our fault, they are ones who have delayed) we have changed our mind and decided that we want glass walls.  We want the entire building to be made of glass, but we also want it to be hurricane proof, and we want the glass to be self-cleaning.  The construction company told us we are crazy - and that is the last straw.  We fired them!

    June 1:
    My nephew has agreed to build our building for 1/10000th the cost of that stupid construction company.  I KNEW that they were over charging us!  In our first meeting, he confirmed that making a building is pretty easy.  Just as I suspected, it's just putting bricks one on top of the other.

    June 2:
    My nephew is so smart. He came to this meeting with his legos and actually showed us what our building is going to look like!  Why couldn't the other company do that.

    July 10:
    We haven't heard from my nephew in a while, so I called his house.  His mom said he was playing with his xbox and didn't want to come to the phone.



  • @tofu said:

    Sorry but I can't resist posting a response:

    If customers dealt with a construction company the way they deal with a software company:

    Bravo!

     



  • @tofu said:

    Sorry but I can't resist posting a response:

    If customers dealt with a construction company the way they deal with a software company:

    The company I currently work for does a lot of "property development", which means we pay a construction company to do the work and supply them with dubious specifications. Your description looks quite familiar to me.



  • @tofu said:

    April 5:
    I AM SO MAD! THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SAYS THAT IN ADDITION TO PAYING FOR THE BUILDING, WE ALSO HAVE TO BUY A PLACE TO PUT THE BUILDING. THIS IS GOING TO COST US A FORTUNE!


    That made my day. Well done.



  • @asuffield said:

    we pay a construction company to do the work and supply them with dubious specifications.

    oh yes.  Same here.  I actually played little tricks on the company that built my house, though it was mostly flirting with the property manager chick.  after the foundation was poured I actually told her, and pretended to be serious, that I wanted the house moved.  So that's why I used that little bit in the story above.  Before they poured the foundation, they marked it with wooden pegs.  I picked one up that had been left out in the street and walked into her office in the house on the corner and asked if I could throw it in her garbage.  She said sure, then noticed what it was and asked about it.  I said, "somebody nailed  those into the ground all over my lot - probably some kids playing a game - I pulled them all out of the ground so that they wouldn't get in the way of the construction crew."

    They got me back for all the jokes though.  I had the house prewired with cat-5 and they put a drop right next to the stove.  I mean like, two inches away.  I actually didn't notice that until it was too late to change it (it was supposed to be out in the dining area).  So it's covered now, but it's still there.  If there's ever an internet-ready oven I'm all set.  Otherwise, I have a wire that I'll never possibly use.  heh. 


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