The Rah-Rah Speech



  • We have a bunch of business analysts that act as go-betweens for us and our end users. It's their mission to listen to the users' complaints and turn them into technical requirements for us to build. Of course, users never ask for things like error checking and so forth and these guys don't know enough to put it in the specs.

    For the past three months we've been working on this major enhancement to a relatively new application. The requirements were, how shall I put this, worthless. They were vague, conflicting and incomplete. Plus they keep thinking of new things to add; past release to QA; even past our official release date (postponed due to the new needs). They even made us remove code that handled use cases that they didn't specify (e.g.: error checking, users doing things in unpredicatable sequences, etc; you know, basic defensive programming - "because it wasn't in the requirements"). Finally, two days before the release, the manager of the business analysts calls us all into a room to give us the rah-rah pre-release speech:

    "Ok guys, we all worked hard so we all need to be available over the weekend because we have no idea whether this thing is going to work."

    Now, I'd expect some emergency bug fixes when surprises come up on the initial launch in production. But "no idea whether this thing is going to work"?

    Maybe if they stopped with the new requests and gave QA some time to shake it out they'd KNOW if it worked... Maybe if my boss had the spine to say no to non-stop feature creep...

    OTOH, me and several of my peer-consultants are making a whole lot of money to work on whatever the emergency-of-the-moment happens to be, soooo $jackpot!!!



  • We've run into the same thing, but with hardware. And as a small company, we still have to say, 'OK' for the second project with a customer who starts a project with a three month deadline, waits until two weeks to specify the hardware, and then says, "Well, why isn't it perfect? You had three months!

    The good (well, for the bottom line if not for my sanity) part is that our hardware is so great that our clients' clients demand they buy more and more even when the clients get irrationally pissed off at us.



  • Who puts these people in place? And keeps them there? It must be some kind of conspiracy. I'm also used to such projects by now. Project start: "No, we don't need all that extra, fancy stuff. Just store the data". Two weeks before the deadline: "But there is no way to inspect the data? We need a web interface!". And the client contact (who isn't even a sales manager) just accepts anything. I'm sort of hoping that one dat the client will say: "Oh, and we need to put this big thing somewhere. Why don't you bend over?"



  • @snoofle said:

    OTOH, me and several of my peer-consultants are making a whole lot of money to work on whatever the emergency-of-the-moment happens to be, soooo $jackpot!!!
    Is this anything like (I think it was Joel who spoke about it once) of developers colluding to introduce bugs which they were then paid to remove?



  • @OzPeter said:

    @snoofle said:
    OTOH, me and several of my peer-consultants are making a whole lot of money to work on whatever the emergency-of-the-moment happens to be, soooo $jackpot!!!
    Is this anything like (I think it was Joel who spoke about it once) of developers colluding to introduce bugs which they were then paid to remove?

    I think it was the testers that were getting paid extras whenever they found a bug. Joel said something about a company that would pay testers for finding bugs, so they conspired with the devs like this: a dev would willingly introduce a bug into the code, give the details to the tester who would "discover" it, and then they would share the money.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @snoofle said:
    OTOH, me and several of my peer-consultants are making a whole lot of money to work on whatever the emergency-of-the-moment happens to be, soooo $jackpot!!!
    Is this anything like (I think it was Joel who spoke about it once) of developers colluding to introduce bugs which they were then paid to remove?

    I remember that from a Dilbert cartoon. "I'm gonna code myself up a new minivan!"

    http://sixpop.com/images/images/83267365.gif

    (IIRC, in the next strip, Dilbert asks Ratbert to do a dance on his keyboard to create bugs in a program, and Ratbert some accidentally writes a fully-functional web browser.)



  • @snoofle said:

    We have a bunch of business analysts that act as go-betweens for us and our end users. It's their mission to listen to the users' complaints and turn them into technical requirements for us to build.



  •  @op: The virtues of consulting.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I remember that from a Dilbert cartoon. "I'm gonna code myself up a new minivan!"

    http://sixpop.com/images/images/83267365.gif

    Wow, you can clearly see that cartoon is ancient...



    It still mentions Yahoo


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