It must yet must not be



  • For our next project, we were told to "go build it and we'll let you know specific requirements after you're done".

    I flat out refused to dive into a project like that. If they can't bother to write down what it's supposed to do in at least some measure of detail, I'm not even going to start.

    Records of type X are a list of possible actions to
    take, and record type Y (extends X) indicates a preferred action from the list.  Each has a thisOneIsPreferredFlag, with most set to N and the preferred one set to Y.

    During the ensuing email discussions, our BAs decided that when no records of type X are present for a customer, then their absence indicates something useful, and we are to create dummy records with a thisOneIsPreferredFlag="N" and return them instead of nothing. The same logic applies for records of type Y.

    Wait a minute, if there are no preferred actions in the list, how can we possibly fake a preferred action? And if we fake a preferred action that says "not preferred", WTF does it mean?

    We're not sure, but just do it that way!

    Um no; if we do this, it will lead to all sorts of WTFery downstream as we will be feeding this cancer into other systems.

    Ok, we'll get back to you.

    No, the last time you said that, you never did and we had to guess what to do right up to deployment; you WILL provide a detailed response by DATE or the entire project slips by the amount of time that you don't provide us details as to what it's supposed to do. You can't ask an architect to design a house and have a contractor build it, and not tell him whether it's a colonial, ranch or split-level until a week before you are to take delivery. It takes a certain amount of time to build stuff, and not providing requirements doesn't change that!

    cc: My Boss

    cc: His Boss

    cc: Her Boss

    cc: Overlord Compliance 

    cc: Overlord Auditing

    The response comes back from Overlord Compliance: This is UNACCEPTABLE!!! (they actually had three exclamation points). No development project shall begin without proper documentation,  including requirements, specifications, a list of deliverables, validation tests to be created and support documentation at delivery (with links to the appropriate governance trash). It was cc'd to C**

    Response from C**: As this is our first project under the new governance rules, our teams WILL attempt to provide the proper level of documentation for this project, even if it takes a little longer. We expect the appropriate governing bodies to provide guidance as required so that we get off on the right foot. ...

    ---

    That ought to keep them busy for a while. I'm leaving for a week off tomorrow.



  • Ah, yes ... the "we'll know it when we see it" requirement...

    Get that all the time...

    "Make it better." Could you define "better"?

    "We need a tool to analyze the data." What data? "The data." What type of analysis do you expect to be able to do? "Any" How is the data and/or analysis to be presented? Using a GUI? A report? What would these look like? "Do what you think is best."

    "We need a GUI to view this proprietary data." All items? Fields? How should it be organized?

    Had one customer once who would always send me e-mails after seeing a vendor in a webex, at a conference, etc. "Here's a cool product/tool we should use." How? Which data sets would you push through it? What's the use-case?

    :sigh: Well, at least I'm not the only one.

     



  • @zelmak said:

    :sigh: Well, at least I'm not the only one.
     

    Oh, hell no you're not the only one.  The first half of that post sounded like my former employer.

    The second half, where one of the Overlords and the C**  intervened, not so much...

     



  • Sounds like things are finally looking up for you, Snoofle.

    One question, though.  Who's C**? 



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    Sounds like things are finally looking up for you, Snoofle.

    One question, though.  Who's C**? 

    I assumed it was the C-level exec running the technology/information-systems/whatever portion of the company. Like CEO for day-to-day ops, but CTO or CIO for the IT crowd ...

    So someone up in the head-shed ... :)



  • @zelmak said:

    :sigh: Well, at least I'm not the only one.
    I'd be surprised to find one developer that hasn't been told to start on a project with grossly ill-defined requirements.



  • @snoofle said:

    We're not sure, but just do it that way!

    WTF are these guys doing all day?



  • I don't think I ever had a project fully specified at startup time. We were lucky if the vague requirements were replaced with precise ones half-way through. I think that is the exact reason why waterfall projects are doomed from the start, and why they invented agile processes to be able to cope with "moving targets".



  • @beermouse said:

    @snoofle said:
    We're not sure, but just do it that way!

    WTF are these guys doing all day?

    They're waiting for snoofle to finish his job.
    Then b*tch about how poor and filled with bugs his solution is.

    I experienced about the same lately (and a few times before that) before our project was dumped.
    I also had the best explanation about the lack of documentation ever :

    We didn't write what we need because we felt that it was obvious.


  • @setasensei said:

    I also had the best explanation about the lack of documentation ever :

    We didn't write what we need because we felt that it was obvious.

    Your response: "I feel that it is obvious that you deserve a punch in the face for uselessness". FIST



  • snoofle,

    By any chance are you working in Portugal? All this WTF-ery seems so common place to me...
    BTW, i just loved Compliance's reply :D


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.