[IWE] Gory details

Drew Kime iwe@warhead.org.uk
Sat, 4 Feb 2006 20:20:21 -0800 (PST)

Last week they got rid of the programming manager.  He was brought in
about 2-3 months ago to take the day-to-day load off of boss-man.  It
took him less than a month to decide the whole architecture was ...
well, there wasn't one.  And better tracking of what people were
working on wasn't going to fix that.

He proposed an actual architecture, with a prototype DB schema and a
set of proof-of-concept screens that the ops folks had already seen
and liked.  The day after he presented it he was gone.  He was placed
by the same consulting company that placed me.  I called them right
after I heard he was gone.  They said they were considering pulling
everyone they had placed, which would be about 1/3 of the remaining
department.  They definitely won't be placing anyone else there.

Yesterday it was me and the programmer who had been tech lead on the
most visible part of the project.  He was called in first, right
after the weekly conference call with the steering committee.  When
it was my turn, the official reason is that I was spending too much
time getting into the technical details.  What they needed from me
was to manage the process, coordinate the people, but not actually be
doing the testing myself.

The other way to look at it is they wanted me to stop telling people
how broken it was; just get ops folks who don't know what they're
looking at to sign off on it.  I had two instances in the past two
weeks that summed it up.

First, I saw that something was being sent for user acceptance
testing, and I had never seen it.  (I was supposed to sign off on
everything before it went to ops.)  I took a look and it was broken. 
I failed it and sent it back to the developer.  A half-hour later I
saw that boss-man had re-released it for UAT and emailed the ops
people to look at it.  I went to them after the meeting, showed them
how it was broken, and they failed it and sent it back.

Second one, I saw that a department head had signed off on something
that I knew was still broken.  I went and asked her about it, told
her I was surprised she would sign off on the pricing issue.  "What
pricing issue?"  This one right here.  "That doesn't say anything
about pricing!"  Oh, that's on page two where they describe what was
actually causing the error.  Didn't you see page 2?  "No I didn't,
and I am *not* signing off on it!"

As I was getting in my car, I called my consulting company.  They
told me to come in.  On the way I called my (former) counterpart at
the corporate IT department.  Before I got where I was going, I got a
call back from someone else at corporate.  They're pissed.  Tech lead
on this project told them she's now *off* this project.  If they
don't like it, she'll walk.

It's nice to be appreciated.  Just wish it was from the people
signing the paycheck.


Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around