[rescue] product quality (was: ham gear)

Bill Bradford mrbill at mrbill.net
Sun Dec 4 04:27:35 CST 2005

On Sun, Dec 04, 2005 at 03:49:38AM -0600, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
> How long would it take a competent PHP programmer to bang out something
> like that?  

Hell, *I* could bang out something to do that with Ruby on Rails in an
*afternoon*, and I'm not even a programmer by trade.  

<massive list of overkill snipped>

> Seriously, I've considered putting together a short book called "Good
> Enough For Goverment Work: IT Boondoggles in the Public Sector".  I have
> enough stories[1] to fill a chapter or two.  I'm sure other folks do, as
> well.

It's all about "having a commercial software vendor and/or consultant to
blame when things dont go as planned".  I've had the luck to be in the room
when my supervisor told someone "You don't want what works best at the lowest
cost, you want someone to blame."

> [1] Like when an IBM contractor spent two weeks rewriting[2] the spooler
>      in TCL because he was -convinced- that AIX's print subsystem
>      wouldn't DTRT if the printer or the server was downed while jobs
>      were in the spool.  Or the Price-Waterhouse contractor that
>      reimplemented cron in Java because "IBM would never approve of using
>      a platform-specific tool like cron".

I had the joy on Friday of giving feedback to a group of consultants I dealt
with a few months ago.  They wanted an honest opinion on the work they did.

me:  "You know when you handed us off to one of your guys, instead of the 
 consultant we'd been dealing with from the beginning, and had him setup 

them: "yeah"

me: "It took him two and a half weeks.  I did the same thing a while later, 
     to replace the machine you built up with a more powerful box, and it 
     took me TEN MINUTES not including OS installation time."

them: "Okay, that's a valid complaint."

Well, duh.


Bill Bradford 
Houston, Texas

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