[rescue] product quality (was: ham gear)

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Sun Dec 4 04:38:27 CST 2005

On Sun, 4 Dec 2005, Bill Bradford wrote:

>> 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".

Except, they -never do-.  The consultants delivered a broken and
incomplete product.  They still got paid.  New consultants got invited
in, and the same thing happened.

> 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."

And that sort of attitude is the Whole Problem.  Suits don't stand up
and say "I FUCKED UP" when they choose something stupid; however, when
one of their minions does Really Cool Stuff, the suite are all too eager
to say "LOOK WHAT I DID!"

....like that fucking director at $agency that took full credit for
coming up with the ideas and methodologies for exchanging all this data
over SSH/SFTP instead of leased lines, at a great savings to everyone
involved.  I think when she was giving that magazine interview, I was
probably on consecutive all-nighter #5 to meet their insane synthetic
deadline for code they wouldn't even use for another three months.  And,
after all those nifty modifications to OpenSSH to support our
stringent authetication requirements and privilege-fixing (to cope with
Windows SFTP clients that do a 'umask 0000' prior to uploading anything)
do you think they'd even let me give the code back to the OpenSSH
project?  Fuck no, I got threatened with lawsuits if I shared that code
with anyone.  I'll reimplement it and give it to the OpenSSH project
precisely after I figure out how to make it fundamentally imcompatible
with what I wrote for $agency so that they can't just directly upgrade.

What, me, bitter?

> 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."

But they got paid by the hour, not by the deliverable, right?

Jonathan Patschke  ) "Buy the best there is, because it's sorry enough."
Elgin, TX         (                                      --Henry Zuehlke

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