How to frustrate programmers

A Monument to Frustration and Low Achievement Credit: flickr/psd

ITWeb –

Here's one way: take six days to change one line of code, even after the company president requests the change.

Such is the story from Ed Weissman, with a step by step recounting of trying to improve production by 10 percent by changing the "MonthsOfBacklog" variable from "3" to "4." That's it. One line of code to up production to keep slightly more inventory before the busy season hits. Then the fun began.

You need a ticket. The change ticket is behind 14 bug reports. You can't use a hard-coded variable. Fix two old Debug commands first. Submit it to Code Review. Fred is out, so no User Acceptance Testing. "MonthsOfBacklog" may confuse the offshore programmers. Change to "MonthsOfDemand" and resubmit. Add module to maintain the record. File test plan. Tell president about delay. President demands change ASAP. Done, six days after initial request.

Advice

Run, and don't look back!!!!

friend on edweissman.com

they soon learn I'm far more helpful if they don't irritate me!

dspillett on news.ycombinator.com

I can do a lot of damage in one line.

bengl3rt on news.ycombinator.com

The business

This describes everything wrong with Enterprise IT. Process over rationale.

Tamer Salama on edweissman.com

I seriously don't see the problem. The author seems to be assuming that taking 6 days to have a change made is objectively bad.

dools on news.ycombinator.com

The IT industry is not going to get better.

anon on halfsigma.com

I feel your pain

This just happened where I work.

Idontwanttogetfired on edweissman.com

If my non developer coworkers realized how disturbing it is to be in flow writing code to have someone tap your shoulder and start discussing a totally unrelated issue to what you've been coding.

badclient on news.ycombinator.com

I am a former programmer, now in my forties and looking for a better career.

Former Programmer on halfsigma.com

What's the most frustrating thing that has happened on your job lately?

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