Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam
magicmarmot

Shock the monkey


Woke up this morning with a strangeness about me, like I wasn't quite awake and everything was just a dream. It's kinda been hanging with me all day.

It's odd how this world is so mundane now. Odd how I can be both disgusted and amused by the same things.

On a related note, a friend of mine is quitting his job today. It is a fabulous move on his part, because the company he is working for is abysmal: they hired him away from another company as a business analyst, but essentially put him on on-call phone support. Last week the director told him that he had to be on-call 24-7, and since that was one of his major complaints at his last position, it was really the second-to-last straw.

Where do these ideas come from? The idea that when you have someone who is a salaried employee that you own them? That they somehow owe you an Oath of Fealty?

I suppose that choosing your battles is one thing. I really don't have a problem saying "no" within the corporate culture. I think of it as my own sense of integrity to myself... and that seems to be the only integrity that exists these days.

Here, one of the program managers is refusing to allow changes in the schedule because it pushes out the release date. Never mind that the changes being requested are necessary. He seems to believe that if he doesn't allow the changes, that things will magically fall into place and happen on his schedule.

And now we're getting push-back on the Units of Measure system. I've managed to get buy-in on my manager's level, but now Andy is trying to force the issue system-wide. It's amazing, really. I can't believe it's even an issue.

We have system integration coming up, and have no plan for integration testing. I proposed one today, and my manager seems to really like it, along with the head of PV&V testing. It manages to build off of our existing unit test methodology while at the same time isolating the pieces into OS-nonspecific areas, and allows us to have a separate migration-to-a-new-OS test as a separate piece.
Since there was NO PLAN previous to this, it seems like a good idea.

Then there's this whole new-computer issue. I got assigned a new computer last week. I got it on Friday morning. I spent all day Friday treconfiguring it and reloading the apps that I need to do the work I need to do.
Now I'm happy to get a new machine, particularly since my previous one was severely underpowered (PIII/800 with 128 Mb running XP). But in an attempt to "standardize", they loaded the machine with Windows 2000, and are requiring all developers to go to Visual Studio.NET.

Beelzebub on a buffalo.

VS.NET is a little different than VS 6.0. It's not a straight change, and it's causing a few issues. Project files don't necessarily load properly, settings are lost, errors and warnings are treated differently.

And we're not developing for Windows. The code that we're writing is required to be OS-nonspecific, and for very good reason. It really shouldn't matter what we use to develop, as long as it works.

Plus, I really like changing development tools in the middle of a project. It just makes life that much more exciting.

Then there is the announcement that they are changing the code storage directory structure in our SCCS. Because even though the old one was working just fine, somebody didn't like the way it was organized, and took it upon themselves to create a more complex structure.

Okay. I'm fine with that, as long as you:
1.) give everybody a chance to check in everything that they're working on
2.) freeze the code before the change
3.) make the change at a low-impact time for everybody (like a weekend).

It would be a big pain while everybody had to work to make sure everything was properly linked in their projects, but it would take a day or two and then it would be done.

Instead, they've been moving pieces a little at a time.

It's like pulling a band-aid off. Very. Slowly.

Part of this is because of upper management's occasional request for demos on the spur of the moment. This causes the developers working on those pieces to drop any actual development and work in a flurry to do a demo, and freeze their code.

Then there are the design changes in interfaces. Things that should have been locked solid months ago. Last change I had to deal with was on Friday. And there are big parts that are undefined because those parts of the system have not had their operation defined yet.

The term 'clusterfuck' comes to mind.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just too critical. This seems to be fairly normal for large projects, or maybe it's just large companies.

I could do project management. I could do it well. But realistically, it's not what I want to do.

Thanksgiving plans:
I think I'm going down to visit Eve in KC. I was invited, and it should be a lot of fun. Better than anything else I had planned.
Barb just asked what my plans were.
I told her.
Now she's hurt.

I'm not laughing. Really, I'm not. Nope, nope, nope.
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