Steve received a frantic call from client management, begging him to help fix their largest client's order entry system. In production for less than a year, the system was running as fast as a crippled tortoise and, short of upgrading to Blue Gene, they had maxed out hardware options. But none of this surprised Steve; this was, after all, a jProject.

jProjects, as they are known throughout the company, are projects destined to fail or turn into an unmaintainable mess. jProjects are, consequently, lead-up by the company's star developer, Jay. In addition to being wildly innovative, Jay manages to discover architectural flaws in programming, database, and other third-party tools when developing his own architecture.

On the order-entry system, the slowdown was a result of Microsoft SQL Server improperly indexing table pages. Jay's design was brilliant: each order had its own table. This way, any new changes to the table template won't affect the old orders.

After spending a few days of combining the ungodly amount of order tables, Steve was able to increase performance by a few magnitudes and reduce the database size from 80GB to 2GB. Jay, still the star-developer, scoffed at the "hack" and said he will be evaluating different database systems for future projects.