Thomas was outrunning a hurricane.
Joe worked hard every day fighting the good fight against viruses and malware for a large financial firm in the UK. Their security setup suffered flaws, but it worked well enough. Scanners on incoming email, an antivirus product on the mail servers, signature updates every 30 minutes, and a basic antivirus on desktops all worked at Joe’s command to protect their network. There was no default route back out to the Internet and a Machiavellian filter restricted web access. Despite all this, Joe had to contend with one vulnerability not even the most advanced security system in the world could defend.
Matthew was the system administrator of a smallish warehousing company. His responsibility was to more or less keep the facility's computer systems working at a reasonable pace and ensure that nothing unexpected would bring the company's business to a screeching halt. Due to the typical resource constraints (money, time, qualified people), companies of this size frequently contract the development work for their internal software out to a third party. Moreover, as you might expect, the quality of those 'third parties' varies widely. Luckily, John, the third party responsible for his warehousing company's software was an industry veteran and was held in very high regard. You could say that there were those in the company thought he walked on water, but that would be unfair to the original. John's following was more devout.
The Abstractor, as Greg and his team liked to call him, was a contractor at their company. The Abstractor had built a C# framework architecture (affectionately called Big Momma) that quickly went from being the company's framework, to being his personal baby. At the heart of Big Momma were abstract "Values" collections that wrapped the normal microsoft.net collections. This was so that any time The Abstractor decided that using arrays, XML or List<T> was bad, he could easily change "Values" to store data in some other data structure, and the code using it would be none-the-wiser. After all, enlightened developers use encapsulation, right?
Steve huffed up the steps of the state Capitol to his office in the IT department. As he caught his breath in the lobby elevator, his PDA buzzed. The flag coordinator, responsible for processing state flag orders from citizens, had written him an email in his typical tone. WHY ARE THERE NO FLAG ORDERS IN THE SYSTEM? IT’S YOUR JOB TO GET THEM TO US!