Hurry Up and Wait

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  • Laurens 2013-08-06 06:38
    Just frist it with a gun!
  • Hannes 2013-08-06 06:41
    I needed the requirements so I could be frist. But I had to wait.
  • robbak 2013-08-06 07:21
    Of course, there is nothing wrong with a patent on a guy with a gun protecting a computer. It's not like there is any prior art on that, is there? No one else has patented 'guy with a gun protecting a computer'.
  • Keyboard Goop 2013-08-06 07:38
    So is this it? Is this how it's going to be? If you can't come up with any sort of punchline you just put something at the end of the story that sort of looks like a punchline without actually being one and call it a day?
  • UnlimitedLTD 2013-08-06 08:05
    Am I correct in assuming that the end of the story implies that "hire a guy to stand by the engine with a gun" was the final solution?
  • radarbob 2013-08-06 08:07
    Keyboard Goop:
    So is this it? Is this how it's going to be? If you can't come up with any sort of punchline you just put something at the end of the story that sort of looks like a punchline without actually being one and call it a day?


    The never-ending story IS the punchline. A looonnggg on and on, blah, blah, blah, letters, meetings, email, process, process, process, bureauacy-busy, busy, busy .... The punchline of bureaucrats is process; it hides their incompetence.

    I've seen it with the simplest of projects - a one developer task taking 8 months to even approve requirements gathering.
  • EvilSnack 2013-08-06 08:12
    If there' ever a site named TDPHB, this would make a good entry.

    Captcha mara: "I'll 'ave those requirements for ya first thing t'mara."
  • mediocre 2013-08-06 08:12
    If there are multiple engines, like in marine applications, one guy with a gun might not be enough
  • Hmmmm 2013-08-06 08:17
    Cool effect on the front page with the float:right image. Very proffesionnal...
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-08-06 08:27
    The title of the article made me think of something else entirely. Back in the day, around 1989 I think it was, in my first real job I had a 20 MHz 386 machine to work on. Not exactly blazingly fast, even by the standards of the day, but it did the job. It had an interesting feature - when the floppy drive was working (more specifically, any time the light was on and the spindle motor was running) some doodad on the motherboard would slow the system clock from 20 MHz to just 6 MHz. It was some sort of compatibility mode to avoid a particular category of timing-related problems with copy-protected software that used fingerprinted disks. (This was during an era when parallel port dongles existed, of course, but there was still software that wouldn't work properly if the floppy drive timing was off, and the 20 MHz full speed was sufficiently fast to do that.)

    So you started to load something from a floppy disk, and the machine slowed down for compatibility purposes, then that stage of the load completed, and the machine would go idle waiting for you to insert the next disk. After a few seconds, the timers would shut off the spindle motor, and the compatibility mode with it, so now that the machine was just twiddling its thumbs, it would do it quickly.

    Hurry up and wait, indeed.

    And the line to fix this is "If you don't want me sitting in your office all day every day, get me the requirements. I have nothing else to do, because I am at 100% on your project. If you don't get me the requirements, I'll be here every day, billing you for sitting in your office." Or at least you ask your boss for permission to do it.

    And the numbers seem off. It was something like 18 months from when the project supposedly began to when the SBU somehow didn't have any code written to do the testing, and yet all and sundry between them had only billed 1200 hours. For a typical US firm, you'd normally count on being able to bill 2000 hours a year per person. OK, not all of that time goes to projects (e.g. performance appraisals, company meetings, and so on), but Nate's end of things racked up only 600 hours in that >12 month period. Nate's "velocity" therefore averaged only 30% (assuming 12 months exactly) down to 20% (18 months) or 15% (24 months).

    Sigh. I'd guess it's an anonymization failure.
  • KattMan 2013-08-06 08:37
    They are bureaucrats, throw them off a building and it will still take a week for them to hit the ground.
  • Nagesh 2013-08-06 08:37
    Guy with gun would be cheaper or what?
  • Andrew 2013-08-06 08:37
    TRWTF is he got a patent.
  • Nagesh 2013-08-06 08:39
    mediocre:
    If there are multiple engines, like in marine applications, one guy with a gun might not be enough


    Get Rajnikanth.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajinikanth

  • lizardfoot 2013-08-06 08:42
    We don't get requirements where I work.
    They just wait for QA to test the requirements into the software.
  • dkf 2013-08-06 08:42
  • Recursive Reclusive 2013-08-06 09:14
    In a century long gone, I, and 4 other developers, were flown to another country for a two week introduction to the proprietary WTF-y development tool we would be using for this very important project we were contractors on. That was in early October. Two of us stayed for more training well into December.

    All while staying in a hotel, eating in restaurants, riding taxis and flying back home every other weekend.

    However it wasn't until March the next year, the client paying for all this got around to providing us with a development server and we could start producing anything. At that point we were well behind schedule and we had forgotten most of our training.
  • Nathaniel 2013-08-06 09:15
    The real WTF for someone from Balkan is a serbian soldier!
    http://www.bosnjaci.net/foto/cetnik_i_kama_big.jpg
  • Derf 2013-08-06 09:18
    What do we want? - We dont know!
    When do we want it? - NOW!!!
  • Neil 2013-08-06 09:41
    Derf:
    What do we want? - We dont know!
    When do we want it? - NOW!!!
    You forgot "When will we be able to test it?"
  • Chronomium 2013-08-06 09:47
    Neil:
    Derf:
    What do we want? - We dont know!
    When do we want it? - NOW!!!
    You forgot "When will we be able to test it?"
    When can we test it? - .....We want it NOW!!!
  • Drenrab 2013-08-06 09:49
    Hopefully I'm not going to start an Agile flame war, but this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development. Most people don't know what they want until they see it. Giving them some prototypes to look at (I know, it doesn't require Agile to prototype) can help. It's easier for an untrained manager to tweak a prototype than to come up with satisfactory requirements ahead of time.

    I worked on a project where 16 months was spent on requirements development and then it was delivered to us to work on. 2 weeks into coding everyone realized the requirements were completely inadequate. A week later the project was cancelled because they ran out of money. Over $6M flushed down the drain.

    How much better the project would have been if they had spent 2-3 months roughing out some requirements, then got the development team involved and maybe in 6 months, or even sooner, had something working they could demo.
  • Captain Oblivious 2013-08-06 09:49
    So, why wasn't Nate building a configurable EDT framework while he was "waiting"?
  • operagost 2013-08-06 09:50
    mediocre:
    If there are multiple engines, like in marine applications, one guy with a gun might not be enough

    Guns akimbo would cover two engines, but there's prior art (Rise of the Triad).
  • eViLegion 2013-08-06 10:02
    operagost:
    (Rise of the Triad)


    Played the new one? It's hilariously exactly the same as the old one. Today is a good day to be alive.
  • Hmmmm 2013-08-06 10:02
    The word patent can be an adjective too. E.g.

    They posted with patent disregard for the intended meaning of the word "patent".

    Filed under: patent troll is patent
  • Ronald 2013-08-06 10:06
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!
  • zelmak 2013-08-06 10:12
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!


    Serious Business Unit
  • keigezellig 2013-08-06 10:20
    Serbian Business Unit?? Since the picture shows (indeed) a Serbian soldier.. (why?)
  • Tim 2013-08-06 10:24
    Neil:
    Derf:
    What do we want? - We dont know!
    When do we want it? - NOW!!!
    You forgot "When will we be able to test it?"
    We'll just avoid making mistakes and ship it fresh from the coders, and what's important - NOW!!!
  • Hannes 2013-08-06 10:27
    KattMan:
    They are bureaucrats, throw them off a building and it will still take a week for them to hit the ground.


    Unless you have the permission to throw them off a building, they will refuse to even fall down. And even IF you have the permission to throw them, it doesn't mean they have to permission to actually fall down to the ground!
  • Ronald 2013-08-06 10:30
    Thanks. Since it was a "Army" post, the closest thing I could find was Sensitive But Unclassified, which still made no sense.
  • C-Derb 2013-08-06 10:53
    Ronald:
    Thanks. Since it was a "Army" post, the closest thing I could find was Sensitive But Unclassified, which still made no sense.
    Strategic.
  • EternityForest 2013-08-06 11:02
    Why is management always TRWTF? It's almost like managers are usually all incompetent or something... Makes me really appreciate working with people that actually know not to put peanut butter sandwiches in the CD hole even more.
  • Anonymous 2013-08-06 11:14
    They only put them in just partially? Lucky you. :(
  • n_slash_a 2013-08-06 11:23
    Drenrab:
    Hopefully I'm not going to start an Agile flame war, but this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development. Most people don't know what they want until they see it. Giving them some prototypes to look at (I know, it doesn't require Agile to prototype) can help. It's easier for an untrained manager to tweak a prototype than to come up with satisfactory requirements ahead of time.

    I worked on a project where 16 months was spent on requirements development and then it was delivered to us to work on. 2 weeks into coding everyone realized the requirements were completely inadequate. A week later the project was cancelled because they ran out of money. Over $6M flushed down the drain.

    How much better the project would have been if they had spent 2-3 months roughing out some requirements, then got the development team involved and maybe in 6 months, or even sooner, had something working they could demo.

    16 months on requirements development IS the massive failure. I think you are confusing high level system requirements and lower level software requirements. Even in Agile development, you still have to have system requirements.
  • hank 2013-08-06 11:28
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition.
    Here, let me actually Google that for you: strategic business unit. That was what, something like the 3rd link of the results?
  • hank 2013-08-06 11:30
    Drenrab:
    this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development.

    "Build me an anti-theft system!"

    Ready ... set ... iterate!
  • eViLegion 2013-08-06 11:30
    hank:
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition.
    Here, let me actually Google that for you: strategic business unit. That was what, something like the 3rd link of the results?


    I think it stands for "Son-of-a-Bitch User", as in "Hank is an SBU"
  • herby 2013-08-06 12:18
    Maybe we can have the patent number so we can all approve the wishy-washy nature of requirements planning.

    It might be an interesting patent, who knows.
  • cellocgw 2013-08-06 12:21
    This is going to sound like a joke, but it really has happened on many programs I've been part of. The customer (often a certain branch of the US gov't which resides in a building greater than square but less than hex) has no clue as to the requirements, so we design, analyze, and write the spec docs and hand them over to the customer so they can sign off as if originating with them. Then they send the specs to us so we can work to them.

    Hilarity (and overbilling) ensue.
  • RFoxmich 2013-08-06 12:27
    Not being in the business world I had to look up SBU...I'm still not clear on the role of a Self Balancing Unicycle in this or any other project http://focusdesigns.com/sbuv3/ ...but I suppose stress relief might be a good start.
  • no laughing matter 2013-08-06 12:41
    hank:
    Drenrab:
    this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development.

    "Build me an anti-theft system!"

    Ready ... set ... iterate!
    Agile development is certainly the silver bullet when the product to develop is mostly hardware and changing the assumptions means producing new hardware:

    Nate: Here, let me show you our first iteration of the ETD. Just test it by trying to steal one of the machines!

    SBU-manager: *lifts machine*

    ETD-Unit: *shoots SBU-manager in the head*

    Nate: So what is your feedback on the first iteration? Hello!?


    Seriously, i have to wonder about the questions Nate asked in the story!

    What if there are multiple engines, and thus multiple instances of the software to manage at once— like in marine applications?

    It's an Engine Theft Deterrent system, you stupid prick! Of course it should deter the thief from stealing any of the engines!

    Imagine someone wanted to steal a boat and had an extra control module lying around, with an older release of the software. What then?

    What kind of clueless idiot are you? It should deter the thief from stealing the engine! Is that so hard to understand?
  • Anonymous Coward 2013-08-06 12:52
    Hmmmm:
    Cool effect on the front page with the float:right image. Very proffesionnal...


    Proffesionnal, indeed.
  • Gurth 2013-08-06 13:15
    Derf:
    What do we want? - We dont know!
    When do we want it? - NOW!!!

    Or: I don't know what I want, but I know how to get it.
  • DrPepper 2013-08-06 13:32
    Nicely written story; and I'm sure many of us have experienced this at some time.
  • Mr. Bob 2013-08-06 13:54
    no laughing matter:
    hank:
    Drenrab:
    this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development.

    "Build me an anti-theft system!"

    Ready ... set ... iterate!
    Agile development is certainly the silver bullet when the product to develop is mostly hardware and changing the assumptions means producing new hardware:

    Nate: Here, let me show you our first iteration of the ETD. Just test it by trying to steal one of the machines!

    SBU-manager: *lifts machine*

    ETD-Unit: *shoots SBU-manager in the head*

    Nate: So what is your feedback on the first iteration? Hello!?


    Seriously, i have to wonder about the questions Nate asked in the story!

    What if there are multiple engines, and thus multiple instances of the software to manage at once— like in marine applications?

    It's an Engine Theft Deterrent system, you stupid prick! Of course it should deter the thief from stealing any of the engines!

    Imagine someone wanted to steal a boat and had an extra control module lying around, with an older release of the software. What then?

    What kind of clueless idiot are you? It should deter the thief from stealing the engine! Is that so hard to understand?


    I can tell you're a "people" person.
  • Saluto 2013-08-06 13:55
    no laughing matter:


    Seriously, i have to wonder about the questions Nate asked in the story!

    What if there are multiple engines, and thus multiple instances of the software to manage at once— like in marine applications?

    It's an Engine Theft Deterrent system, you stupid prick! Of course it should deter the thief from stealing any of the engines!

    Imagine someone wanted to steal a boat and had an extra control module lying around, with an older release of the software. What then?

    What kind of clueless idiot are you? It should deter the thief from stealing the engine! Is that so hard to understand?


    Well, it's an ENGINE theft deterrent. If they go and steal the whole boat, that's a completely different feature.
  • no laughing matter 2013-08-06 14:27
    Saluto:

    Well, it's an ENGINE theft deterrent. If they go and steal the whole boat, that's a completely different feature.
    As long as the engines stay in place. So the ETD should help the thieves to dismantle the engines.
  • Kevin 2013-08-06 14:52
    You had a 386 20MHz in 1989 and consider that slow? My first PC (well aside from a Commodore 64 as a teen) was a 486 66MHz in 1993, 386 20MHz was probably a super-computer by 1989 standards :O
  • Kevin 2013-08-06 14:53
    Steve The Cynic:
    The title of the article made me think of something else entirely. Back in the day, around 1989 I think it was, in my first real job I had a 20 MHz 386 machine to work on. Not exactly blazingly fast, even by the standards of the day, but it did the job. It had an interesting feature - when the floppy drive was working (more specifically, any time the light was on and the spindle motor was running) some doodad on the motherboard would slow the system clock from 20 MHz to just 6 MHz. It was some sort of compatibility mode to avoid a particular category of timing-related problems with copy-protected software that used fingerprinted disks. (This was during an era when parallel port dongles existed, of course, but there was still software that wouldn't work properly if the floppy drive timing was off, and the 20 MHz full speed was sufficiently fast to do that.)

    So you started to load something from a floppy disk, and the machine slowed down for compatibility purposes, then that stage of the load completed, and the machine would go idle waiting for you to insert the next disk. After a few seconds, the timers would shut off the spindle motor, and the compatibility mode with it, so now that the machine was just twiddling its thumbs, it would do it quickly.

    Hurry up and wait, indeed.

    And the line to fix this is "If you don't want me sitting in your office all day every day, get me the requirements. I have nothing else to do, because I am at 100% on your project. If you don't get me the requirements, I'll be here every day, billing you for sitting in your office." Or at least you ask your boss for permission to do it.

    And the numbers seem off. It was something like 18 months from when the project supposedly began to when the SBU somehow didn't have any code written to do the testing, and yet all and sundry between them had only billed 1200 hours. For a typical US firm, you'd normally count on being able to bill 2000 hours a year per person. OK, not all of that time goes to projects (e.g. performance appraisals, company meetings, and so on), but Nate's end of things racked up only 600 hours in that >12 month period. Nate's "velocity" therefore averaged only 30% (assuming 12 months exactly) down to 20% (18 months) or 15% (24 months).

    Sigh. I'd guess it's an anonymization failure.


    You had a 386 20MHz in 1989 and consider that slow? My first PC (well aside from a Commodore 64 as a teen) was a 486 66MHz in 1993, 386 20MHz was probably a super-computer by 1989 standards :O
  • Everyone 2013-08-06 15:08
    Nagesh - that would be OK, but these systems need to be redundant. And everyone knows there is only one Rajinikanth.
  • Goran 2013-08-06 15:15
    So, did they outsource the guy with a gun to Serbia? :)
  • da Doctah 2013-08-06 15:17
    hank:
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition.
    Here, let me actually Google that for you: strategic business unit. That was what, something like the 3rd link of the results?
    It's the twenty-ninth hit out of thirty-six total at the page I use to look up unfamiliar acronyms. Number one is "Saint Bonaventure University". My "third link" is "Scottish Bridge Union".
  • Jazz 2013-08-06 15:27
    I don't see a WTF here. Every person at the company was doing exactly what their role demanded of them. The developer was patiently waiting for requirements and trying to be helpful in the meantime, as developers do. The entire management team chased each other around in circles, wasted resources, broke promises, and collected bonuses, as managers do. Where's the WTF?

    (CAPTCHA: "sino" – I sino WTF here.)
  • Trimble 2013-08-06 16:58
    Kevin:

    You had a 386 20MHz in 1989 and consider that slow? My first PC (well aside from a Commodore 64 as a teen) was a 486 66MHz in 1993, 386 20MHz was probably a super-computer by 1989 standards :O


    An Amiga was a supercomputer 1989, running circles around any of the x86. To bad that Commodore was such a lousy marketeer.
  • chubertdev 2013-08-06 17:20
    Here's to Wax, he's a damn fine guy.

    It doesn't matter that none of you will understand this. It's an inside joke about really, really bad stories, and needed to be said.
  • hank 2013-08-06 17:50
    da Doctah:
    hank:
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition.
    Here, let me actually Google that for you: strategic business unit. That was what, something like the 3rd link of the results?
    It's the twenty-ninth hit out of thirty-six total at the page I use to look up unfamiliar acronyms. Number one is "Saint Bonaventure University". My "third link" is "Scottish Bridge Union".
    Fair enough. TRWTF is filter bubbles.
  • Jimbo 2013-08-06 19:06
    WTF is an SBU? Stupid Business Unit? Serious Business Unit? Some Bastard Unicorn? Strange Big Umbrella? Stupid Bloody User? Shade Back Umbra? South Bagota Uncles? Salvage Buyers, Uganda? Small Bicycle Utility?
  • A flatus was just released. 2013-08-06 20:15
    Jimbo:
    WTF is an SBU? Stupid Business Unit? Serious Business Unit? Some Bastard Unicorn? Strange Big Umbrella? Stupid Bloody User? Shade Back Umbra? South Bagota Uncles? Salvage Buyers, Uganda? Small Bicycle Utility?


    Special Bictims Unit
  • Mick 2013-08-06 20:40
    Jazz:
    I don't see a WTF here. Every person at the company was doing exactly what their role demanded of them. The developer was patiently waiting for requirements and trying to be helpful in the meantime, as developers do. The entire management team chased each other around in circles, wasted resources, broke promises, and collected bonuses, as managers do. Where's the WTF?

    (CAPTCHA: "sino" – I sino WTF here.)
    Just because it's the norm, doesn't mean it's not a WTF.
  • gorge 2013-08-06 20:42
    A flatus was just released.:
    Jimbo:
    WTF is an SBU? Stupid Business Unit? Serious Business Unit? Some Bastard Unicorn? Strange Big Umbrella? Stupid Bloody User? Shade Back Umbra? South Bagota Uncles? Salvage Buyers, Uganda? Small Bicycle Utility?


    Special Bictims Unit
    PMSL
  • Mesha 2013-08-06 22:32
  • Plagiarism Hunter 2013-08-07 01:40
    These words are well-known ...

  • George 2013-08-07 01:47
    Drenrab:
    Hopefully I'm not going to start an Agile flame war, but this sort of thing is why I prefer Agile development...if they had spent 2-3 months roughing out some requirements, then got the development team involved and maybe in 6 months, or even sooner, had something working they could demo.


    Except that in most agile development environments I've seen, the product owner would come up with some pie-in-the-sky abstract idea, it would be planned in a half hour planning session and you would be expected to start coding straight away. All because analysis and documentation takes too long and costs too much money.

    Are you telling me that there are agile teams who strike a reasonable balance between iteration and analysis?
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-08-07 04:07
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!

    I looked it up on the pseudo-encyclopaedia:

    SBU
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    The three-letter acronym SBU may refer to:

    Military and defense

    Security Service of Ukraine or Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny (SBU).
    Sensitive but unclassified, a U.S. designation of information
    SBU Corsair, an aircraft
    Special Boarding Unit

    Universities

    Stony Brook University, a public, coeducational research university in Stony Brook, New York, USA
    St. Bonaventure University
    Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
    South Bank University, now London South Bank University
    Southwest Baptist University, in Missouri, USA

    Business

    Strategic business unit, a business unit within the overall corporate identity
    Sequential build-up, a printed circuit board manufacturing technology
    Stanbic Bank (Uganda) Limited, a commercial bank in Uganda
    Siberian Business Union, a Russian holding company

    Technologies

    Standard Build Unit, a term coined by the Linux From Scratch book
    Self-balancing unicycle

    Others

    Sinfonisches Blasorchester Ulm, Sinfonic Wind Orchestra Ulm, a German orchestra
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-08-07 04:17
    Kevin:
    You had a 386 20MHz in 1989 and consider that slow? My first PC (well aside from a Commodore 64 as a teen) was a 486 66MHz in 1993, 386 20MHz was probably a super-computer by 1989 standards :O

    The very first (20 MHz) 486 machines had just come out at that time, and IDE ("parallel ATA") was also brand new. The Video Graphics Array (the "A" in VGA does not stand for "Adapter") was only a couple of years old.

    The 386 I had was hampered somewhat by non-large memory and a questionable choice of hard disk system. (For complicated and marginally valid reasons, it was decided to have only removable hard disks, specifically the late and definitely not lamented "Plus Passport", so each project's development could be done on its own disk.)

    And of course the company (I was the first employee, unless you count the owner as an employee of himself) was cheap enough to, when a maths coprocessor was required, buy an 80287 rather than an 80387, because the machine had both kinds of slots.

    Ah, the qualitatively ambiguous old days!
  • da Doctah 2013-08-07 04:20
    Steve The Cynic:
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!

    I looked it up on the pseudo-encyclopaedia:

    SBU
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    The three-letter acronym SBU may refer to:
    But why would you look it up on a general-purpose reference site when you have a bookmark to a site specifically designed to look up and expand acronyms?

    On second thought, scratch that. Due to a certain chain of health-food stores recently discontinuing one product I routinely bought there, I have in fact ordered two cases of bottled water through Amazon.
  • Gurth 2013-08-07 04:47
    Trimble:
    An Amiga was a supercomputer 1989, running circles around any of the x86. To bad that Commodore was such a lousy marketeer.

    They should never have gotten rid of Jack Tramiel?
  • Hmmmm 2013-08-07 04:57
    Anonymous Coward:
    Hmmmm:
    Cool effect on the front page with the float:right image. Very proffesionnal...


    Proffesionnal, indeed.

    Congratulations, you have achieved a pass in "Elementary irony blindness"...
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-08-07 08:27
    da Doctah:
    But why would you look it up on a general-purpose reference site when you have a bookmark to a site specifically designed to look up and expand acronyms?

    Because I don't have such a bookmark?

    And besides, "SBU" isn't (in the pedantic sense) an acronym. It's a (three letter) initialism (although it's very common these days to refer to initialisms as acronyms, hell, even I do it sometimes, so OK, I'll let you off). (Key point: acronyms, in the original sense, are able to be pronounced as if they are words. I challenge you to pronounce "SBU" as if it were a word.)

    Languages evolve, sure, but when the evolution of language is driven by the ignorance of its users (that is, they don't know what words mean, but (mis)use them anyway), there's a bit of a problem. An example: it is becoming increasingly difficult to find evidence that the verb "lose" (whether in the sense of "misplace" or "be defeated") is supposed to be spelled with only one "o". Spell it with two "o"s, and it becomes "loose", which *is* a real verb, meaning "release" or "let slip", but not meaning "misplace" or "be defeated". ("Loose" is also an adjective, more or less an antonym for "tight", but in slang use it can describe women of "easy virtue", as they say.) And let's not get into its/it's, their/there/they're, your/you're, accept/except, affect/effect, and so on.

    da Doctah:
    On second thought, scratch that. Due to a certain chain of health-food stores recently discontinuing one product I routinely bought there, I have in fact ordered two cases of bottled water through Amazon.

    Bottled water is TRWTF. In small quantities it is more expensive than petrol.(*) If you are buying large quantities of it (sparkling exempted), you should examine closely your choice of (a) lifestyle and/or (b) living environment.

    (*) Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 2000 or 2001, at the edge of Reading, England. Your correspondent stops his car at a petrol station to buy some petrol (duh), and while he is there, he picks up a bottle of water. The price of the petrol? About £1 a litre. The water? About £1 for half a litre. So water is twice the price of petrol. WTF? (It could be worse, of course. In a country with a less farked petrol tax policy, the difference would be more pronounced. Last time I looked, 80% of the at-pump price of petrol in the UK was taxes.)
  • fgfg 2013-08-07 12:21
    Steve The Cynic:
    I challenge you to pronounce "SBU" as if it were a word


    I would pronounce it like "spew", maybe with a softer "p".
  • English Man 2013-08-07 12:39
    Keyboard Goop:
    So is this it? Is this how it's going to be? If you can't come up with any sort of punchline you just put something at the end of the story that sort of looks like a punchline without actually being one and call it a day?
    Real life doesn't always have a punchline.
  • Dominic 2013-08-07 13:21
    In WTFistan, theft deters YOU
  • tjbl 2013-08-07 13:25
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!

    Best Acronym Finder ever: http://www.acronymfinder.com/

    (BTW - what does TDPHB stand for?)
  • Gurth 2013-08-07 13:40
    tjbl:
    (BTW - what does TDPHB stand for?)

    The Daily Player's Handbook, the site for D&D players everywhere.
  • Dozer 2013-08-08 03:21
    tjbl:
    Ronald:
    TRWTF is that SBU isn't defined and a Google search doesn't help at all in its definition. Define your acronyms!

    Best Acronym Finder ever: http://www.acronymfinder.com/

    (BTW - what does TDPHB stand for?)


    http://www.acronymfinder.com/PHB.html
  • Tom Smykowski 2013-08-08 09:45
    Mr. Bob:


    I can tell you're a "people" person.


    I deal with God damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills, I am good in dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you, people?
  • Old 30-year veteran 2013-08-08 13:25
    Captain Oblivious:
    So, why wasn't Nate building a configurable EDT framework while he was "waiting"?

    Nate should've been let go for failing to follow instructions:

    Nate shook his head. “So what do you need me to do right now?”

    Twiddle your thumbs? Stock up on caffeine for the last-minute code binge?” The project lead shrugged. “I’ll let you know when we have more.”

    As weeks and then months slipped by, “more” turned out not to be “nothing.” His time being billable, and lacking a thumb-twiddling time bucket to fall back on...

    WRONG. Bill 40 to the ETD bucket. Every week.

    “You’re supposed to be 100% dedicated to ETD,” the lead declared. “What are you doing working on other projects?”

    Exactly right. You're paid to do what you're paid to do. So do it!

  • NoName 2013-08-09 09:07
    You had me until Nate got the patent. Then I just said "screw that guy, he's part of the problem" and read something else.
  • x 2013-08-11 04:24
    Hmmmm:
    Cool effect on the front page with the float:right image. Very proffesionnal...

    He's standing watch on the engine to the left...
    Aw, crap.
  • QJo 2013-08-12 06:05
    Steve The Cynic:
    da Doctah:
    But why would you look it up on a general-purpose reference site when you have a bookmark to a site specifically designed to look up and expand acronyms?

    Because I don't have such a bookmark?

    And besides, "SBU" isn't (in the pedantic sense) an acronym. It's a (three letter) initialism (although it's very common these days to refer to initialisms as acronyms, hell, even I do it sometimes, so OK, I'll let you off). (Key point: acronyms, in the original sense, are able to be pronounced as if they are words. I challenge you to pronounce "SBU" as if it were a word.)

    Languages evolve, sure, but when the evolution of language is driven by the ignorance of its users (that is, they don't know what words mean, but (mis)use them anyway), there's a bit of a problem. An example: it is becoming increasingly difficult to find evidence that the verb "lose" (whether in the sense of "misplace" or "be defeated") is supposed to be spelled with only one "o". Spell it with two "o"s, and it becomes "loose", which *is* a real verb, meaning "release" or "let slip", but not meaning "misplace" or "be defeated". ("Loose" is also an adjective, more or less an antonym for "tight", but in slang use it can describe women of "easy virtue", as they say.) And let's not get into its/it's, their/there/they're, your/you're, accept/except, affect/effect, and so on.

    da Doctah:
    On second thought, scratch that. Due to a certain chain of health-food stores recently discontinuing one product I routinely bought there, I have in fact ordered two cases of bottled water through Amazon.

    Bottled water is TRWTF. In small quantities it is more expensive than petrol.(*) If you are buying large quantities of it (sparkling exempted), you should examine closely your choice of (a) lifestyle and/or (b) living environment.

    (*) Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 2000 or 2001, at the edge of Reading, England. Your correspondent stops his car at a petrol station to buy some petrol (duh), and while he is there, he picks up a bottle of water. The price of the petrol? About £1 a litre. The water? About £1 for half a litre. So water is twice the price of petrol. WTF? (It could be worse, of course. In a country with a less farked petrol tax policy, the difference would be more pronounced. Last time I looked, 80% of the at-pump price of petrol in the UK was taxes.)

    Yes, we do that, to milk money from the tourists. After all, the real WTF is paying money for water when perfectly good water emerges from taps (that's "faucets") for practically free.
  • Tom Morris 2013-08-16 14:06
    “We don’t have any engine software written yet"...

    PROBLEM SOLVED via FAILURE

    CASE CLOSED. No software.... engine won't run :)
  • Miroslav 2013-08-16 16:00
    WTF is that every time Serbs are mentioned, you see something else. Stop watching CNN, it is bad for your health.