Scott Selikoff

Jun 2010

That's One Way to Fulfill a Requirement

by in CodeSOD on

Everyone responds to new requirements on already-behind-schedule projects in a different way.  Many people feel anger, and try to find an innocuous way to show it.  Others, realizing this might finally be their chance to shine, take it as a challenge with a smile.  Still others, like Gary's colleague Steve, find a way to fulfill the requirements without actually fulfilling the requirements.

With less than a week remaining till the deadline of a 4-month-long project, Gary and Steve's boss demanded everyone write Unit test code.  Gary spent hour upon unpaid overtime hour adding as many unit tests as he could come up with, while Steve left by 5pm each day.  Their boss also asked them to set up a nightly script to perform the unit tests automatically.  Each night Steve's test set would always come back with 100% successful results.

On the Job Training

by in Feature Articles on

"None of our customers' web servers are online!" was not the kind of thing Ryan wanted to hear in the morning.  Nor was it the kind of question Ryan wanted to hear from the 15 different department heads and administrators all shouting on the conference call that morning.  Luckily (for everyone but Ryan), Ted from Net Operations was on the call. Ted was one of those hands-off system administrators who found that it was far easier to delegate work to someone else and leave early for a bar.

After 10 minutes of bickering, Ted announced that he had found the root cause of the problem: Ryan. He announced to the group that Ryan, in his ignorance and naivety, had deleted all of the customers' web servers from production.  In shocked realization that today might be his last day on the job, Ryan was unable to speak at first, but one detail gnawed at him - throughout it all, he had followed the steps that Ted had given him to the letter.  Ryan needed answers - if Ted said that he did indeed wreck the Production environment then it was Ted who would show him.

The Training Process