• Sean (cs)

    The real WTF is that a developer let a tester onto his machine.  If you did that in my company, you'd have embarassing e-mails sent to the whole office from your account.

  • sir_flexalot (cs)

    Sounds great, now just switch the "QA" and "Production" labels, and I think you're pretty close to done!  Of course, QA will need to open some small and secure holes in its firewall for production stuff to get out, but that's probably easier than "securing" production from where it is now...

  • WIldpeaks (cs) in reply to Sean

    <sarcasm>

    It could be worse, at least there is a tester before updating

    </sarcasm>

  • wgh (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    They even went so far as to install a "white room" that required fingerprint and optical scans from two executives, a careful dodging of laser-beam alarms, and an acrobatic dance across a pressure-sensitive floor just to access the mainframe console.

    .... while wearing a form-fitting black leather body suit, of course.

  • John Hensley (cs) in reply to wgh

    Measure once, cut twice!

  • kuroshin (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    This meant that deployments had to be burned to a CD, carried over to the QA lab, and then installed on the network.

    Dang, and I thought my organization was in the Stone Age.

    Over here, we get to check in code via e-mail.

    No, it's not even geeky where you can attach an archive with some standard folders in it.

     

    First, thou art to share your development directory (Some folks have a problem here - they dont have a trunk, only branches).

    Then make sure that the Version Control serfs have the permission to get the files across to their cubes. (Some folks make a mess of this, and deny themselves access to their trunk)

    Oh you better leave your PC switched on (Some folks forget this).

    And when the clock strikes the eleventyth hour, Lo! the gates of Source Safe Hell open and unleash the stench within.

     

    But for my manager and my persistence to obtain administrator rights, our team would not have the luxury of a hidden Subversion repository integrated with Trac.

  • Volmarias (cs)

    So, the WTF here is two-fold: there was no real QA system, and then the new QA system was used AFTER the deployment went live? Is this correct? I'm ignoring the "anyone has access" wtf for convenience, as this seems more of a tangental WTF.

    There was a pretty good setup for this one, but the punchline was shockingly weak. You really should have rewritten the last paragraph, alex.

  • GTT (unregistered)

    I concur with Roger above.

  • abx (cs)

    Ok, so it's a big company, and that system were fine with them until Josh appeared, and he alone made them swiftly decide to set up a QA environment?
    Sounds to me like Josh delivered some questionable code, to make that kind of impression.
     

  • un.sined (cs) in reply to Sean

    Sean:
    The real WTF is that a developer let a tester onto his machine.  If you did that in my company, you'd have embarassing e-mails sent to the whole office from your account.

    Nah...  usually QA is nice if you invite them onto your machine...  it's when you leave it unlocked while using the little software developer's room that we have our fun.

    Of course, now that I'm transitioning (transcending perhaps) into a development role, I'll not let a tester near my machines...
     

  • abx (cs) in reply to Volmarias

    Volmarias:
    There was a pretty good setup for this one, but the punchline was shockingly weak. You really should have rewritten the last paragraph, alex.
    Let me second that one!
    Having read that sentence, I tried to scroll down, and I was shocked to find that there was no more to the story.
     

  • Joelpharm (unregistered) in reply to kuroshin

    If your new job, does not have a Concurrent Versioning System (CVS,SVN,etc.) and at least 1 (non-development pre-production environment, then you are in the wrong company.

     

    How on earth does one not go insane, testing that stuff actually works, and won't break things?

     I can't imagine working for a company like the ones mentioned here... I would go nuts!

     

    Captcha = (404 Page not found)
     

  • Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    Great Googly-Moogly there exists a development, test and production environment?! Holy crap I usually just code it and deploy it.....who cares about what might break I'm fixing the problem @ hand and No Process Management from the suits is necessary the *Customer* wants it they get it.  Code it yesterday and deploy it and let me know when you do so I can mark if off my list of necessary adjustments.

    You don't know how many times I've seen that same scenario.  The people that know should design, from the concept (user perspective) to the logical (what makes sense PERIOD) to the physical (the developer point of view) and then iterate through the cycle to add features, tackling the hardest ones first.

    btw I'm not a salesman for any well known process or company but you get my drift - a process is needed so that management can do just that <manage/> in an company's application pool.

  • Jman (unregistered)

    I agree with Roger.  Bring back the code stories.

  • notromda (cs)

    One thing to consider too; if you don't know how to test, having a test environment doesn't do any good.   Along with the test environment, you need test data and programs to throw the test data around.  Simply testing the normal stuff is no good, you have to test the unusual and broken stuff.  What happens when bad data is passed?  What happens when a critical component goes down?

    To be fair, it's not easy to do proper testing.  But it pays in the long run. (theoretically) 

     

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to John Hensley

    John Hensley:
    Measure once, cut twice!

    reminds me of the father of one of my friends ...
    he had a 2x4 that he was going to use for some sort of repair work on the house, but it was too short for the job.
    his solution to his dilemma: "I'll just cut it in half!" 

  • Calli Arcale (unregistered) in reply to Joelpharm

    I must be spoiled; I'm used to working in a place where CVS is used only when absolutely neccesary. It's regarded as too primitive.  That's a good problem to have.  ;)  We mostly use Rational ClearCase.  I do find it interesting how many of the WTFs lately could be solved simply by competent configuration management practises.

    We did, however, have to use "sneakernet" (burning the thing to be tested onto a CD and then hand-carrying it to the test lab) on one project.  That was due to an entirely unrelated WTF: the fact that our IT department was apparently incapable of excluding these special-purpose test stations (which ran under Windows 2000) from their automatic patch cycle.  And from their stupid "naughty software detector", which ate up over half the CPU time whenever it encountered unfamiliar software, like, say, Developer Fred's latest build of the test station software.

  • Masiosare? (unregistered)

    Ohhh man, do you mean that Testers, Developers, DBA's, Designers, are actually different persons?

     Mah head explode

     

    (joking aside, i have seen [and been in] companies like that, they are not that uncommon especially for startups and no-clue-administrators-as-bosses)
     

  • zip (cs) in reply to abx
    abx:

    Volmarias:
    There was a pretty good setup for this one, but the punchline was shockingly weak. You really should have rewritten the last paragraph, alex.
    Let me second that one!
    Having read that sentence, I tried to scroll down, and I was shocked to find that there was no more to the story.
     

    Thirded.

  • anonymous (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    They even went so far as to install a "white room" that required fingerprint and optical scans from two executives, a careful dodging of laser-beam alarms, and an acrobatic dance across a pressure-sensitive floor just to access the mainframe console. At least, I assume they did; no server room is truly complete without that.

    Of course, through all this, the production environment remained untouched and accessible from anywhere. The global LDAP server that handles all authentication was set up so that everyone had all access: if one could check his email, he had shell access to any production box.

    Very good WTF Alex!.  This actually hurts!. Argghh...  

    Typical example of:

    1) Load ammo

    2) Shot

    3) Aim!

     versus

    1) Load ammo

    2) Aim

    3) Shot!

     

  • unknown (unregistered) in reply to anonymous

    I prefer shoot first and ask questions later

  • bd (unregistered)

    I must confess I once connected the debugger to production server, figured out the bug, corrected the code, compiled it and hotswapped it into production (three cheers for Java!). So does it make it Minus-Zero-Point-Five-Stage Deployment Process?

    In my defense, it was a critical issue and I did it on a standby server and then shut down the active one.

    Captcha: null - why yes, I think it was a NullPointerException.

  • Reed (unregistered)

    Isn't this more like a -1 stage development process?

    I work in a 20 person company with four software developers and one tester, and even we have several stages:

     

    0. Development (and programmer's quick and dirty testing) 

    1. Testing

    2. Staging for deployment

    3. Production tests again before and after deployment. 

  • doc0tis (unregistered) in reply to WIldpeaks

    Like at my business,

     We just put code into production, (test??) and then go for lunch but you have to make sure the cell phone is off.

     

    --doc0tis
     

  • jimlangrunner (cs) in reply to Masiosare?

    I wish, I dream of the day when there's more than one person for the job.  I've lost all my hair changing hats.

     God help us all if something breaks in the process.
     

  • ParkinT (cs)

    Q.A. =
    Quickly Approved

  • merreborn's nemesis (unregistered) in reply to Jman

    Anonymous:
    I agree with Roger.  Bring back the code stories.

    Ditto.

    Captcha: initech

  • Anonymous European (unregistered)

    The real WTF here is that you 'mericans are going to vote on a system employing

     

    MICROSOFT ACCESS DATABASES

     

    Yes you heard that right. HAHA. Die boldly.

  • RobLyman (unregistered) in reply to Reed

    It's really a three stage process. Develop, Deploy & Test. A one stage process would be the case where the code is actually modified on the production server.

     

    Like I have never seen THAT happen!

  • Rick (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    John Hensley:
    Measure once, cut twice!

    reminds me of the father of one of my friends ...
    he had a 2x4 that he was going to use for some sort of repair work on the house, but it was too short for the job.
    his solution to his dilemma: "I'll just cut it in half!" 

    Cutting the 2x4 in half length wise is quite effective, actually. You are left with 2 1x4s that you can nail together.

  • The Bears (unregistered) in reply to wgh
    wgh:

    .... while wearing a form-fitting black leather body suit, of course.


    Ye gods, no. These are engineers we're speaking of. 

  • el jaybird (unregistered)

    The "K" stands for "Kwality"!

     

  • Cody (unregistered) in reply to Rick
    Rick:
    Anonymous:

    John Hensley:
    Measure once, cut twice!

    reminds me of the father of one of my friends ...
    he had a 2x4 that he was going to use for some sort of repair work on the house, but it was too short for the job.
    his solution to his dilemma: "I'll just cut it in half!" 

    Cutting the 2x4 in half length wise is quite effective, actually. You are left with 2 1x4s that you can nail together.

    Well, you'd proably want to finger joint them together...  And that's assuming you didn't need a longer 2x4, of course, though I think that was joking.  Not so sure if the nailing together was a joke though. 

  • Xetra (unregistered) in reply to Joelpharm

    Good advice.

    At my last company they spent five years before finally investing in QA software and personnel. By then of course it was too late, most of our customers had already gone elsewhere. Last I heard they are still contemplating a CVS deployment ... maybe in another 5 years they'll actually deploy one.

  • Aaron (unregistered) in reply to kuroshin
    kuroshin:

    Over here, we get to check in code via e-mail.

     Can you give me that email address?

  • stevekj (cs)

    I'm surprised Alex didn't use the word "developmestuction" even once in this WTF.

     
     But the real WTF is: what happened to BG Girls, Foosball Girl and Beanbag Girl??

     

  • GrandmasterB (cs)

    A testing department?   Bah.  Thats what God created customers for.

     

  • Anonymous "but not a coward" (unregistered) in reply to Rick
    Rick:
    Anonymous:

    John Hensley:
    Measure once, cut twice!

    reminds me of the father of one of my friends ...
    he had a 2x4 that he was going to use for some sort of repair work on the house, but it was too short for the job.
    his solution to his dilemma: "I'll just cut it in half!" 

    Cutting the 2x4 in half length wise is quite effective, actually. You are left with 2 1x4s that you can nail together.

    Another WTF?

    If I was cutting a 2*4, I would go for 2 2*2s rather than 2 1*4s . . .

     

    . . . but thats just me . . .

     

  • My Lord! (unregistered) in reply to zip
    zip:
    abx:

    Volmarias:
    There was a pretty good setup for this one, but the punchline was shockingly weak. You really should have rewritten the last paragraph, alex.
    Let me second that one!
    Having read that sentence, I tried to scroll down, and I was shocked to find that there was no more to the story.
     

    Thirded.

    FITH-didded :-)

     

  • dasmb (unregistered) in reply to Volmarias

    I believe that the real WTF here is that developers asked for process to improve their quality, got a process to improve their quality, and then immediately set out to defeat the process.  It's a WTF hat trick.

    If you are a developer at this company, please send me your email address, so I will know not to ever hire you.  Thanks.

     

  • Zlodo (cs) in reply to GrandmasterB
    GrandmasterB:

    A testing department?   Bah.  Thats what God created customers for.

     

    In fact, their system is downright brilliant: the customers (who are probably a lot more than testers) test the stuff, so they can then deliver a perfected version to QA.

    Then they can proudly show their boss the low number of issues reported by QA as a proof of the quality of their process.

  • Darin (unregistered) in reply to Xetra
    Anonymous:

    At my last company they spent five years before finally investing in QA software and personnel.

    A company I was at finally got around to adding a QA department (a 1-person department) when we shipped a CD to a customer with broken software.  Not that it just wouldn't run, it wouldn't even start.  There was nothing on the CD that would run.  So the QA engineers job was to be in charge of burning the CDs, and not releasing them to shipping until until he installed the software and it booted and ran.  There was no testing of functionality or verifying that new features worked or that bug fixes did what they claimed, etc.  It was just a case of "don't embarass us in front of the customer's again."

    The whole problem of course was that the prior process was "if the last fix makes it in, and if it compiles, and it's Friday near the FedEx pick up time, then burn the CD and ship it."  I think that every one of our customers had a unique version of the software because of this process.

  • Disgruntled DBA (cs) in reply to stevekj
    stevekj:

    I'm surprised Alex didn't use the word "developmestuction" even once in this WTF.

     

    I prefer the term Devestuction, myself.  Easier to say, and not as far away from "devestation"....take that as you will. 

  • Josh (unregistered) in reply to dasmb

    > If you are a developer at this company, please send me your email address, so I will know not to ever hire you.

    Please send me your e-mail address so that I will know not to ever hire you for a job that requires any reading comprehension.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    This sounds like the major telecommunications company for whom I used to work.  If it is the same place, all I can say is this story barely gives a glimpse into the WTF'd-ness which occurs there.  It's amazing the software produced there manages to function.

  • Olddog (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous "but not a coward"
    Anonymous:
    Rick:
    Anonymous:

    John Hensley:
    Measure once, cut twice!

    reminds me of the father of one of my friends ...
    he had a 2x4 that he was going to use for some sort of repair work on the house, but it was too short for the job.
    his solution to his dilemma: "I'll just cut it in half!" 

    Cutting the 2x4 in half length wise is quite effective, actually. You are left with 2 1x4s that you can nail together.

    Another WTF?

    If I was cutting a 2*4, I would go for 2 2*2s rather than 2 1*4s . . .

     

    . . . but thats just me . . .

     

    Actually two 1x4's fashioned together to create a "T" beam would provide more "sway" strength than a single 2x4 or two 2x2's. Pull them apart (offset length-wise) to create the length you need...leaving the strongest point where you need it most... The middle.

     

     

  • foxyshadis (cs) in reply to abx
    abx:

    Ok, so it's a big company, and that system were fine with them until Josh appeared, and he alone made them swiftly decide to set up a QA environment?
    Sounds to me like Josh delivered some questionable code, to make that kind of impression.
     

    More likely the code hadn't been modified in months or years before he came, and he was brought on board to clean up the laundry list of demands that had piled up over time, and management's attitude was NO TIME TO TEST CODE NOW. After a few disasters, they just switched the phrase around.

     

    un.sined:

    Sean:
    The real WTF is that a developer let a tester onto his machine.  If you did that in my company, you'd have embarassing e-mails sent to the whole office from your account.

    Nah...  usually QA is nice if you invite them onto your machine...  it's when you leave it unlocked while using the little software developer's room that we have our fun.

    Of course, now that I'm transitioning (transcending perhaps) into a development role, I'll not let a tester near my machines...
     

    What are you using, Windows 95? Can't you just log off, or switch out if it's not on a domain? (One of the main reasons I like working over Terminal Services is I can disconnect and reconnect if I get booted off a machine in a hurry, no security issues involved.)

     

  • operagost (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous European
    Anonymous:

    The real WTF here is that you 'mericans are going to vote on a system employing

     

    MICROSOFT ACCESS DATABASES

     

    Yes you heard that right. HAHA. Die boldly.

    Thanks for not calling us USians, wanker. 

  • Olddog (unregistered)

    Like form follows function...policy follows predicament. An aura is that undefined feeling that a new policy creates. Might work, might not... but for now, it's the new plan - different than the old plan, so that feels good.

    So... we charge ahead, cavalier as always, energized because we have the "aura" to protect us, and we feel better because of that.

    We cast aside previous policy and best practice because this is a new aura, so the old aura no longer applies. No need for oversight until oversight is needed. And if this aura fades, we simply create a new policy to usher in a new aura.

    As witness to countless auras and policy changes (a.k.a. mergers and management styles).... when I hear someone mention "aura".... I substitute it with the word "experiment".

  • 604 (unregistered) in reply to notromda

    "One thing to consider too; if you don't know how to test, having a test environment doesn't do any good.   Along with the test environment, you need test data and programs to throw the test data around.  Simply testing the normal stuff is no good, you have to test the unusual and broken stuff.  What happens when bad data is passed?  What happens when a critical component goes down?

    To be fair, it's not easy to do proper testing.  But it pays in the long run. (theoretically) "

     I can't agree more, having been recently been bitten in the aarse by something very similiar.  I swear I'm maintianing an ap that was featured  on here a few months ago sigh


     /captcha bedtime...

    //why yes it is... 

Leave a comment on “Have No Fear, Quality Is Here!”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article