• Judah (unregistered)

    Rouge - he has pink lips?

    Maybe they meant rogue... :-p

    First post, by the way. Perhaps anyways.

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    Couldn't steve had done the excel sheet without hitting the database 500 times? Couldn't he have also made it so that you could hit a button for an update, instead of using update intervals?

  • kipthegreat (cs)

    So far for so little..

  • kipthegreat (cs) in reply to kipthegreat

    So is this new forum software, or the same old crap in new clothes?  Looks like the latter.. why is my icon so small?

    Edit:  Oh wait, now I can edit posts.  Rock on.

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    Maybe it was a play on words? Red having a STOP, or bad denotation?


    FINALLY!!!!! POST EDITING!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • lpope187 (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Nathan Oliver's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rouge" IT operative.



    What is he?  A communist or part of a southeast asia rebel faction?

    Seriously, can anyone say cowboy coder?  Unfortunately, some of the largest organizations are driven by Excel.  I've seen multi-billion dollar organizations that have SAP use Excel for everything except financials.  The WTF is not that this person developed an solution in Excel, the WTF is that the organization allowed it beyond the prototype phase.
  • Gene Wirchenko (cs)
    sinistral:
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Nathan Oliver's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rouge" IT operative.


    Rogue, please, Alex.  Rouge is either makeup or French for red.


    Using "rouge" for "rogue" is an IT joke.  Besides, wouldn't such a developer make you see red if you were in IT?

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • frosty (cs)

    Uh... I'm kind of wondering if the second WTF is that the business guys supported him and his efforts.

  • Fregas (unregistered)

    Someone should just kill that fucker.

  • xrT (cs) in reply to lpope187
    lpope187:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Nathan Oliver's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rouge" IT operative.



    What is he?  A communist or part of a southeast asia rebel faction?

    Seriously, can anyone say cowboy coder?  Unfortunately, some of the largest organizations are driven by Excel.  I've seen multi-billion dollar organizations that have SAP use Excel for everything except financials.  The WTF is not that this person developed an solution in Excel, the WTF is that the organization allowed it beyond the prototype phase.


    <FONT face=Tahoma color=#000000 size=2>I can't believe the organization even allowed a rouge rogue employee wander around their office space without being properly identified...talk about management wtf...</FONT>
  • awefawfawfe (unregistered) in reply to frosty

    It's a "Moulin Rouge" operation!

  • JS (unregistered)

    Ooooh how I hate those damnable nerds and their obsession with "uptime" and "scalability"! What do those words even mean anyway, it's like they speak some kind of crazy moon language!

  • Digitalbath (cs) in reply to frosty

    frosty:
    Uh... I'm kind of wondering if the second WTF is that the business guys supported him and his efforts.

    At my previous job, I worked with a guy, while smart enough, was lazy as hell and never got anything done on time and sometimes just never finished stuff.  He was a running joke in the IT department.  Then, he wrote some simple little app for one of our departments and they all thought he was a genius and kept requesting him back for more projects.  Point is, people outside of IT are very easy to deceive when it comes to IT skills.

    (yes, maybe the real wtf is that he was still with the company.)

  • ammoQ (cs)

    IMO the emergence of Steve-like guys and MS-Office-Hack apps is more likely in organisations where the IT department is not considered helpful;  where every change request, no matter how simple or small, takes 8 weeks to complete and costs the requesting department a minimum of, say, 5 hours internal charging.

  • Gene Wirchenko (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Update: Fixed Typo (rouge --> rogue)


    Alex!  There goes half of the joke.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • Gene Wirchenko (cs) in reply to ammoQ
    ammoQ:
    IMO the emergence of Steve-like guys and MS-Office-Hack apps is more likely in organisations where the IT department is not considered helpful;  where every change request, no matter how simple or small, takes 8 weeks to complete and costs the requesting department a minimum of, say, 5 hours internal charging.


    I do not agree with the "more likely".  It can also happen where people have no appreciation/knowledge/<other appropriate word> of what IT does but want results at any cost.  If you do not know about the costs, then they are effectively zero to you.

    One company that I had a co-op job with had one person who railed about the time taken in testing.  He wanted to bypass it and Get Stuff Out.  If he had gotten his way, it could have been nasty.  (The company deals worldwide.)

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • Vicki (unregistered) in reply to Gene Wirchenko

    <quote>Using "rouge" for "rogue" is an IT joke. </quote>

    The so-called "joke" being that IT people can't spell and spell-checkers fail on dictionary words??

  • Coughptcha (cs) in reply to frosty
    frosty:
    Uh... I'm kind of wondering if the second WTF is that the business guys supported him and his efforts.
    Yeah, imagine that!  A business trying to make money.  Sheesh!

    Business Dashboards are very common these days, and are important.  Too bad the IT manager didn't build his own skunkworks project, and leverage it into a funded development that the server could handle.  He could have added value to the organization, rather than diminishing value.

    Now, to recover, the IT manager has to send a note to the senior execs, saying that the Server, she canna' handle the load, cap'n!  That the execs need to identify the top people who need this to run regularly, and the next tier who will be allowed to run it once a day.  And make himself out to not be a team player in the goals of the business.
  • John Bigboote (cs)

    We have a few Steves. The latest Pain-in-my-Steve is a guy who thinks that Flash is an acceptable tool for enterprise data reporting. So he runs reports, saves the results to XML, then posts the XML file to the intranet where it is pulled in by the Flash file.

    Then WE get calls asking why the Flash file doesn't update when the database does.

  • wtf (unregistered) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    Couldn't steve had done the excel sheet without hitting the database 500 times? Couldn't he have also made it so that you could hit a button for an update, instead of using update intervals?


    well dirrrr... hence the wtf...
  • ammoQ (cs) in reply to Gene Wirchenko
    Gene Wirchenko:
    ammoQ:
    IMO the emergence of Steve-like guys and MS-Office-Hack apps is more likely in organisations where the IT department is not considered helpful;  where every change request, no matter how simple or small, takes 8 weeks to complete and costs the requesting department a minimum of, say, 5 hours internal charging.


    I do not agree with the "more likely".  It can also happen where people have no appreciation/knowledge/<other appropriate word> of what IT does but want results at any cost.  If you do not know about the costs, then they are effectively zero to you.

    One company that I had a co-op job with had one person who railed about the time taken in testing.  He wanted to bypass it and Get Stuff Out.  If he had gotten his way, it could have been nasty.  (The company deals worldwide.)



    Well, in many cases the IT department behaves like this because of the whole company culture. If every little problem or failure (no matter how insignificant the affected system) causes emergency sessions of the upper management, IT will focus on delivering uninterupted services and tripple-checked updates - even if this causes long delays for every little update.
  • stevekj (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Nathan Oliver's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rogue" IT operative. No one knows what department he works for, who is supervisor is, or even what his real name is.



    Is anyone else reminded of Harry Tuttle, the rogue heating engineer from "Brazil"?

    And as a side note, I object to the use of the name "Steve" as synonymous with "ungovernable rogue IT operative"!

    Steve

  • Gene Wirchenko (cs) in reply to Vicki
    Anonymous:
    <quote>Using "rouge" for "rogue" is an IT joke. </quote>

    The so-called "joke" being that IT people can't spell and spell-checkers fail on dictionary words??


    No, the joke from IT sorts having fun with words.  "cow orker", "newsfroup", and "froup" come out of that.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • Gene Wirchenko (cs) in reply to ammoQ
    ammoQ:
    Well, in many cases the IT department behaves like this because of the whole company culture. If every little problem or failure (no matter how insignificant the affected system) causes emergency sessions of the upper management, IT will focus on delivering uninterupted services and tripple-checked updates - even if this causes long delays for every little update.


    True enough.  It also can happen because IT has an attitude.  Neither is right.

    I subscribe to "InfoWorld".  They have a weekly WTF column.  Theirs is called "Off the Record".  It does get into some of these, much more than here.  In one recent one, the head of DP (of only two) slaved to come up with a much faster system for dealing with fundraising lists for a PBS TV station.  He just finished it and put it into production, just after the boss had taken the second DP worker and made him his assistant.  The new system worked much faster.  The boss took that as indicating that his decision was a good one and made that person the head of DP.  IOW, he demoted the person who was responsible for the improvement because of the improvement.  WTF!

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered)

    I think the real WTF here is a production server that is so wide open that a user can connect directly to it from his or her desktop. What kind of credentials were being used? Hardcoded username/pwd?

    On another note, if you have business users routinely going around the IT department to get technical solutions, something is wrong.

    It really scares me how many companies run on excel spreadsheets that some yahoo slapped together 5 years ago.

  • pinguis (cs) in reply to kipthegreat
    kipthegreat:
    So is this new forum software, or the same old crap in new clothes?  Looks like the latter.. why is my icon so small?

    Edit:  Oh wait, now I can edit posts.  Rock on.


    Dear Comunity Server, have you fixed quoting, on firefox?
  • Anonymity for enemies of anemones! (unregistered) in reply to Gene Wirchenko

    Gene Wirchenko:
    One company that I had a co-op job with had one person who railed about the time taken in testing.  He wanted to bypass it and Get Stuff Out.

    My company just released their first bypass of testing to "get stuff out" and less than four hours after the product was shipped to customer the first bug was found. Sadly this used to be my project, and I had worked very hard to recover it from bugs created in that fashion. Now it seems it is falling back into disrepair. I smell a Saturday morning phone call in the near future...

     

  • pinguis (cs) in reply to pinguis
    pinguis:
    kipthegreat:
    So is this new forum software, or the same old crap in new clothes?  Looks like the latter.. why is my icon so small?

    Edit:  Oh wait, now I can edit posts.  Rock on.


    Dear Comunity Server, have you fixed quoting, on firefox?


    Damm, there goes "The Real WTF is the forum software (TM)", shall we miss it?

    (Sorry to be repying to myself)
  • Andrey (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Nathan O's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rogue" IT operative. No one knows what department he works for, who is supervisor is, or even what his real name is. Steve's job is, apparently, to analyze, develop, deploy, and support "unofficial" IT projects without ever telling, let alone getting any support from, the IT department. No IT support means that Steve's job is a dirty one: he can only use non-development tools (such as Microsoft Excel), rely on rogue servers (such as a random user's workstation), and non-database databases (such as CSV files).

    But what Steve lacks in tools, he makes up in job satisfaction. Since no one seems to know his job title, many people from the "business side" just refer to him as "The Hero." Unlike the mean-old folks in IT, Steve works in a developmestruction environment[1] and doesn't bother with things like testing, code review, deployments, etc. -- he just does what it takes. The "business people" also empathize with Steve and his constant battles with IT who's sole purpose sometimes seems to be shutting down Steve and his rogue operations. In fact, just recently, the mean-old database folks shut down one of his latest creations called "Dashboard.xls"

    Dashboard.xls was a spreadsheet that boasts more lines of code than most "real" applications. It was developed for a single manager, who used it to view trends in over 500 critical datapoints (each one appearing in a cell) and with most varying by parameters (entered in different cells). Better still, the spreadsheet simultaneously and asynchronously refreshes the datapoints from live production data on a regular interval. The spreadsheet did this by opening a database connection for each of the 500 datapoints. Though it may seem like a lot of connections, a well-built SQL Server can easily handle the load.

    The problem came when the manager, who absolutely loved Steve's appli-spreadsheet, shared it with some of his peers. As it turned out, his peers liked it as well, and they decided to share it with their peers. When the database finally stopped working after ten or so thousand simultaneous connections, the DBAs frantically asked Nathan, responsible for maintaining application apparently making the connections, to help fix it. By the time Nathan tracked the connections down the spreadsheet, Steve was long gone, off working on some other rogue operation.

     

    [1] See The Developmestuction Environment (http://thedailywtf.com/forums/64401/ShowPost.aspx)

     

    Update: Fixed Typo (rouge --> rogue)



    Is there any particular reason why this Steve worked outside the IT department?  As sloppy as it was, Steve's 'solution' was still useful enough that the original user shared it with others.  Sounds like Steve's organization has some serious management issues.
  • Mike Swaim (unregistered) in reply to GoatCheez

      Businesspeople love Excel because that's what they used in school. Back when I was in the natural gas industry, our analysts had a number of spreadsheets that talked to our databases. They all used a single connection to talk to the database.

     

  • lrb (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous:
    I think the real WTF here is a production server that is so wide open that a user can connect directly to it from his or her desktop. What kind of credentials were being used? Hardcoded username/pwd?

    On another note, if you have business users routinely going around the IT department to get technical solutions, something is wrong.

    It really scares me how many companies run on excel spreadsheets that some yahoo slapped together 5 years ago.

    well he could have been using Windows authentication.

  • Digitalbath (cs) in reply to Coughptcha

    Coughptcha:
    frosty:
    Uh... I'm kind of wondering if the second WTF is that the business guys supported him and his efforts.
    Yeah, imagine that!  A business trying to make money.  Sheesh!

    Business Dashboards are very common these days, and are important.  Too bad the IT manager didn't build his own skunkworks project, and leverage it into a funded development that the server could handle.  He could have added value to the organization, rather than diminishing value.

    Now, to recover, the IT manager has to send a note to the senior execs, saying that the Server, she canna' handle the load, cap'n!  That the execs need to identify the top people who need this to run regularly, and the next tier who will be allowed to run it once a day.  And make himself out to not be a team player in the goals of the business.

    The wtf is not the concept of a business dashboard.  The wtf is that it crashed the database server because all of the simultaneous connections.  And I'm a little curious as to how the IT manager is made out to "not be a team player."  From the original post, it seems likely that the IT manager may not have even known that Steve was doing this project or even that someone had requested it.  Steve could have very well ran into someone in the elevator or something, that person mentions it and away "developing" Steve goes.  Also, i don't think the solution to this problem would be to come up with a tier system of how many times a day someone can open up this spreadsheet.  That's not going to solve anything.  A solution should be developed that everyone who needs to can use it and that doesn't involve crashing the database server.

  • Jojosh_the_Pi (cs)

    Wow, somewhat improved (at least) forum software!  Feels like Christmas.

  • kipthegreat (cs) in reply to pinguis
    pinguis:
    kipthegreat:
    So is this new forum software, or the same old crap in new clothes?  Looks like the latter.. why is my icon so small?

    Edit:  Oh wait, now I can edit posts.  Rock on.


    Dear Comunity Server, have you fixed quoting, on firefox?


    Quoting has always worked for me in Firefox.  Must be user error.
  • Ford351-4V (cs)

    <font face="Arial">Actually, many non-technical people firmly believe that all programs are coded in Excell.</font>

  • ogilmor (cs) in reply to ammoQ

    ammoQ:
    IMO the emergence of Steve-like guys and MS-Office-Hack apps is more likely in organisations where the IT department is not considered helpful;  where every change request, no matter how simple or small, takes 8 weeks to complete and costs the requesting department a minimum of, say, 5 hours internal charging.

    That's an interesting proposition, and i bet a lot of truth to it (though the metrics of measuring the "helpfulness" of IT are tricky at best).  What is true (and sometimes IT folks forget) is that IT is a tool to serve the business.  Rarely are we in the corporate world producing software for profit, so it can be hard to measure effectiveness of what we do.  "Charge-backs" are one way of doing it, perhaps apt to be abused.  Number of help desk calls, TCO, etc. are variations of trying to get a handle on the true cost of IT. 

    Sometimes the Steve-like guys (oft times with titles like "Business Analyst") are the IT folks with the best bedside manner, not the best IT skills! 

  • Rank Amateur (cs) in reply to Gene Wirchenko

    Gene Wirchenko:
    ammoQ:
    Well, in many cases the IT department behaves like this because of the whole company culture. If every little problem or failure (no matter how insignificant the affected system) causes emergency sessions of the upper management, IT will focus on delivering uninterupted services and tripple-checked updates - even if this causes long delays for every little update.


    True enough.  It also can happen because IT has an attitude.  Neither is right.

    I subscribe to "InfoWorld".  They have a weekly WTF column.  Theirs is called "Off the Record".  It does get into some of these, much more than here.  In one recent one, the head of DP (of only two) slaved to come up with a much faster system for dealing with fundraising lists for a PBS TV station.  He just finished it and put it into production, just after the boss had taken the second DP worker and made him his assistant.  The new system worked much faster.  The boss took that as indicating that his decision was a good one and made that person the head of DP.  IOW, he demoted the person who was responsible for the improvement because of the improvement.  WTF!

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

    "Computer World" has its own version on line called The Shark Tank, if you're looking for some time to kill:

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/sharktank

    IT managers, business-side managers, co-workers, contractors, users, and customers are all fair game.

    --RA

  • Junior IT Professional (cs)

    It's unfortunate but a truth that guys like Steve are considered the real heroes of technology.  Joe average user hasn't a clue about the technical details of what is going on behind the scenes and could care less if it is a kludge.  All he cares about is that the GUI is shiny and it does what he wants with minimal learning curve.

    In fact, I am betting someone asked IT for something similar to this Dashboard.xls and they were refused.  Thus, Joe user had to go to Steve.  IT departments need to stop being so innundated with policy and paperwork and get back to creativity and output.  In my limited experience the big company IT is looked upon as the enemy that must be constantly fought with to get products you need, rather than a helpful customer service oriented development team.

    Joe user hates dealing with IT because they always tell him no or they speak in alien languages he cannot understand.  I do not wonder too long why the IT department is in the back of the building, well out of view from any customer tours.

  • Coughptcha (cs) in reply to Digitalbath
    Digitalbath:
    Coughptcha:
    frosty:
    Uh... I'm kind of wondering if the second WTF is that the business guys supported him and his efforts.
    Yeah, imagine that!  A business trying to make money.  Sheesh!

    Business Dashboards are very common these days, and are important.  Too bad the IT manager didn't build his own skunkworks project, and leverage it into a funded development that the server could handle.  He could have added value to the organization, rather than diminishing value.

    Now, to recover, the IT manager has to send a note to the senior execs, saying that the Server, she canna' handle the load, cap'n!  That the execs need to identify the top people who need this to run regularly, and the next tier who will be allowed to run it once a day.  And make himself out to not be a team player in the goals of the business.

    The wtf is not the concept of a business dashboard.  The wtf is that it crashed the database server because all of the simultaneous connections.  And I'm a little curious as to how the IT manager is made out to "not be a team player."  From the original post, it seems likely that the IT manager may not have even known that Steve was doing this project or even that someone had requested it.  Steve could have very well ran into someone in the elevator or something, that person mentions it and away "developing" Steve goes.  Also, i don't think the solution to this problem would be to come up with a tier system of how many times a day someone can open up this spreadsheet.  That's not going to solve anything.  A solution should be developed that everyone who needs to can use it and that doesn't involve crashing the database server.
    Let me see if I can make this clearer:  we have an application which managers consider vital to their daily tasks, and we have an IT manager who says they aren't allowed to do their job as efficiently as they want to.  That's called not being a team player.

    I didn't suggest there was anything wrong in the concept of a business dashboard.  I suggested the problem was that the IT department weren't the ones to initiate the skunkworks, and can now only suffer from its popularity.  The IT group have no ownership of this problem or of this solution, and have no right to claim funding for a "proper" solution.  They can't redevelop it "under the radar".  All they can do is constrain the existing solution to keep the server from crashing.

    The IT manager may well not have known Steve was busy solving business problems.  Do you think that makes the IT manager more valuable, or less valuable?  Personally, I think it makes the IT manager irrelevant to the business.

  • Bus Raker (cs) in reply to ogilmor

    I'll admit it, I was a Steve 8 years ago.  I was the lead Purchasing Analyst for a catalog firm.  I was so dissatisfied with the software and the IT support that I designed and implemented a solution through the only means provided to me: An Access 97 database (brand new at the time) with VBA and a read-only ODBC connection to our Oracle server.  The rest of the company was also dissatisfied so they started asking me to create functionality for them.

    Well, everyone has to learn somewhere ... that thing is probably still in use and I feel really sorry for the people having to support my 'first' attempt at development.  I should go back and look at some of the good, I'm sure there will be some classic WTF's in there.

    Totally a management WTF ... a little IT resource can go along way for a company still relying on a network of Excel and Access data.

     

  • lrb (cs) in reply to Junior IT Professional
    Junior IT Professional:

    It's unfortunate but a truth that guys like Steve are considered the real heroes of technology.  Joe average user hasn't a clue about the technical details of what is going on behind the scenes and could care less if it is a kludge.  All he cares about is that the GUI is shiny and it does what he wants with minimal learning curve.

    In fact, I am betting someone asked IT for something similar to this Dashboard.xls and they were refused.  Thus, Joe user had to go to Steve.  IT departments need to stop being so innundated with policy and paperwork and get back to creativity and output.  In my limited experience the big company IT is looked upon as the enemy that must be constantly fought with to get products you need, rather than a helpful customer service oriented development team.

    Joe user hates dealing with IT because they always tell him no or they speak in alien languages he cannot understand.  I do not wonder too long why the IT department is in the back of the building, well out of view from any customer tours.

    I hate my bank.  Every time I go there and get money they won't let me do it unless A) I have at least as much money as I want already in my account and B) they take the money out of my account.  This doesn't sit well when I want to go buy that new computer/program/Big screen TV/latest and greatest techno toy. 

    So Steve credit card comes along and promises to let me have the money and not require me to have it in the bank.  I ask will it cost me more?  Steve credit card says no.  I forget to read the very small print about 29.9% interest being charged if I don't pay my bill on time.  I go out and get $20,000 worth of techno toys.  I'm happy for the 1st month or so and  then the statement comes and I find out that in interest payments alone I'm having to fork over so much that I'll have to live on bread and water until I pay off the debt, which will be about 35 years. 

    Although I got some immediate satisfaction from my techno toys and I got much more than my bank would have ever allowed me to get in 1 month, Steve credit card did me no favors.  Now I'm in a hell of a mess and my loose my job because I can't afford either the gas nor the bus fare to get to work.

    What does this have to do with rogue IT guys like steve in the original post?  Well like my credit card he provides immediate gratification, but at a helacious hidden cost.  Sure sometimes IT departments could be a little more flexible and customer oriented.  However, in most cases that I've seen the policy and paperwork are there to protect the company from spending resources getting gee whiz gadets, but making the key processes to keep the business running become FUBAR.  Deskboard dashboards are nice toys and if done right can be a great value to an organization.  However if it crashes you ecommerce data base in doing so and makes you go a day without being able to signup new customers, then it quickly can go from being an asseset to a huge liability. 

    And generally most companies need more process instead of less.  The process needs to be intelligent and relevant.  But look at the reports that the Standish group keep putting out year after year about how FUBAR most corporate IT projects are.  The project who do deliver mostly have in common very mature and extensive processes that control development and implementation of IT projects.  I've seen one little change in major fortune 500 companies when implemented by circumventing those laborious processes of IT, result in a multimillion dollar mess that has to be cleaned up.  And these are not isolated incidents. 

    What IT needs is better communication with their business customers.  I've found when users are made awhere of why it will take so long to get their little bitty change in and the likely consequences if it's rushed, that they are usually more accomodating.  Doesn't mean their happy, but they can live with it.  However the communication needs to be proactive and often.

  • Free (cs)

    Alex Papadimoulis:

     Since no one seems to know his job title, many people from the "business side" just refer to him as "The Hero." Unlike the mean-old folks in IT, Steve works in a developmestruction environment[1] and doesn't bother with things like testing, code review, deployments, etc. -- he just does what it takes. The "business people" also empathize with Steve and his constant battles with IT who's sole purpose sometimes seems to be shutting down Steve and his rogue operations. In fact, just recently, the mean-old database folks shut down one of his latest creations called "Dashboard.xls"

    This is not a software WTF, it is a pure Buisness WTF; the buiness people call him a hero so the only thing you can do is resign and explain in your departure interview that you could not see a place for yourself where Steve works.

    If that was really his name, I bet it had three "e" : Steeve

    It isn't reasonable how $#^@$# long it takes for my typing to show up on the screen in this edit box! Type type type wait wait wait  :( .... Even if its an old P3 500/500, its bad, because I can't even type fast!

     This forum software doesn't seem to be getting better. Oh and update, passwod cookie gone too (normal except I've wriiten already).

  • Bus Raker (cs) in reply to ammoQ

    Well we can at least thank Steve for coming up with the requirements for the project (though I'm sure it will need to be completely redeveloped.)  Maybe he has a future as a project manager.

  • chrismcb (cs) in reply to lpope187
    lpope187:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Nathan Oliver's colleague ("Steve") works as a "rouge" IT operative.



    What is he?  A communist or part of a southeast asia rebel faction?

    Seriously, can anyone say cowboy coder?  Unfortunately, some of the largest organizations are driven by Excel.  I've seen multi-billion dollar organizations that have SAP use Excel for everything except financials.  The WTF is not that this person developed an solution in Excel, the WTF is that the organization allowed it beyond the prototype phase.

    And how are they supposed to stop it? It wasn't an official organization tool, or it didn't sound like one.

  • lrb (cs) in reply to Coughptcha

    Coughptcha:

    Let me see if I can make this clearer:  we have an application which managers consider vital to their daily tasks, and we have an IT manager who says they aren't allowed to do their job as efficiently as they want to.  That's called not being a team player.

    I didn't suggest there was anything wrong in the concept of a business dashboard.  I suggested the problem was that the IT department weren't the ones to initiate the skunkworks, and can now only suffer from its popularity.  The IT group have no ownership of this problem or of this solution, and have no right to claim funding for a "proper" solution.  They can't redevelop it "under the radar".  All they can do is constrain the existing solution to keep the server from crashing.

    The IT manager may well not have known Steve was busy solving business problems.  Do you think that makes the IT manager more valuable, or less valuable?  Personally, I think it makes the IT manager irrelevant to the business.

    Most IT managers have very limited budget and resources.  There are more projects that people feel are "vital to their daily tasks" than there are resources to implement them.  Truth is most of these vital project aren't very vital at for the business to succeed.  Even the ones that are, can often be accomplished fine by simple process changes.  For example the manager may already have a report that gives him all the info he needs, he just finds it takes him a few hours longer each week to accomplish his tasks because it's not in a format that the manager  likes.  Maybe it's the manager who's not being a team player?  I know it sucks having to forgo 2 hour lunches and afternoon golf games to do some real work, but most IT guys end up working through lunch and well into the night on a fairly regular basis.  Time for the business to suck it up some and become team players.

    Hey bells and whistles skunkworks and a favorite for IT guys to work on.  Unfortunately there isn't usually enough resources to handle the nuts and bolts IT functions much less to do skunkwork projects.  Maybe that business manager can forgo some 3 martini lunches on his expense account and give IT the budget instead.

    And speaking of popularity, remember when PhenPhen (sp?) was all the rage.  Produced fantastic results in many cases.  Unfortunately it killed several people as well.  Popularity alone does not make something a good idea.

    If the IT manager is working for me, I want him spending time working on projects that are most valuable to the company.  There should be a process to decide which projects are most important to the company.  Steve's job would be eliminated as well as any managers who went outside the process.  If the existing processes are wrong they need to be changed and fixed.  And ROI justification needs to be shown for any IT projects.  Most Steve projects don't produce enough ROI to justify pulling resources off projects that have a much higher ROI. 

     

  • Opinion Dalek (cs) in reply to lrb

    As someone who develops Excel applications for large firms, my experience is (of course) form the other side.  The worst WFT I encountered is for huge firm where the IT department quoted (for one project I did) 1 Project Manager and 2 Programmers from one of the top 4 Accounting firms to deliver a project.  2 years ago.  They are still working on it.  In the meantime, my (fully tested every time) spreadsheet is now up to version 11.  Every time I do a new version they tell me they aren't going to need me for the next one.

    IT doesn't need to be about better communication, it needs to be about results.  And supporting their users.  Not telling them what they can't do, but how they can.

  • makomk (cs) in reply to pinguis
    pinguis:
    pinguis:
    kipthegreat:
    So is this new forum software, or the same old crap in new clothes?  Looks like the latter.. why is my icon so small?

    Edit:  Oh wait, now I can edit posts.  Rock on.


    Dear Comunity Server, have you fixed quoting, on firefox?


    Damm, there goes "The Real WTF is the forum software (TM)", shall we miss it?

    (Sorry to be repying to myself)

    Don't worry, there are still some WTFs lurking in there waiting to be found.

    kipthegreat:
    pinguis:
    Dear Comunity Server, have you fixed quoting, on firefox?


    Quoting has always worked for me in Firefox.  Must be user error.

    Probably depends on Firefox version and/or forum software version - possibly even on the OS you're running, knowing this forum software...

  • codeman (cs) in reply to lrb

    Communicating to the users (in language they can understand) why things take long, and feature-creep costs time and money - wow - what a concept!

    Seriously, I've worked at many large (and a few small) organizations, and you are dead-on: most managers seem to want to yes-the-customer-to-death at any cost, and it always results in code that needs to be fixed later, but never gets fixed because it (sort of) works, and there are more urgent things to work on.

    Once, I decided that I didn't care if I got fired for it; I told a user who asked for a rediculous enhancement (because they had the feature in a system at their last place of employment) how long it would delay the next delivery. They responded that it wasn't worth it and to skip it. Unfortunately, they mentioned it to my boss, who read me the riot act, but I didn't care because I kept us from have to f--- up the code big time to cram in a lot of functionality that the user didn't really need.

    If the users knew the true cost of some of their requests, they might be more particular about what they ask for.

  • Joe (unregistered) in reply to frosty

    It seems reasonable.  IT departments are often slow moving behemoths who cannot fix a one line bug without a project manager, 3 coders, a 6 month development cycle, and a 6 digit project budget.  I understand fully why many developers avoid the IT departments, and why many people like these rogues.  Of course, things like this should be temporary solutions, and IT departments should pull their fingers out.  It of course gets worse when you're company has outsourced core IT functions.

  • Konrad (unregistered) in reply to Ford351-4V
    Ford351-4V:
    <font face="Arial">Actually, many non-technical people firmly believe that all programs are coded in Excell.</font>


    I once had the head of daparment say to me (or rather to the general manager). If this application is taken out of Excel  then as far as I'm concerned then my department will not take any responcibility for it and will not asist anyone in using it, or maintain it....

    Ofcusrse they produce the data it needs to funciton, and the Excel version is not exactly easy to maintain, and a good percentage of the people who needed can't use it as it only works in Office 2002 

    Trying to explain that they would have a simnple configuration file which would be easier for them to edit than the existing spreashseet, with no danger of damaging the code while working wit hthe data,  fell on deaf ears.


    PS the captcha refused to work for me in Internet Explorer (strange but true).
    I still have to submit 2 times (in firefox)  make that 5 times (the latest is wtf) how apropriate

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