Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm going to have to exercise tact

which will be a new experience.

As a result of our disaster yesterday the customer hit us with exactly what I expected; a request that we document our test procedures. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how tactfully to convey the image of a forefinger extended and lubricated...

Yeah I'm being facetious. The real problem is time frames. It takes time to develop new features requested by our customer; it takes more time to test them. Yet every new feature request is represented as something that 'must' be in production today or else. For example, today I received a request for some new stuff that they hope will be in the April 15 release. Never mind that it requires hardware samples I don't have access to. Never mind that it requires hardware samples even they don't have access to; they want it in the next on cycle release. I have the docs on how it's supposed to work and I can come up with code that 'ought' to work. Oughts don't go for much in this business though; if I can't test it against the hardware that doesn't yet exist what level of confidence will I have that my code is correct?

Experience tells me that we have to draw a line in the sand and say 'this far but no farther. If you want a quality release you have to allow us the time to do it right'. Sales demands the delivery 'right now'. We all know who wins that argument; moreover, we all know the outcome of that win.

What makes this particularly galling is that I know that most of our hardware hasn't been upgraded to the January release, let alone the February release. You'll remember that I had to travel from Dallas back to Phoenix in mid-February to do that months release. It contained stuff that 'just had to be there'. Production is STILL using the November 2004 release. You'll also remember I had to do an early March off cycle release for one particular site; they were screaming for some updates that 'just had to be there'. I found out today that they are STILL running the February release.

So why am I knocking myself out doing CD creations? It's not like I don't have better things to do. Heck, it's not even like I'm being paid nearly enough to go through this angst! It's a rhetorical question.

Come to that, if they're not even installing newer releases why should I even call them to admit to a mistake?

End rant!

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