Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Technology and sales

The source of my technology headaches has finally been publicly outed.

This news article identifies the nasty truth that <paraphrase>95% of software projects are late or crappy</paraphrase>. It goes one better and actually identifies why. Salespeople. Promising that which does not exist or cannot be delivered.

If at any time in the past 20 years some insightful news reporter (or corporate CEO for that matter) had simply gone down to the trenches and asked the programmer geeks "what's up with this late crappy software?" I'm sure they would have learned this. And learned it without having to report on a study of 1400 IT providers. Heck, I could have told you this years ago. Sales has promised a huge app in a short timeline? Yup, been there. Client and sales guy draw up a spectacularly complex website on a cocktail napkin while on a power lunch and I am expected to follow their 'technical specs'. Got that tee shirt. Embarrassment because some code that I wrote is at large in the world and it sucks. Got that shirt too and I have already torn the sleeves off.

One of the reasons I quit the cubical warrior lifestyle (at extreme loss of pay I might add) is because the marketing dweebs always had me running around putting out fires and never allowed me the time or resources to create quality. Has its upside I suppose. That all started a chain of events that ulitmately landed me in Montana.

Wow, I can relate to a lot of what your saying. Although what I have been wishing for lately is a client free environment.
"Can you do this and this and this?"
- "Sure, we can do that"
"Can we have it live next Monday?"
- "uhhhh...."

Today I spent my entire day doing client support, running back and forth. Long day!

Had to check out daily topless too, just to see if it really was.
The day after the formal announcement, Data General's famous sales force had been introduced to the computer in New York and elsewhere. At the end of the presentation for the sales personnel in New York, the regional sales manager got up and gave his troops a pep talk.

"What motivates people?" he asked.

He answered his own question, saying, "Ego and the money to buy things that they and their families want."

It was a different game now. Clearly, the machine no longer belonged to its makers.

From "The Soul of a New Machine", Tracy Kidder, 1983.
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