Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A few good men(Software engineer's version)

The other day i recommended watching the movie, "A few good men" to my roommate. Little did i know, that it would have such impact on him. Now he recites Jack Nicholson's climax dialogue even while he is asleep! For those who haven't seen the movie, this is the scene that am talking about.

Its one of the best Jack Nicholson performances i ve ever seen. I don't think anybody could have portrayed the ego of a person who takes this amount of pride in what he does, better than him.

Coming back to my roommate, this thing happened the other day, while we were returning home after having our breakfast and he was repeating the Col. Jessep's lines for nth time(it was just 9:30 in the morning and he had already recited it enough times to make me think its logical not to count it), i thought that some where those lines had got embedded deep in his unconscious mind. And given a similar situation, the dialogues would flow of him even without his knowledge.

But he or rather we, cannot be working in a more different situation than Col. Jessup. We are all software engineers! We cannot possible encounter such a situation ....a situation where these lines would flow spontaneously of him.

And then i thought about the quality guys in my company!

Now read below:

                                                            SCENE 1

 Characters: Software engineer(SE) and Service Delivery Manager(SDM)
 Scenario: Conversation between a SDM and a developer(SE). Software engineer is accused of missing the deadlines by  SDM
 Location : Conference room 1

SDM: Any chance that you were not aware of the deadlines?

Software Engineer: Not aware of the deadlines?

SDM: Any chance that your colleagues ignored deadlines?

Software engineer: No

SDM: Any chance that you ignored the deadlines?

Software Engineer: Have you ever worked in prodouction support?


Software Engineer: Have you ever solved a Severity 1 issue?


Software engineer : Have you ever tested another man's code, asked him to test yours??


Software engineer: We follow deadlines son,
                        we follow deadline, or managers get screwed! Its that simple. Are we clear??
SDM: Yes sir

Software engineer: ARE WE CLEAR


                                                             SCENE 2

 Characters: Software engineer(SE) and Service Delivery Manager(SDM)

 Scenario: Conversation between a SDM and a developer(SE). Software engineer is questioned for NC(non compliance) in the quarterly quality report
 Location : Conference room 1


Software engineer: You want answers??

SDM :I Think am entitled to

Developer: You want answers??

SDM: I want the truth!

Software engineer :

Son, we live in a world thats run by softwares. And those softwares have to be developed and maintained by men with brains. Who's gonna do it? You? You, QA in charge?
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for a non compliance and you curse the developers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that this NC, while tragic, probably saved time. And my logic, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves time...

You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at team meetings, you want me to write that code. You need me to write that code.
We use words like process compliance,peer review,customer-satisfaction...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent developing something. You use 'em as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very code I write, then questions the process compliance of my code! :-)

I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a workstation and write your own code. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!"
:-) :-) :-)

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