Saturday, December 10, 2005

Crap in .doc format

I have always believed that life is more colorful, glorious, dangerous and generally eventful than fiction. It's just that, we fail to notice all the shades, because we are so used to the daily existence.

Now look at this project I am working in. Guess my employer. Call it A. Gas my client. Call it B. B is one part technology department BC and one part business BB.

A, my Indian employer has made inroads into BC. Few supports projects we executed and now we have this new project, where we (A) are responsible core design. A design team that has BC original employees only on the fringes. Even the technical management is done by A. Ignore the fact that, if we had a rotten egg sitting on the Work Packet Manger (technical manager)'s seat, it would stink lesser. (While eating namkeen I pronounced myself 'Chivda Packet Manager' and promised better distribution and management of chivda during office breaks).

Enough digression! So, we are directly talking with BB, analysing the requirements (a day before high level design delivery) and are quite happy with the relationship.

But the story has a flashback. This project is second in the series of projects. Hence heavily borrows from its predecessor. A macabre design, horribly executed (change requests taken up ad-hoc during EVERY stage of the project). And something that the users didnt want in the first place. The BC wants us to stick to the 'legacy' of this first project. So, that they can show BB and all others in B, that A is not doing anything new, that we have it made and we are not capable of doing important stuff as design.

Sidetrack - BB is ambivalent about it because the design approaches don't concern them greatly as long as we deliver what the users want. More important for BB is that we stick to design delivery deadlines and hence, any fresh, enhancements we have (I as a data modeling guy have major issues with existing database design) cannot be pushed through, because of strict timelines. Performance issues, tacky design, everything comes out of the woodwork only during testing and right now, the main goal is delivery.

Add to it, the spinelessness of us desi guys. If BC throws roadblocks in our path, they have a clear motive. To discredit A's design team and thus oust A from BC completely. Already BC pit bulls have started hounding us with even slight deviations in design. A's design lead team haven't yet given to their pressure, but you imagine them constantly leaning and bowing when BC guys are giving them a earful. Already some substantial enhancements have been shot down, under the guise of lack of time. You see, it makes sense, saves ass, if you work on crap that exists. You can blame BC later on for what went wrong. It is a typical desi approach of doing things - not sticking your neck out FOR WHAT'S RIGHT.

So, here we are, as I said, playing, flapping, mucking about in crap, glorious crap. All our design is crap in .doc format.

And it fucking makes me angry
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