Stupid Things Heard in Development Meetings

In this day of age of software engineering, I’m totally amazed how backwards companies do things. Here is a running list of things actually discussed/ said in design meetings I have sat it recently:

  • We (C# programmers) have to spend 60 days writing a server install because our company InstallShield team takes too long to do anything.
    • I could not believe my ears! We have to loose a high paid, senior programmer because the team here at work that should be doing the install can’t do their job?!??!?
  • We only have 63 days to get major features completed for a show in Vegas. After 2 days we calculated it would take over 5 man years to get done what Product Management has on their list. There are only three of us on the development team… do the math. So what is PM’s solution… hire contractors! Classic mistake… throwing bodies on the project this late in the game will not work. It will take contractors three months to get up to speed with our very complicated, poorly architected client/ server application. Also, this will take time away from the three of us that do know the application to teach the contractors what they need to know.
  • Direct quote from a development manager… “We are not going to do unit testing, QA will find any problems with the code.”
  • Lets not take the time to secure WCF calls correctly, instead just open the (web) application pool up to all outbound traffic.
  • We hate the design of your database tables because it uses multiple tables to represent a many-to-many, and that using multiple tables with a join impacts performance negatively.
    • These new tables were one of the first designed for this database that were relational and normalized. They said this to us two days before code complete!!!
  • We shouldn’t use foreign keys because they hurt performance.
    • What?!?!? So instead the guys who wrote the most of the database used an int for one key and string for another. Now tell me that doesn’t kill performance?
  • We are going load testing next week (the week before product release).
  • Spending time on detailed design documentation is a waste of time.
  • I was invited to a design review meeting for a navigation framework being built for our application… after the design was presented, I suggested we look into a framework that already existed that would be better and be more extensible in the long wrong. I was told there was no time to look into it!?!?!?
  • Senerio: We are behind in a project, need more help. Who do they give me, a junior programmer we just hired when I need a senior!
  • We just started Alpha testing on the upcoming release and got a request by management to globalize our product by release!!

Unfortunately, this is all real!

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6 thoughts on “Stupid Things Heard in Development Meetings

  1. Regarding “Spending time on detailed design documentation is a waste of time.”, it’s not stupid. With ever changing design request, it’s going to be inaccurate or outstraight wrong anyway.

    In some sense, I’d think just document what considerations are included when designing this thing is enough, and keep those “detailed documentation” to the comments near the actual code so it’d be reasonably accurate and won’t lead developers to a wrong way.

  2. I’d like to add a line to “Senerio: We are behind in a project, need more help. Who do they give me, a junior programmer we just hired when I need a senior!”
    a junior programmer, just hired, speaking a different language..

  3. or ..
    manager: you’re spendind too many hours on this project!
    me: yes, but we are waaay behind because you “redifined the human resources allocation” and now we have to work day and night..
    manager: that’s good, you have plenty of time!
    me: wtf..

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