Well .. points for effort.
I think the advice that you are trying to give to the dork is that if you don't let "your hate consume you" then maybe the kumquat won't be able to read it in your email ... which is probably on the right track. Some sort of Buddhist cessation from violent thought thing or some other lovely ideal.
Obviously hating the kumquat seem to be the source of the problem...
But the fact is that the kumquat is in an important role and his continued incompetence is either tolerated or encouraged by the Powers, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it, even thought it makes our job harder, more expensive, less effective, or occasionally briefly impossible.
To wit my attempts to open communication with our lead dev for purposes of communication, brotherhood, and resume-able experience ... have mostly been pig singing.
Communication is an exchange of ideas, and is hard to do when the kumquat is not providing any other thought waves than "me right you wrong go away".
And this is trying to comunnicate with another tech, merely one is a different team. Communicating with PHBs, Catberts, or ownership ... well it's a good thing it's hard because the SAN loss is staggering.
Re: Well .. points for effort.
My mother drove my crazier when I lived at home by "cleaning" and "organizing" my room, thus disturbing the natural order which I had easily memorized and any systems that might have developed. We yelled at each other about it.
Needless to say, a few years later when she gave me a copy of "Who Moved My Cheese" I stammered. Unfortunately the book seems to about adapting to changing goals rather than tips on how not to stab people who move your stuff.
Lovely thought, beautiful theory
And I am sure you are right, just like I know the FHS or the DFSG is (eg) ... but contact with reality is damaging to pure philosophy. Or technical correctness.
Or maybe I am just jealous that you lot seem to work in places that have some proportion of sane people in the building with them. That could explain it too.
What kind of alien these others are may be the more important question, once they have been found to not behave as sophants are expected.
Are not areas defined by their boundaries? It only takes a few well crafted use cases to figure out the bulk of a needed feature, but it may take quite a few more to define it's limits in a testable form. That which is true of bridge-building is true of trying to design safe software.
My annoyed retort is that the technical people often know much as much or more about business than the "business people" do. The reality is that either "side" considering the other as wholly ignorant or stupid and ignoring their input is bad.
The theory of ideas (bumper sticker slogans) being communicated in the same way as biological (infectious) pathogens is held in great skepticism by many professional and academics, even if it is fun. Gladwell wrote a book about it without using the word, as I recall.
OTOH all the cool kids call the silly little quizzes they propagate "memes" and further neologisms have developed such as "memesheepage".
*waves to feyrieprincess*
I dispute this point
The larger problem is that of geeks who have a broken/missing model of how business works, from the sales cycle, to promotions, to communication, etc.
Okay, prove it. Show me/us something we don't know then or stop making the argument. This canard has been proposed in several spots in this thread, not to mention being lodged in the head of ownership and management. Having cried myself to sleep after implementing changes that violated the helpful guidelines in my Business 101 text more than a few times, I'd like to see it gone.
I submit that this may make a good topic for your next column. :) As suggested nearby, it might end up being a book, which would be a tragedy. A flash movie would see a greater audience, sadly.
Re: I dispute this point
Preface: I greatly appreciate your response and the venue you provide for discussions such as this.
The phenomenon of vapourware that have called as your example is an interesting choice. It's certainly different for hardware (cars, dishwasher), software (Windows Server) or services ( plumbing ). the idea of different time scales is certainly valid and valuable .. I'm just not sure it helps make your point.
What you actually called to mind is closer to the actual meat of the disagreement at hand: Sales people are concerned with, and compensated by, sales and less so with the technical correctness, ... skip a bit ... ethical and moral flexibility ... skip ... "They lie to customers".
This is a difficult thing for the ethically rigorous, deeply honest, or just really geeky to deal with.
Oh, and I have had to field technical questions from customers about products that we hadn't finished yet, wearing sales or tech hats. It can get tricky, but is often necessary. Our cycle was short for most of the products I was directly working on, and longer for some that I merely sold, but I think I can personally dispute your argument on the point of the sales and marketing cycles with one final anecdote.
When the aliens bought our company and started putting their creatures in charge of everything, most things continued as they had, with reduced efficiency. Marketing was turned over to once of them. Summer came and went and there was no (very little) marketing done, precious few fax blasts and almost no direct mail. In the Fall, our critical sales quarter, there were no sales (to speak of). And we laughed, and packed.
So, hi, I'm a geek and I know more about the sale-marketing-product cycle then lots of VPs who make an order of magnitude more money than I do. Next?
Looking forward to your meta-post, or even just more pot-stirring. This has been fascinating in the spots where it doesn't open old wounds.
I think that's all of it. Maybe one of my okcupid adjectives should be 'bitter'.
Oh, here's one from a mail thread with my boss (not to be confused with The Boss who I decline to contact without great need):
I can ask, but I doubt it will happen anytime soon.
Mm hmm, me too. This is the avenue of communication I have. I don't like that
it often comes out as a list of complaints. (the same could be said of my
vocalizations). sometimes I can word stuff as helpful suggestions. I certainly try to do so.