[thelist] Enterprise Red Tape was: Web Based Employee Directory- prt 2

Steve Lewis nepolon at worlddomination.net
Wed Sep 15 18:24:22 CDT 2004

Ron Luther queried on the topic of code reuse:

>>Have you folks *really* seen this happen?  
Yes.  As a matter of fact, I have.  We reuse a lot of code in our
custom activity sequencing framework.  It makes the newbies heads 
spin, until they get familiar with it.

At the same time, the code reuse pays off, once familiar with the APIs
and architecture of the framework (a complex task requires a complex
solution in this case), it becomes a very endearing and usable framework.

So, sometimes, code reuse works.  Just like any tool, it can be abused.

Ken Chase added:

> admit that I love the concept. However, in reality, how many large
> organizations have enough control over the following in order for this
> to be implemented properly?
How large is "large?"  We have 150+ employees, 40+ developers. A
strong contingent of QA, tech support, and content development makes 
up ~60% of the work force.

> However, in reality, how many large
> organizations have enough control over the following in order for this
> to be implemented properly?
I have reason to believe that these factors can be mitigated.  My 
current situation may not be common, but it could be.

> 1. Staff turnover
We have lost 1 developer in over five years.  He left the company to
move 1000 miles away and marry the woman he loves.

> 2. Tight deadlines that lead to sloppy code, band-aid solutions, poor
> documentation, etc...
We have some of that.  It can be limited: pair-programming, code 
reviews, and very talented people (happy devs == productive devs) help 
us survive the inevitable cruft.

We also have a reasonably supportive environment which funds some
refactor and optimization projects.

Finally, honest post-mortem reports have helped us improve our 
estimates, scheduling, budgeting, and testing.

> 3. Technology implementation decisions (bad?) made at the management
> level.
I just spent August in a team, budgeted at 3FTE-months, refactoring 
the above mentioned framework to correct some major architecture 
problems.  We all make mistakes, and the senior/management mistakes 
can sometimes be quite expensive.   This cannot be prevented, but it 
can be mitigated.

> 4. Icompetence and Ingnorance - Everyone suffers from this to some
> extent.
We all make mistakes, the solution is to budget time to fix the most 
embarrassing of them.  Ignorance and incompetence are curable conditions.

Our organization is far from perfect, but we are chock full of good 
intentions, and generally happy with our work.  Maybe our attitude 
does determine our altitude. (*gag*)

Not to dismiss your points, as I have worked for bass-ackwards, 
underfunded, and/or management-heavy businesses before.  I understand 
the principles of institutional momentum (everything flows downhill). 
  Paralysis is not an eventuality, though.

> This thread has become very interesting to me. With the info I’m
> gathering, I’d think that I'll be able to make a fair business case to
> my director.
I am very happy to hear that.  It is possible that your Emperor is 
wearing no clothes.

Steve Lewis

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