Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story
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Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll...we're talking about a hedonistic music festival, right? Nope, not according to the narrator of this tale. Instead, we're talking about an IT department, in the absurd (yet somewhat epic) story about a software project that was doomed to succeed. Exposing some of the more ridiculous aspects of corporate America and the insane characters who haunt its halls, Blowing the Bridge gives the reader a prying peep behind the curtain, at some of the more comical aspects of working with the more colorful personalities in technology. Bitterly funny throughout, it also painstakingly recounts the struggle of a small team determined to navigate a path towards building something of excellence, despite a mine field of bureaucratic stupidity and the occasional mortar round of tempting prostitutes.
passive-aggressive attempt at garnering attention; I chose to ignore him. After several weeks, it finally had an effect on him: he came by my desk to tell me that he was leaving the company. He made it clear that there were no comments in his code, no documentation in his machine, no diagrams or charts to help explain his general plan...when he left, his work would be dumped on me, and I would have very little to help me with putting the pieces together. When he relayed this information to me,
presentation had been so eloquent that he had been given permission to make personnel requests on Tony's behalf...and his first order of business was to recruit me into the fold. Of course, I was honored that he had thought of me first, and optimistic about our success as a team, I accepted his gracious offer. Little did I know at the time that my decision would lead me down a path, one that would turn out to be more ridiculous than anything seen in Office Space and one in which I would indeed
assembling his team. Similar to what I had done in the past, he created a thorough interview process that incorporated conversations and coding tasks. Initially, most of the candidates failed outright during the conversation portion, with the poorest of communication skills and/or a lack of recognizing simple keywords in mainstream languages. Others failed during the coding portion, creating algorithms reminiscent of Lenny from “Of Mice and Men”. If they couldn’t properly handle bunnies,
malevolent man who grumbled incoherently with a baritone. (For Muppets fans, it was as if Beeker had traded hair for melanin and Bunsen had lost weight along with any sense of joy.) From a distance, any of their conversations always sounded like a mouse arguing with a drunken, bigoted grandfather. On top of that, they wrote everything in PowerBuilder, which (even back then) might as well have been Mandarin Chinese to nearly all other programmers within a mile. They definitely did not
distributed system together . It was all moving along, and we were all starting to feel positive once again. Meanwhile, basking in the warmth of The Professor’s blood which still steamed off of his hands, Ted was now feeling the drunkenness which accompanies the exercise of one’s power. Marcus the Laugher, Deepak, and Earl all now acted a bit more cautiously around him...and I could tell that he didn’t mind it. In fact, I could tell that he was somewhat pleased by the aura of his presence.