Agile programming (was Re: [P|C] Banksel)
Nate Duehr email (remove spam text)
On Jan 29, 2009, at 12:26 AM, Vitaliy wrote:
I didn't say it was cheap. I said the code worked.
If companies REALLY knew how much it would cost -- including all
bugfixes and later releases and patches -- to do many of the things we
do with computers today, when they STARTED the project -- they'd have
kept the paper, pens, and filing cabinets. Seriously.
Every trouble ticketing system I've EVER seen deployed, for example,
is over-budget, missing critical features that then require paper or e-
mail workarounds, and never hits the mark 100%.
The cleanest and simplest system I've ever seen used was
RequestTracker from BestPractical Software. Their system keeps the
crap down to a minimum, doesn't try to integrate to 20 other modules
that run half the company, and has EMAIL INTEGRATION built in,
something the $500K Siebel deployment at work doesn't even do. And it
takes a FLEET of people to maintain Siebel... I ran my own RT system
from a Pentium 3 in my basement for a group for 10 years, who accessed
it world-wide, and then migrated it to a VPS in Dallas where it still
runs for that same group today.
That was a ticket system that didn't GET IN MY WAY as a support guy.
Everything else I've used, did get in the way, and made the whole job
of tracking customer's issues, harder than necessary.
I can (and have) done a better job of tracking customer issues
currently being worked with a small whiteboard and a notebook carried
in my pocket.
Trouble ticketing software and projects are an utter nightmare. They
almost NEVER ask the "customer" (the techs) what information they want
to see displayed, what information they can get readily from a
customer, and what information they don't care about. Just a little
UI work would go a long way -- but it's usually the "Business
Development" group, or some Tiger Team of project managers and people
who've never done tech support who set the screen layout for the large
company systems I've worked on.
My favorite thing about our current system at work is that it causes
pop-ups for every text entry box in a browser-based system. You know
how slow that is? Incredibly stupid software design. And like I
said, I've heard it cost ... in total... about 1/2 a million bucks.
Probably anyone on the list could write a better web-based system,
even if they're not coders (me included). But I hear the CEO's
neighbor runs or is otherwise in the higher ranks of Siebel.
(And now you know how real software decisions get made...)
Even if it's not true -- some salesperson got to him and said Siebel
was the way to go... and that salesperson was wrong.
So yeah, many companies DO seem to have unlimited budgets and
unlimited time to screw around with internal systems -- so why not do
(And as a disclaimer, I'm not complaining about my employer really --
I haven't seen a ticket system that worked right in five company name/
management changes, and four other companies, in my career. But I've
also never seen a company ASK the techs about any of it. The best I
saw was a single tech, from a single location, sat on a "multi-
functional" team and had one vote, versus 9 or 10 others, in one
company. That system sucked too.)
Ironically, ticket systems are SIMPLE things. RT proves it. I can
work and notate and complete five tickets with RT in the same amount
of time as I can do it in Siebel. The reason? The e-mail
integration. I can send an EMAIL to add a note to a ticket, OR to
have the system send my comments back to the customer and LOG them.
Or if I want to see the full history or whatever, I can pop open a web
browser. But e-mail's always open in a tech support department
anyway... so... might as well use it!
In reply to: <76A7F14807BA4A439D015F9A90639C90@ws11>
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