Manager vs. Engineer Worldview

I was in the middle of this amusing exchange the other day. Names removed to protect the innocent, and summarized a bit. I like and respect everyone involved in the exchange, but it just shows a difference of world view.

Manager: We’re told there is a list of 9000 non compliant people corporate wide. We think there are about 300 in our organization. I think it will be easiest to just email all the affected managers and figure out who is compliant and who isn’t.

Engineer: Wait, there is a text parsable list of those 9000? Can we get a copy of it? It should only take about an hour of scripting to bang out something that rips through that list, looks in the directory, and sees who eventually reports to our VP.

Manager: really?

Engineer: Yeh, plus it will mean less people have to do busy work. If we send it to all the managers, they’ll just send it to employees to sort it out, which will end up being a whole lot of man hours and time lost, and get everyone grumpy with more paper work.

Manager: right, good point.

Of course this means that Engineer has signed himself up for that hour of extra work, but that’s ok, it saves everyone else a lot of time, and Engineer in question doesn’t get to code often enough anyway. 🙂

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