Slashdot Comments for Posterity

I’ve had the following up on my office wall since 1999, when I first read it. It is reproduced here for posterity, though you can read the static version at the source.

My software design process (Score:4)
by Shoeboy (16224) on Monday August 09, @07:45PM (#1755777) (

This is how the shoeboy does things:

1. All the probable users are asked to contribute their thoughts on what the project was supposed to do. Most of them suggest things entirely unrelated to the description of the project.
2. All reasonable suggestions are torn up and fed to a goat.
3. The goat is sacrificed in the middle of an inverted pentagram while the PM chants “CTHULHU FNAGN” (this step is optional)
4. The development group works out a good application framework on a whiteboard. The least popular member of the group is then assigned to create a powerpoint detailing the proposed framework.
5. Out of bitterness, the guy writing the powerpoint discards the teams ideas and writes his own. The powerpoint is then sent to management.
6. Management approves or vetoes the project based on the color scheme used.
7. The team suddenly finds themselves commited to a shitty framework. The alpha geek on the team blames the PM and begins playing political games to get him/her replaced.
8. Deciding that misery loves company, the team asks the Unix and NT admins what platform the app should run on.
9. The Unix wookies and the NT trolls declare total war on each other and the PM gets cc’d on every message in the resulting flame war.
10. The team hires a bunch of contractors to help develop the project.
11. Performance review time. Everyone tries to look good at the expense of others. Massive flame wars erupt.
12. Team begins to develop application while attempting to keep PM in the dark.
13. PM gets revenge by requesting customer feedback on the proposed feature set.
14. Team vetoes all customer requests, promises to include them in the next version.
15. Management hears the customer complaints. Demands more powerpoints.
16. Reorg time. PM now reports to a new manager.
17. Team missed deadline for first beta as they are working on powerpoint slides.
18. Cubicle move. Work interrupted as everyone in the building starts moving cubes to the tune of ‘pop goes the weasel’. When the music stops, they all rush to a new cube except for one sluggish contractor who is promptly fired.
19. Team missed second beta deadline due to the loss of the contractor fired in step 18.
20. Management decides that the project will never get finished, cancels it.

This isn’t the best way to design software, but it seems to be a common method.

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