Perception is everything

At work we just finished a very large programming effort that is now out there, live, and being used by our clients. Great. Now we’ve got a bit of breathing room and because we’re moving into a period of code freeze for the next several months we now have time on our hands to work on some smaller tools to be used by my coworkers in the important task of doing their job on a day-to-day basis.

You’d think that in everyone’s mind these would be important applications even if they’re small. You’d think that increasing efficiency in how someone does their job would be important because ultimately it saves us money and makes us look better in they eyes of our clients. (Well…you might not think these things but I certainly do). You’d be wrong on all accounts apparently.

The applications are being discussed as one-off little tools that won’t require much thought, time, or effort (read: crap). Ridiculous. They should be getting just as much design and coding effort as any other application given their ultimate importance. Furthermore there should be some attempt at unifying these under one system. I can see this being a really nice place to use a portal framework. Lots of unrelated tools that should have some consistent interface elements, where that can be done, as well as one place for the users to log in.

One application has already been started, in Ruby on Rails (odd given we’re supposed to be developing in Java), with no input from anyone but the guy who is doing it. Why? (Rhetorical question really….I already know the answer). I really wish we would be learning our lessons from doing things this way in the past. I just don’t understand the attitudes I’m seeing. Maybe I’m too idealistic.

Damn you Zeldman and company. Two days of civility in Utopia and now I feel like I’m back on a desert isle, floundering in a pit of quicksand.

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