Or, to put it all another way, "Life is a cartoon.  Dilbert is a
documentary."

I used to embrace our Center's software process improvement initiative,
but ultimately soured.  Many reasons, but the main one is that the large
one-size-fits-all bureaucratic prescription cure is worse than the
disease, and completely ignores the central truth that (on small
projects, at least) people with the right skills and domain knowledge
provide a much better return on investment.

I regard the obsession with formal processes as a peculiarly American
penchant for insisting that all enterprises be reduced to an automated
industrial process, no thought required.  It all began with Henry Ford.

I'm not hostile to formal processes, per se.  Only that the prescription
must be appropriately tailored and scaled to the project and team.
Usually, it isn't.

At the mad tea party in Alice In Wonderland, the prescription for a
stopped watch is to slather its innards with butter.  When it is
suggested that perhaps butter wasn't the best solution, the response is,
"But it was the best butter!"  That's the world we live in.

One has to keep a sense of humor about these things.

--Tem Hornaday
GPS Engineering, at a Navy facility in San Diego


-----Original Message-----
From: Leap Seconds Issues [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of Poul-Henning Kamp
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 6:47 AM
To: LEAPSECS@ROM.USNO.NAVY.MIL
Subject: Re: [LEAPSECS] a system that fails spectacularly


In message <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Rob Seaman
writes:
>On Dec 7, 2005, at 11:57 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
>
>> ISO9000 certification only means that you have documented your
>> quality assurance process.  There is no requirement that your
>> documentation pertains to or results in a quality product.
>
>That was kind of my point, too.  We have standards bodies that don't
>promulgate their standards.  [...]

You need to look even further down the foodchain, starting from the
bottom:

* First comes people who make buying decisions based on price.

* Then comes engineers who are only in it for the money.

* Then comes product managers cutting corners to push out a cheap
product early.

* Then comes companies who only care about money


The kind of people who even care enough to think about participating in
standards writing, are leagues above those four by the simple fact that
they actually do care in the first place.

And as we all know from the standards we work with, even those people
are pretty underperforming to begin with.


In an ideal world, I would love to educate them all about the errors of
their ways, but I'm too old to seriously contemplate such a project.

Leapseconds are simply too technically tricky for the species we are
dealing with.  They are OK if confined to science labs, but out in the
real world where people think McDonalds food does not make you fat leap
seconds are just no feasible.

--
Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
[EMAIL PROTECTED]         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by
incompetence.

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