The more I read Joel on Software, the more I’m convinced that if there software jobs in heaven, they’ll look an awful lot like this. Today’s post, called Evidence Based Scheduling, is just one example of the sort of nirvana that I’m hoping awaits me after death if I’ve been sufficiently good, because I sure as hell haven’t seen anything like it in this life.
I’ve certainly seen my share of the ones he gives as bad examples. The schedules passed down from above. The “I’ll give them 30% less time than they said it would take, and then creep the feature list” managers who think it’s motivating to put you under stress, the managers who do the same and then put the blame on you when the project is late, the projects with no schedules and no clear deliverables, but which still manage to make you feel like you’re not producing enough, the “fire 30% of the team but don’t change the schedule” managers, the “if you guys were any good you wouldn’t need so much time for debugging” managers (who not coincidentally are the ones who didn’t give you any time for designing up front), the ones who are as fickle as the wind when it comes to deciding what features are absolutely 100% necessary to win this customer (who turns out to have already decided to go with your competitor), and the “compile it, run it once, deliver it to the customer and if they complain, roll them back to yesterday’s build” ones.
Yes, that’s what life is like down here on earth.