Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

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Leveraging Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is a breathtaking thing to behold. I'm gone on holiday for two weeks only to come back and find that I'm now a Java developer. Though surprising, this isn't as entirely crazy as it sounds. A new system integrating with our platform needs to be developed and since it's a server on our Forge platform, it must be written in Java. Not having written Java in years, I am nonetheless our most experienced Java developer.

So we now have two new Java developers on loan to our team and my task, along with another developer on our team, is to learn enough Java to take over the new system being built and to use our rights modeling domain expertise to guide the Java developers on the creation of the new system.

So today, we find ourselves needing to explain the modeling of a particularly complex part of our system and we need to find a meeting room with a white board to diagram it. After much searching, one of the Java developers reports back that he's found an available room. Upon arrival, we find a lady in the room, gaily chatting away on her cell phone. Stumped, we stand around and try to decide options and I say "hold on a second." Our booking system is so rubbish that rooms are often double-booked.

I opened the door, stuck my head in and asked "excuse me miss, have we had another booking error?"

Since I asked, seems she just assumed that we had legitimately booked the room and apologized and left, making way for our team.

Not a nice thing to do, but we had a full, uninterrupted hour to realize that the problems we faced were greater than we thought.
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