Episode 5: The magic of simplicity


Zach has just accepted an installation CD for a new application, which he has to evaluate in order to determine whether the company can propose it as a solution to clients. The application is minimally titled "Available Resource Accumulation and Non-Categorized Semi-Structured Information Processing with Inverse Search Term Roaming v.33.0" (or ARANCSSIPISTR for short). Since the title wouldn't fit on the CD, it came on a separate label. The application has been developed by UberUnrivaledProgrammers Ltd., a company which currently works closely with Zach's company, ThreeTonsOfCode Ltd.

ZWD: (Thinking) This doesn't look good. No, it doesn't look good at all. Let's see...

Shoves the CD into the drive, click, click, click, autorun, install, ok...

ZWD: (Thinking) Er, this seems to be working. The title might be a bit confusing. Let's enter some data.

Click click click click...

ZWD: (Thinking) It worked, phew. But I think I've got something wrong. Let's go back and correct it...



ZWD: (Thinking) What the....I'll just click Cancel. 




ZWD: (Thinking) This means that a double negative is a positive, so a negative to a positive is a negative...er, better start from the beginning. I deactivated cancelling the function, so I essentially activated the function. But when I deactivated the deactivation, then I activated the cancellation....BRRRFLLGURRRGLL. Well, I think it's better to try again.

Click, click, click...




ZWD: (Thinking) What did I do? And what can't I do? Why doesn't it tell me what I did? WHY?

Click click click click...




ZWD: (Thinking) MAY HAVE??? 

Lets go of the keyboard and grabs the phone. Calls ThreeTonsOfCode's secretary, Ms. Disturbed MakeSenseNot, or Disty for short

ZWD: Disty, could you please call whoever is responsible for...er, leave it, anybody from UberUnrivaledProgrammers Ltd?


ZWD: Yes, good day, who am I speaking to? 

TMD: This is Theoreticalist MultiDegree, I'm the chief developer. What can I do for you Mr. WontDoIt?

ZWD: (Thinking: Of course...) Mr. MultiDegree, i'd like you to clarify some things for me regarding your ARANCSSIPISTR software, because the messages I've been getting after performing some actions are slightly incomprehensible.

(Tells him what messages he got so far)

TMD: It all sounds pretty natural. I don't see where the problem is.

ZWD: (Scratches his head awkwardly). Mr. MultiDegree, I can't understand what the messages mean. I need a boolean algebra calculator for some of them. For example, when I cancel...

TMD: Listen. It's really simple. Deactivating a function's cancellation is essentially not activating the ability to deactivate the function. This means that when you activate cancellation deactivation you strip the user's ability to cancel the function, and vice versa. Not complicated at all.

ZWD: (Takes a mental note to urgently go take an IQ test) It's not? How about the "You cannot" message? 

TMD: Listen. It's really simple. Since the actions that may not be allowed are many and the relevant messages could prove to be very complex, we decided to provide a more generic message so users wouldn't get confused.

ZWD: (Takes a mental note to not take a mental note on taking an IQ test) That's very wise of you. But why "MAY HAVE been deleted"?

TMD: Listen. It's really simple. We all know the problems distributed computing systems are facing. We didn't want to make users committed to the idea that the data they selected for deletion were 100% surely deleted since something is very possible to go wrong in the process of communicating with other systems. We provide users the opportunity to check what exactly has happened themselves. On the...

ZWD: Mr. MultiDegree, your application is actually just a couple of forms. It's not even a client-server application! Why are you talking about distributed systems?

TMD: This is EXACTLY my point. Listen. It's really simple. As a company, we are fearlessly facing the future. We have designed the application in such a way that it's ready to be converted to a multi-user distributed system! 

ZWD: (Thinking: Do I really deserve this?) Er, obviously only at the message level, since nothing else...

TMD: OF COURSE only regarding messages to the users. Technologies change all the time, we wouldn't take the risk of investing on an infrastructure we would have to throw away later. It's the most efficient technical decision possible. It's really simple. Listen. 

ZWD: By the way, what's the size of your company's development team? 

TMD: Ah, this is our strength. We have the best minds in the industry. I personally have got a PhD from the YouDontKnowAnyShit University of Urugandabale, and there's a team of eight associates with post-graduate titles, coming from the best universities in the world. For example, our lead architect. Mr. WhateverGives Bulldozer has made various publications about the primitive information networks of medieval baboons in the Zabraskawaditshisk ancient community. Our infrastructure designer has a PhD from the ThreeLittleBirdsSinging University of Paradorblinade...blah, blah,blah....our methodology adaptation expert...blah, blah, blah....our head standardized models designer blah blah blah...

ZWD: This is impressive. But WHO actually writes the code? 

TMD: Listen. It's really simple. With all this high level design and analysis, code doesn't really need to be written. We have hired a 20-year-old graduate ot the Teleconferecing Administrative Informatics Department of the YouComeAnIdiotYouGraduateAnIdiot private school to write the standard code we need. Part time, of course. It's really simple. Do you listen?

ZWD:Haven't you had other reports regarding your applications' usability?

TMD: Whad do you mean? Our applications are totally usable. We can use them just fine. Simple. It is. Really. Listen.

ZWD: But what about your clients?

TMD: Listen. Simple. You know how the system works. Our clients NEVER come to us on their own, they are introduced via references. Most of them don't even know how to turn their computer on. So we install the software, and then we send a consultant at their place to do the initial data entry. Afterwards, we mostly do phone support.

ZWD: Meaning?

TMD: They call us on the phone and we send a consultant back to their company. Listen? Easy.

ZWD: (On the verge of a heart attack) and what does your consultant do there?

TMD: He submits the data they need, prints the forms and leaves the printouts on their desks. Everybody's happy.

ZWD: One last question. What's your pricing model?

TMD: $18,000 per user license. Simple.

ZWD: User license? But the application does not support multiple users.

TMD: Listen. It's really simple. If the client wants two users, we install two copies of the application and we send two consultants, each doing half of the data entry. If one employee wants to see data his copy of the application doesn't have, they just switch consultants. It's a revolutionary system. Tested and proven in the largest universities of...

ZWD: Have a good day, Mr. MultiDegree.





From: zach@3tonsofcode.com

Sent: Monday, August 3, 2013 09:00 AM

To: SelfProc LaimedGenius [mailto:allbow2me@3tonsofcode.com] 

Subject: ARANCSSIPISTR evaluation



Listen. It's really simple. Evaluation of the application MAY have been completed and I am in the process of sending you the results, unless a cancellation deactivation process prevents the email from being sent. There is an issue with the application's usability that cancels deactivating non-cancelling the activated functions the users use. What has to be decided here is how useful this specific application is, something which may be answered by our consultants at your place. If you don't want to read the whole message, turn on your multiuser mode and send the first half to our project manager, KnowAll WantItYesterday. Then, call the consultants and let them concatenate the answers. Have you got an Urugandabale University degree? If not, you can't. It's simple. Cancel cancellation of the deactivation. And drop this software and USE A SPREADSHEET INSTEAD. 



Comments (4) -

Mahfuz Ahmad
Mahfuz Ahmad
8/16/2013 6:08:29 PM #

Very true, Very funny............... Laughing

Irvin Heiderman
Irvin Heiderman
10/3/2013 5:22:03 PM #

An excellent blog, well worth reading. I will bookmark this site and check again soon.

Assunta Schockley
Assunta Schockley
11/19/2013 3:04:35 AM #

Well I found this on Digg, and I like it so I dugg it!

get more
get more
6/3/2014 10:33:05 AM #

Some  genuinely  choice  posts  on this  site,  saved to my bookmarks .

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