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Search - "waterfall"
Biggest challenge I overcame as dev? One of many.
Avoiding a life sentence when the 'powers that be' targeted one of my libraries for the root cause of system performance issues and I didn't correct that accusation with a flame thrower.
What the accusation? What I named the library. Yep. The *name* was causing every single problem in the system.
Panorama (very, very expensive APM system at the time) identified my library in it's analysis, the calls to/from SQLServer was the bottleneck
We had one of Panorama's engineers on-site and he asked what (not the actual name) MyLibrary was and (I'll preface I did not know or involved in any of the so-called 'research') a crack team of developers+managers researched the system thoroughly and found MyLibrary was used in just about every project. I wrote the .Net 1.1 MyLibrary as a mini-ORM to simplify the execution of database code (stored procs, etc) and gracefully handle+log database exceptions (auto-logged details such as the target db, stored procedure name, parameter values, etc, everything you'd need to troubleshoot database errors). This was before Dapper and the other fancy tools used by kids these days.
By the time the news got to me, there was a team cobbled together who's only focus was to remove any/every trace of MyLibrary from the code base. Using Waterfall, they calculated it would take at least a year to remove+replace MyLibrary with the equivalent ADO.Net plumbing.
In a department wide meeting:
DeptMgr: "This day forward, no one is to use MyLibrary to access the database! It's slow, unprofessionally named, and the root cause of all the database issues."
Me: "What about MyLibrary is slow? It's excecuting standard the ADO.Net code. Only extra bit of code is the exception handling to capture the details when the exception is logged."
DeptMgr: "We've spent the last 6 weeks with the Panorama engineer and he's identified MyLibrary as the cause. Company has spent over $100,000 on this software and we have to make fact based decisions. Look at this slide ... "
<DeptMgr shows a histogram of the stacktrace, showing MyLibrary as the slowest>
Me: "You do realize that the execution time is the database call itself, not the code. In that example, the invoice call, it's the stored procedure that taking 5 seconds, not MyLibrary."
<at this point, DeptMgr is getting red-face mad>
AreaMgr: "Yes...yes...but if we stopped using MyLibrary, removing the unnecessary layers, will make the code run faster."
<typical headknodd-ers knod their heads in agreement>
Dev01: "The loading of MyLibrary takes CPU cycles away from code that supports our customers. Every CPU cycle counts."
Me: "I'm really confused. Maybe I'm looking at the data wrong. On the slide where you highlighted all the bottlenecks, the histogram shows the latency is the database, I mean...it's right there, in red. Am I looking at it wrong?"
<this was meeting with 20+ other devs, mgrs, a VP, the Panorama engineer>
DeptMgr: "Yes you are! I know MyLibrary is your baby. You need to check your ego at the door and face the facts. Your MyLibrary is a failed experiment and needs to be exterminated from this system!"
Fast forward 9 months, maybe 50% of the projects updated, come across the documentation left from the Panorama. Even after the removal of MyLibrary, there was zero increases in performance. The engineer recommended DBAs start optimizing their indexes and other N+1 problems discovered. I decide to ask the developer who lead the re-write.
Me: "I see that removing MyLibrary did nothing to improve performance."
Dev: "Yes, DeptMgr was pissed. He was ready to throw the Panorama engineer out a window when he said the problems were in the database all along. Didn't you say that?"
Me: "Um, so is this re-write project dead?"
Dev: "No. Removing MyLibrary introduced all kinds of bugs. All the boilerplate ADO.Net code caused a lot of unhandled exceptions, then we had to go back and write exception handling code."
Me: "What a failure. What dipshit would think writing more code leads to less bugs?"
Dev: "I know, I know. We're so far behind schedule. We had to come up with something. I ended up writing a library to make replacing MyLibrary easier. I called it KnightRider. Like the TV show. Everyone is excited to speed up their code with KnightRider. Same method names, same exception handling. All we have to do is replace MyLibrary with KnightRider and we're done."
Me: "Won't the bottlenecks then point to KnightRider?"
Dev: "Meh, not my problem. Panorama meets primarily with the DBAs and the networking team now. I doubt we ever use Panorama to look at our C# code."
Needless to say, I was (still) pissed that they had used MyLibrary as dirty word and a scapegoat for months when they *knew* where the problems were. Pissed enough for a flamethrower? Maybe.10
Worst collaboration experience story?
I was not directly involved, it was a Delphi -> C# conversion of our customer returns application.
The dev manager was out to prove waterfall was the only development methodology that could make convert the monolith app to a lean, multi-tier, enterprise-worthy application.
Starting out with a team of 7 (3 devs, 2 dbas, team mgr, and the dev department mgr), they spent around 3 months designing, meetings, and more meetings. Armed with 50+ page specification Word document (not counting the countless Visio workflow diagrams and Microsoft Project timeline/ghantt charts), the team was ready to start coding.
The database design, workflow, and UI design (using Visio), was well done/thought out, but problems started on day one.
- Team mgr and Dev mgr split up the 3 devs, 1 dev wrote the database access library tier, 1 wrote the service tier, the other dev wrote the UI (I'll add this was the dev's first experience with WPF).
- Per the specification, all the layers wouldn't be integrated until all of them met the standards (unit tested, free from errors from VS's code analyzer, etc)
- By the time the devs where ready to code, the DBAs were already tasked with other projects, so the Returns app was prioritized to "when we get around to it"
Fast forward 6 months later, all the devs were 'done' coding, having very little/no communication with one another, then the integration. The service and database layers assumed different design patterns and different database relationships and the UI layer required functionality neither layers anticipated (ex. multi-users and the service maintaining some sort of state between them).
Those issues took about a month to work out, then the app began beta testing with real end users. App didn't make it 10 minutes before users gave up. Numerous UI logic errors, runtime errors, and overall app stability. Because the UI was so bad, the dev mgr brought in one of the web developers (she was pretty good at UI design). You might guess how useful someone is being dropped in on complex project , months after-the-fact and being told "Fix it!".
Couple of months of UI re-design and many other changes, the app was ready for beta testing.
In the mean time, the company hired a new customer service manager. When he saw the application, he rejected the app because he re-designed the entire returns process to be more efficient. The application UI was written to the exact step-by-step old returns process with little/no deviation.
With a tremendous amount of push-back (TL;DR), the dev mgr promised to change the app, but only after it was deployed into production (using "we can fix it later" excuse).
Still plagued with numerous bugs, the app was finally deployed. In attempts to save face, there was a company-wide party to celebrate the 'death' of the "old Delphi returns app" and the birth of the new. Cake, drinks, certificates of achievements for the devs, etc.
By the end of the project, the devs hated each other. Finger pointing, petty squabbles, out-right "FU!"s across the cube walls, etc. All the team members were re-assigned to other teams to separate them, leaving a single new hire to fix all the issues.5
I think the sleep deprived me is finally cracking under the weight of incompetent assholes.
We just launched a major project in some weird cocktail of Agile slapped with MVP and release to the wild in a waterfall, but it was premature, premature in the sense QA hasn't even finished their side of things, but because some fuck with with "manager" in their title decided they have burnt through the budget with incompetence and scrapped an entire element of the project and outsourced just so they could make a shittier version that doesn't even fucking work.
How hard do you want to fail before you will start listening to the people that now have to work around the fucking clock to clean up this horse shit of a mess.
I'm literally arguing over field mapping with multiple 3rd parties, when the fucking requirements state WTF this is suppose to look like. All because they didn't validate or test their own shit.
Why is EVERY FUCKING cock head in this industry a waste of space and cash! Is it really to much to ask for 1 fucking project to fucking go live that actually fucking works where I don't need to work 2 weeks straight (including weekends) after going live just to be sure that what shit does hit the fan isn't going to create a SEV 1 issue...
Sorry, I'm pissed at the incompetence of others I need to deal with on a daily basis. It's not like this field is insanely hard. A little attention to detail and self validation, verification goes a long way. But clearly that's a rarity.
Once this shit is stable and actually works, I'll be pulling out the mop to clean up half this shit just so it actually works.
Oof, I'm getting to old for this bullshit.4
My department is being taken over by incompetent, unfriendly and micromanaging waterfall-loving managers. I am fucking leaving!2
Never trust organizations who claim to have adopted the agile mindset, saying they use SAFe or Scrum or w\e, unless the teams themselves say that they have full autonomy for the release process. Because the upper management is not agile. Especially in older organizations. Typically they are the ones who will have the final say if teams don't have autonomy.
As a consultant, I joined a team on an organization who says that they're using SAFe. "Scaled Agile Framework". There is absolutely nothing agile in that horrid process.
Agility only happens at the team level. That's where we seem to improve the ways of working. Levels above, nothing happens.
I've been on this team for a year and we haven't released ANYTHING to customers. So those "release trains" are sitting on their stations.
Upper management refuses to green light a product release to customers that doesn't contain everything they want in it. In their mind they have the "perfect product" in mind and it needs to be perfect before it can be delivered to anyone. Fighting them on that idea has proven pointless. They don't understand what an agile mindset it. At the moment we are providing zero value to customers.
The MVP release date has been pushed for over 6 months now because nobody can come to a conclusion as to what needs to be finished before the release. They can't accept that we'd just release it now and keep iterating it. Everyone from the team members to the organization leader to their grandmother has to green light a release. People argue about minor nuances. Semantics. Big manual regression tests are needed to make sure that everything works. When a minor bug appears, PO's lose their minds and start calling out developers to investigate and fix it, and to set up more gateway checks that these things don't happen.
Organizations don't adapt the agile mindset very easily. Frustration sets in. Waterfall is forever.5
I'm literally one junior developer building a front end stack for a company that uses the waterfall method of building shit...
My application has not been fully tested and none of the real user base has actually tested it. I have no clue what potential egde cases exist in my application. I did as much testing as possible but it's keeping me on edge that there is potentially something broken lurking underneath that I don't know about.
If it is broken it's all erupting into flames and there's nothing I can do about it because the application will have to go through a whole beuacratic process to allowed to be fixed.2
I don't know why, but even though I have years of experience doing agile both in school and at work, I seem to have a hard time adjusting to the agile work method because I always seem to want to do waterfall.
I don't like the stress of having to rush out a product, nor do I like working on an unknown piece of software (framework/library) without knowing it fully; it just itches me and I get obsessive.
I don't like creating just a piece of functionality and rush it out the door, but I rather like doing it in an R&D type way where I get years to finish a product that I slowly work on, like a modern-age philosopher and scientist.
I know there are companies out there that have this approach, but sadly most of them are agile 'cause they all wanna be cool.. LoL
I'm an old mind in a modern world..2