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Management vs. Labor

Ship steam engine SkibladnerI am working on under an NDA for some software companies doing beta testing. While a team of testers evaluate and work on the products, we keep running into small and inconsistent errors. They aren’t repeatable or reproducible, but they are there. While we clamor for fixes,  we are also aware that the employees in charge of development are under product deadlines and under the thumb of the corporate bigwigs, set on getting the product out the door to meet revenue projections. Those macro decisions are considered more important than the minor bugs they can clean up “later” after the product is released, when the entire market becomes a huge beta market!
Which reminds me of a story. I am also a pastor, and I was talking to one of my “old timers” in the church where I served. He told me a story about management vs. labor I will never forget. He was a WWII vet who was working at the Cooper-Bessemer Plant in Grove City PA where they made ship and train engines.  They had long time skilled workers who could manually router a piston’s cylinder bore to within 1/32 inch tolerance. They had been making engines this way for years. Well in the 1960′s they hired some young gun out of business school to be a manager. The particular engine they were working on had “passed” the mechanical measurement tolerance tests, but the older worker protested. He said that something didn’t “feel” right and there was something wrong with that engine. He was over-ruled by the know-it-all manager.  That engine got put into a ship, and the engine blew. It cost the company millions of dollars and time, distance, and labor to replace that engine in the new ship far across the sea.
Calopus (ship) The engine of the 'Calopus', Th...
All I am saying is that something doesn’t “feel” right… That seems to me to be why most software releases aren’t really solid until the .01 release or later… Now I know why…

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