Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Fast Mode

It seems that, in every software project I'm involved with, I eventually get asked this question in a meeting:

Kris, is there a "fast mode" we could use to improve performance?

Why yes, of course! Why didn't I think of that? I could just turn on fast-mode, and then performance will be twice as good. And then I guess I could disable slow-mode, which would double performance yet again.

Thank goodness I have managers who can correct these silly oversights on my part.

Not being in the software industry, it really boggles my mind that there are managers that lack even limited understanding of programming.

It makes me think two things:

* Even I could get a job as a 'manager'. How much does it pay? Do I get a decent vision and dental plan?

* Every job category is full of clueless managers. It's the peter principle at work.
It depends a lot on which area of the software industry one is looking. My first programming job was with an "engineering" sort of company, and the managers there were generally pretty clueful, although they did tend to think of software as a highly customizable integrated circuit. And some of the older managers thought their experiences writing FORTRAN programs 30 years ago gave them sufficient authority to tell us how to do our jobs.

In my current job, most of the managers have marketing backgrounds. So there is less technical knowledge, and also a tendency to believe that anything they want is possible, given sufficient motivation.

You definitely could get a job as a manager in any of the companies I've worked for.
You definitely could get a job as a manager in any of the companies I've worked for.

Somehow, that frightens me.

On the other hand, if my current job as a government bureaucrat doesn't work out, at least I know I can get a job I'm really not qualified for...
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