BUILDING PHILOSOPHY LIFESTYLE HABITS ADVICE CAREERS BUSINESS ENTERPRISE SELLING

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For a programmer, 10 minutes = 3 hours

10:48

Boss: Hey Ed, Sue in Detroit says that sometimes the wrong Invoice Part Number is showing up on the Product History Screen. Can you help us figure this out?

Ed: I'm busy with something else at the moment. Put the ticket in my queue.

Boss: This will only take 10 minutes.

Ed: Are you sure about that?

Boss: Yes. I'll just set up a web conference. Sue can show you right away, then you can look into it when you have time.

Ed: OK.

Boss: Great. Check your Outlook for an invite.

11:05

Got an Outlook invite for a web conference at 11:30. Accepted.

11:25

Called the web conference 800 number from my IP phone. Busy. Tried again twice. Busy both times. Called my cell phone from my IP phone. Busy. OK, the IP phone system is screwed up again. Called the web conference phone from my cell phone. First one there. On hold. Clicked the link in my browser to the web conference. First one there.

(Ed starts reading Hacker News in another tab.)

11:38

Boss enters conference call: Where's Sue?

Ed: I don't know.

Boss: Can you see my screen?

Ed: No.

Boss: OK, hold on. Let me be the host. Can you see it now?

Ed: Yes, but I thought Sue was going to demonstrate the problem.

Boss: That's right. I'll just transfer host mode to her.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

11:47

Sue enters conference call: OK, why are we here?

Boss: So that you can show Ed what's wrong with the Product History Display.

Sue: What's wrong with the Product History Display?

Boss: You know, sometimes the wrong Invoice Part Number displays.

Sue: You mean for mil-spec orders?

Boss: I really don't know. You sent the ticket.

Sue: What's the ticket number?

Boss: Hold on, let me check.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

11:53

Boss: It's ticket number 13827. Remember now?

Sue: How do I see tickets on my PC?

Boss: Just click on the I.T. dashboard on the intranet.

Sue: I can't. The web conference software went full screen.

Boss: Then just hit Alt-F4. Then go to the intranet.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

11:57

Sue: OK, what was that ticket number again?

Boss: I should have written it down. Let me look it up again...

Boss: 13827.

Sue: OK, I see. This only happens once in a while. No one knows why. It always breaks on Part Number R27-83.

Boss: OK, show Ed.

Sue: How do I get back to the web conference.

Boss: You have to start all over. Alt-F4 killed it.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

12:04

Sue: OK, the web conference is up again. Can you see my screen?

Boss: No, you have to click "Host".

Sue: Where?

Boss: In the little box in the upper right hand corner.

Sue: The "History" box?

Boss: No, the "Attendees" box.

Sue: OK. Can you see my screen now?

Boss: No. Try again.

Sue: I did. It said that you have to give up host mode.

Boss: OK. I didn't know that.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

12:14

Boss: I gave up host mode. Try again.

Sue: OK, can you see my screen?

Boss: Yes.

Ed: Yes.

Sue: OK, if I go into the main menu, click "Operations", then click "Sales", then click "History" it takes me to the Sales History Menu. See?

Boss: Yes.

Ed: Yes.

Sue: Then I click on Sales History Display by Part. I enter "R27-93" and the main screen pops up. Then I click on Invoices, I hit F5, then F3, then F7, and the Invoice Part Number changes to "GT548". This should never happen. What gives?

Ed: OK, let me check it out and get back to you.

Boss: OK, bye.

Sue: OK, bye.

Ed is now stuck in host mode because the other two logged off. He can't get out. Windows locks. He reboots.

12:38

Ed logs back in and goes to the development system. He goes to the main screen, clicks "Operations", then clicks "Sales", then clicks "History" it takes him to the Sales History Menu. Then he clicks on Sales History Display by Part. He enters "R27-93" and the main screen pops up. Then he clicks on Invoices, hits F5, then F3, then F7, and the Invoice Part Number remains "R27-93", just as it should. It works in dev perfectly.

12:46

Ed logs into production through his secret back door. He goes to the main screen, clicks "Operations", then clicks "Sales", then clicks "History" it takes him to the Sales History Menu. Then he clicks on Sales History Display by Part. He enters "R27-93" and the main screen pops up. Then he clicks on Invoices, hits F5, then F3, then F7, and the Invoice Part Number changes to "GT548". Sue was right.

12:57

Ed checks the Version Control System. The program has been checked out by Fred since November 11. He runs a diff and sees that Fred has found and fixed the problem in the 425 lines of code he has changed.

1:03

Ed calls Fred to see what he's been up to. Voice mail.

1:07

Ed emails Fred, explaining the problem.

Ed returns to Hacker News.

1:17

Fred calls back. Ed tells him to read his email.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

1:28

Fred calls back: OK, I remember that. The program was broken by one of the offshore programmers who was changing the header on every program in the Operations directory. He accidently removed a line of code before he recompiled. Somehow, it made it through QA, and now Sue has found the bug.

Ed: Well then, can you promote it now?

Fred: I don't think so. There are 12 other changes in this mod. Let me check and call you back.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

1:36

Fred calls back: I can't promote any of these changes until the XL500 mods go through first. They're on hold until QA approves the spec. So we just have to wait.

Ed: OK, thanks Fred. I'll just email my boss and tell him.

Ed emails Boss with the explanation.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

1:48

Boss: OK, this sounds like a problem. It looks like I'll have to escalate this to the Steering Committee. I'm glad you had 10 minutes to spare. Thanks.

(Ed continues to read Hacker News in another tab.)

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