Just some thoughts

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am a programmer. Unlike many I have written an entire system myself for a mid sized mfg. company and so to some degree I have seen the whole instead of my little peice. Why is that more programmers do not come forward with the bad news about Y2K.

Simply put there are three reasons. Because they have worked on only a small part of the system from their prespective there is no problem. They are if they wish to think deeply enough aware that a problem exists but it is not P.C. to think or say as much. To do so would beget the same ridicule as talk of UFO's or of a U.N. takeover of the U.S. What you say on the golf course may carry back to the office. This is a very big reason, don't rock the boat. Also there are those who know there is a problem, don't care about the P.C. bull but have a family to feed. For them the best avenue is to prep, play the office game and let what may come be.

I am of the last type. I have seen how Y2K has been addressed by management. They did not get it, still don't and will not until they are out there looking for warmth and food. The same holds true for politicians, again from my first hand experience. The game is over; anything not already fixed will not be fixed. Also preps not made by now will probably not be made.

It is interesting that come monday we may have the beginning of a market crash. Most are probably in denial this weekend. If a crash does commence monday most will be in denial for thousands of points down. But of course a market crash and the reasons for it are not polite subjects for the golf course. We're ready and XYZ is a great buy at 95 are.

-- Ed (ed@lizzardranch.com), October 16, 1999


There's at least one more explanation for the programmers' behavior: they tend to be optimists. On almost any project, they tend to be highly confident that they'll finish on time, and that whatever bug they've just found is absolutely, positively the LAST bug in the system. And that attitude is reaffirmed by their supervisor (who may be an ex-programmer, as well), and by middle management (who once wrote a program on the IBM 1401, and would be happy to tell you what it was like in the good ole days), and by senior management (who, with rare exceptions, have no idea what software development is all about, and who tend to assume that deadlines are simply a matter of negotiation).


-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), October 16, 1999.

Wow! The U.N. might take over the U.S. I need to think about that...

-- Psychotic (y2k@doom&gloom.com), October 16, 1999.


What's really sad is the fact that the Wall Street spinmeisters keep telling everyone to buy on the dips. I've been hearing that song now for two months. You can see the panic in their eyes as they say this over and over and over.

The whole thing is a game. I'm sick of it. It's all bullshit!

-- (Polywog@thepond.com), October 16, 1999.


Thanks for your programmers opinion on the subject. Sounds like human nature eh?

-- Brian (imager@home.com), October 16, 1999.

Ed --

Right. I think this has been expressed several times by a number of engineering types.

Brian --

Yep. Human nature. If there is no upside to making waves on an issue like this, no one will make waves. And there is no upside. If one were to raise cain, trying to get management, other engineering staff, or even the public to understand the scope of the problem, then that individual will shortly be looking for a job.

-- just another (another@engineer.com), October 16, 1999.

Amazing any of this stuff works at all, isn't it guys.

-- mr x (x@x.x), October 16, 1999.

I'll agree with you on that, mr. x.

It's amazing the type of workarounds one must do to keep certain apps/systems running. The initial version of Novell 4 comes to mind, LOL

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 16, 1999.

Be advised that Windows has a nasty habit of crashing at inconvenient times.

And I doubt the U.N. could afford the U.S. if they had it.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), October 17, 1999.

A year ago I brought up the subject to management. I work in a government office. They looked at me like I was wearing a tinfoil hat. Honest to God they said "We don't know what will happen" as well as all the other usual responses. As you might expect over all this time they have done nothing to address the situation...no preps, no contingencies. All anyone seems to be concerned with is CYA. I had an IT guy tell me in no uncertain terms that the contractor,who was working for us to identify any problems with our systems, was only hired so that we could show "due diligence" later on. Never.....never, has anyone in the facility questioned whether disruptions in the infrastructure were possible. They are ALL assuming that everything will be normal for rollover. Human nature is the one thing you can depend on.

-- wondering (mgrmos@aol.com), October 17, 1999.

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