Monday, December 21, 2009

Life's Too Short To Work For Clowns.

One of the cliche's of our culture is the little boy who rebels against his parents and dreams of running away to join the circus. His mind is filled with the glamor of the Big Top, the exotic animals, the independence of wandering the country from one town to the next. He hasn't really thought about what it means to work in a circus. The Ringmaster did many menial jobs before arriving in the spotlight. The animals have to be cared for; double the time it takes to feed them when you consider both ends of the animal. Traveling from town to town may sound romantic until you realize it means you spend more time traveling than in one place, lots of lonely nights on the road regardless of the weather or climate because 'the show must go on" after all. The life of a circus is not just popcorn, parades, and pretty girls.

I ran across a quote in Christopher Duncan's, "The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World" that made me both laugh and sigh.

You need to consider one additional thing when trying to convince management the current approach to developing software needs improvement. What do you do if non of this sways them and they insist on continuing with chaotic development approaches that consistently create disasters and stress? Update your resume. Life's too short to work for clowns.

So the question becomes, do you work for clowns? Does the development process at your company make a circus look like a well-oiled machine? You might work for a clown.

I plan on putting together a complement to The Joel Test where instead of a list of things a company does before you consider working for them, The Clown Test would be a list of things that indicate you might work for clowns.

This might describe your boss,

he might be a Tech Clown.

My apologies to Jeff Foxworthy.

When you run across a good example of a Tech Clown, send 'em my way and I'll add it to the list for every one's enjoyment.
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