Sunday, November 23, 2008

When Precondition is True

Now, I'm not a super-glamorous traveling consultant anymore, racking up frequent flyer miles and tiny bottles of hotel shampoo. But I'm a consultant, and that means I work with the dysfunctional. The latest? A QA person who doesn't understand the word WHEN.

WHEN doesn't she understand WHEN? Hah! I crack myself up. WHEN it's used as such, "WHEN the customer is super-special, always use the smiley-face icon in the confirmation message.

Which causes the QA person to ask, "What do you mean by 'WHEN'?" Uhhhhh.... Just try to define the word 'when' without using the word, or risk workplace bias by asking if English is their first language.

We compromised by changes all instances of WHEN to IF. As in IF the customer is super-special, THEN always use the smiley-face icon in the confirmation message.

But it got better--or worst.

The developer and architect don't understand the concept of a precondition for certain functionality--something that has to be true in order to access the functionality. "But what if it's not true", they ask. Then don't show it to them because they can't do it!

But they protest, "But we can't do that. What we can do is give them access, then if they shouldn't have access we take it away."

What I call taunting, they call cross-selling.


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