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You Know Your Project is in Trouble When…

October 6th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Despite our best efforts, many technology projects don’t succeed (and a few that do define “success” in interesting ways…) Many many words have been spilt trying to answer why failure is so common and even more describing the one true way to counter that sorry state; I’m certainly not going to add to that ink bath but maybe I can give you a heads up that will save you the pain of yet another death march. In a series of chats with various project survivors, I’ve assembled the following short list of signs that you it might be time to find something new.

  • “The file extension is .java” is the first item on your code review checklist.
  • You throw out a random TLA in a meeting and no one misses a beat.
  • The project manager says the data model is already 95% done.
  • The use of the term “code smell” is outlawed.
  • Developers insist that unit testing will only slow them down.
  • Estimates aren’t ranges.
  • Your manager tried to send people to Waterfall 2006.
  • Technologies are evaluated based on the quality of the golf course.
  • The first thing the tech lead does when he downloads a piece of open source software is hack the code.
  • The term “Big Bang” is thrown around liberally.
  • Your project structure requires an upgrade to your toolset in order to function properly.
  • The architect is babbling like the Oracle at Delphi…and everyone is nodding.
  • You feel the need to build a “concrete containment building” around a part of your code base.
  • Your IDE is responsible for generating nearly all your code.
  • All technical questions are answered with a recap of the project history.
  • End users have update access to the production database tables.
  • You do something special when your page has checkbox3.

Though influenced by my own experience, any resemblance to projects real or imagined is entirely coincidental… [Shortly after writing this, I was listening to a Java Posse podcast that had a nice list of project smells.]

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  1. Sabir
    January 17th, 2017 at 16:42 | #1

    This is just amazing that is too good for snap hack online.

  1. October 8th, 2007 at 07:57 | #1