Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Programming for the two big I’s (2): a programmer quits:

(This is the second installment of a story that started here.)

The day after the meeting in which the manager insisted on writing software without a design, I was given a new task, in which I had Authority without Responsibility.I forgot all about that meeting. Each night, as I explained to my family that a day of Authority without Responsibility washes away the bitterness of a whole year of Responsibility without Authority, I also said: “It won’t last! It’s too good to be true.” And I was right. A drama was developing at the same time. Arthur, the programmer asked to program without designing, had immediately quit, but our group did not know this. We knew he was not coming to work, and efforts were being made to find out why. He was a contractor, not an employee, so he might be working at home but he could not be reached. In fact, he had resigned by sending a letter to the broker who had placed him in the Two Big I’s project. When the broker got the letter, he did not pass on the bad news, preferring to contact the programmer and persuade him not to resign. But he could not reach Arthur either. Four precious work days were lost before it became clear that Arthur categorically refused to code without designing. (And who can blame him?)

Episode 3 is here.

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