Sunday, March 06, 2005


I was managing Quality Assurance at a company developing an Internet Telephone program that allowed five people to connect and confer together. QA tests of the conferencing were not going well, so I arranged a test conference call among the five key programmers. They experienced the frustrations of trying to hear each other, and then I got them together in a room to discuss the problems.
The developers had all thought their software was better than that, and they came into the room all charged up with ideas about what was wrong and how to fix it. They all started talking at once, and I’m not sure anyone was listening to the others. Finally, I silenced the din, picked up a floppy disk and handed it to one of them. "Whoever is holding this disk may talk,” I said. “When you finish, hand the floppy someone else.”
And that’s how our developers discussed their software that was intended to let five people talk at once. Irony squared, I think.

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