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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Software Development

There was a story in the local paper the other day about how the state government's latest foray into medical insurance / records software was going down in flames. This is on top of the previous debacle that consuming umpteen zilllion dollars. Then I have this email conversation:

Iaman reports:
I am working in Medical Health Care Software now and being a VA medical user I appreciate the VA system, which is open source, 65% of USA MDs have learned on Vista.
I am procrastinating researching/writing a QMS Software Development operations manual, got a spare one kicking around?
Software development is pretty nebulous. First you need an idea of what you want the software to do. Then you write up a plan on how you might accomplish this. Usually this involves breaking the project up into pieces. Then you need to define the interfaces between the various pieces, specify which existing libraries you will need (commercial or open source). Then you need some general idea of how each piece is supposed to work, then it comes down to nuts and bolts, writing, testing and debugging code.
It's a complete fantasy built on hype. Writing a QMS plan for software development is like writing one for a successful novel, and no one has accomplished that.
Well. I'm picking up that gauntlet you have thrown down.  I shall write the great American QMS Software Development Operations Manual (QMSSDOM)...aka Quasimodo BY week's end.
Remember: there are 2 types of documentation:
1. Out of date.
2. Just plain wrong.
Andrew Pergiel:
I need a exit strategy to move into a less neurotic company.
The Chinese use the same word for crisis and opportunity. Maybe the company hasn't reached crisis conditions yet, but if conditions are like what you tell me, and they are supposed to deliver in 3 months, then that time is fast approaching.
From what you tell me it seems like the outfit has no plan, no direction and no leader. There might be somebody in charge, but he is not leading the pack in a useful direction.
Exit strategy? Look for a new job, maybe? Why does this require a strategy?
Seems like there might be opportunity where you are. I mean, someone has sunk a bunch of money into this project and you'd think they would want to salvage their investment, if they could. If, on the other hand, they are burning US Government grant money, then maybe they are achieving their goal of siphoning off the top 50%. In that case total collapse is what they want. That way no one asks for the money back. See The Producers.
On the other hand (the third hand, the gripping hand), you might be fast approaching the end. Somebody may have sunk a bunch of money into this project, but if it fails to deliver they may just pull the plug and write it off as a loss.
If this a real company, meaning not funded by the gov't, I think there is opportunity here for you to step up and lead.
California Bob:
I took a job at Dogbutt Products (not their real name).  Within 2 weeks I determined I was not going to like working for the officious bint who was supervising me.  My exit strategy was to send an email saying I wouldn't be coming in anymore, and to forward my last check.  And then I went to Burger King.

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