It’s JUST software

Meetings. A simple, unavoidable fact of any Engineer’s life.

This time the boss wants to discuss a customer’s bespoke requirement. This customer would like control our equipment remotely through a webpage.

The Artful Engineer has been here before. The hairs on the back of his neck stand and his pupils dilate.

“We can do that!” asserts the boss, “It’s just software”.

The Boss’ eyes are alight with excitement.

“Technically yes, but…” The Artful Engineer replies, cut off mid sentence.

“Good, how long will it take?” asks the boss. A bead of sweat is forming on the Engineer’s brow. Here we go again. Suck it up, lets play the game.

“Six months” The Boss’ expression is darkening. Ah yes, he’s done it again.

“But I promised it in a month” laments the Boss. “You have to do it in a month”.

“I can’t and I won’t” replies The Artful Engineer. The Boss should know better by now. “First we have to understand the requirement, then we need to write a spec and get it signed off, then we have to plan implementation and execute, we need to write test cases and validate security”

The Boss thinks that’s it. No. The Engineer is simply taking a breath.

“Then we need to decide how to support this function internally and train our staff. And how do teach our customer to properly integrate the function into their software. And who is responsible if it is integrated incorrectly?”

Another breath. It doesn’t matter, the Boss has stomped off to make a rather uncomfortable phone call.

Its never just software muses The Engineer, muttering under his breath “I’ll have it done in a month”


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