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Comment Re:You can get close, but it isn't easy (Score 1) 213

Exactly correct..

As soon as we didn't meet their proposed schedule and milestones (driven by revenue realization and not technical possibility) mandatory overtime became the rule for the entire team. Of course this was only mildly effective in pulling the schedule back to the left and that effect was only temporary. I believe that we would have been a lot more efficient and likely finished sooner had they allowed the schedule to slip. But the schedule was about revenue and not much else.

We did a lot of stuff stupidly... We shipped hardware before we had the application written (or even prototypes working). We didn't know if we had enough disk space, processing power or network though put to make this beast work. It turned out we needed an additional 20 servers to handle the load we had 5 servers to cover. Tell a Telco that you need another 3 racks, power and wiring in their switch room... Wow what a mess. We integrated and tested our system in front of the customer so they saw it not work for months while we rang out all the software and configuration problems. Why? Because program management advertised that once the hardware was installed, we'd be ready for live traffic, so once it took a phone call, they claimed success (In order to realize revenue of course). Of course it didn't work in production and the customer was upset. During this time I was in a foreign country, working 18 hour days, 7 days a week for months at a time.

As I understand it, once I left they lost that customer who ripped out the system about a year later. I was surprised it lasted that long.

You are right, I think we could have finished with a lot less fuss and cost had we been sensible about things and up front with the customer about what we could and couldn't do. Of course, I'm guessing we would have lost the sale had we been totally honest up front, but we could have delivered a working system had we not shipped the hardware from the factory before we had the software actually functional and we could have integrated things with all hands present in the factory instead of spending hours on conference calls sitting in a switch room with the customer breathing down my neck....

Comment Re:You can get close, but it isn't easy (Score 2) 213

Good point...

In my 25 years of doing this, I can tell you that the most often used way to estimate a project basically boils down to "How much can we get the customer to pay?" Time and time again I've sat though meetings where the sales person kept saying "we won't ever win the contract with that bid" followed by an order from the executives to bid lower. One time the executives took our estimate, subtracted 2/3rds of it and submitted that as the bid over our objections. We won and I quit as soon as I could get another job lined up. They obviously failed and the customer dropped the contract.

Another time, I was asked when we could deliver said project to the customer.... I answered that it would take 12 months and we'd have a high probability 50% of being late. They wanted it 6 months sooner and the sales folks started yelling about how uncooperative engineering was... (really it was about yearly bonuses because they wanted a December delivery) I insisted that they where asking the impossible, but the executives insisted we try. We tried, worked 18 hour days for months, and failed to meet their deadlines. We did, however, almost exactly meet my original estimate (we beat it by 2 weeks). Of course I got blamed so I quit that place too, as soon as I could.

So the moral of these stories is "Don't estimate by what the sales people want or agree to schedules just to meet the numbers the executives want" Because you will fail and you will be blamed...

Comment You can get close, but it isn't easy (Score 2) 213

Like any "process" you can do better but a couple of things have to be true...

1. You had better KNOW what your development process IS (not what you document, or what you want but what it actually IS). Until you know how you develop, test and deliver software from start to end, there is no way you can estimate how long it will take accurately.

2. You need to develop a method of coming up with your educated guesses that is repeatable. The process must allow you to estimate every step of your development process and how much each step is estimated to cost both in time, materials and labor.

3. You MUST collect metrics that allow you to track actuals to estimate for each individual step in your development process though how ever far you get (hopefully to completion).

4. Next time you get a contract proposal and you start though this process again, when you get to step 2, do your estimates, but then compare past projects data from step 3 and see if you need to add or subtract some fudge factors based on past history. Rinse Lather and repeat.

Eventually, you will get better at the estimation and have more confidence in your ability to bid contracts....

Comment Re:Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 1) 265

OH.. SO because you suffer from depression, you think you are an expert, and because I don't have that issue I cannot have any valuable insights... Right.... It's like getting your appendix removed makes you a surgeon, or falling into a pool makes you able to swim.

I think there are folks who have decided to hear what they want to hear and believe that the world is out to get them. You seem to be one of these people. However, I assure you I'm not trying to discount or diminish your life situation with flippant advice. Besides, all I said was that folks thinking about killing themselves should seek help. You seem to be getting help, which is great, keep doing that.

Look, I'm not claiming to be the paragon of knowledge nor am I able to "fix" what ever your issue is. I believe that I am not qualified to offer anything more than encouraging the seeking of help. TELL somebody who can help you.... There IS help out there if you ask.

Comment Re:Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 1) 265

Shesh... Some do not have external symptoms, yet kill themselves. What you say is not a given...

I knew a guy who was a good worker, was social, well liked, seemed happy and decided one morning to shoot himself with a deer rifle in his bedroom. NOBODY at work had any idea. Your "the management should have known" theory doesn't really square with reality. Maybe they could have known, perhaps they couldn't. Neither of us have first hand knowledge of the situation here...

There is no way for YOU to know what's going on inside someone else's head. Heck, If you are honest with yourself, most of us are puzzled by our own thoughts and actions at times. You don't know if the person in the next cube is ready to go postal or not, how can you know they are considering killing themselves? Maybe they show signs, and maybe they don't.

Comment Re:Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 1) 265

And you are being helpful how?

"Get help" is bad advice? I fail to see how that's a bad idea over suffering in silence or just killing oneself...

I never claimed to be an expert in this subject, but I have been where this woman is, dealing with a family member's death at their own hands. I had a difficult time making peace with what happened too, but hey, I'm no expert and never claimed to be one.

How about you? Are you an expert?

Comment Enough whipping Uber to death (Score 2) 265

Let's just pile on Uber and blame them for all kinds of things. They seem to be the designated whipping boy for all things bad in the tech industry now, so why not? I think that it is now fashionable to beat on Uber for all it's perceived sins. I'm not saying Uber is a great place, it obviously has earned some of this, but at this point, we are beyond what seems reasonable to me.

Where I feel for this guy's widow, Uber is ultimately NOT responsible for his death, he is. I know this is hard to admit and as she goes though the stages of grief she is obviously hurting and lashing out at Uber as she goes though this process. I hope she can find peace with this issue eventually and see that her husband's death is only one person's fault. That person is not her or Uber, but hm. In the mean time, I'm very sorry she is going though this.

For anybody out there thinking of following in this guy's footsteps. Consider this: The pain you leave behind for your loved ones is real and the question of "why" will forever cloud their lives in an unfair way. Please get help, tell somebody and work it out somehow, for them, killing yourself is not an answer, it doesn't make the problem go away.

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 1) 349

Have you had a look at the state's budget deficit lately? The tax rates? Eventually the house of cards will come crashing down... Just the unfunded retirement liability for civil servants will do the state in....

Business is leaving the state in droves to escape the tax rates.... I know because many of these companies are moving to where I live, a state with low taxes and a budget surplus with money going into the "rainy day fund" the last 5 or so years.....

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 2) 349

CA is in debt up to it's eyeballs, beyond it's ability to tax enough to stay solvent. It may be a big economic engine, but the state and local governments are running on fumes. Eventually bankruptcy will happen, and a whole bunch of folks in Cali will be left paying the price by loosing their retirements, government services and welfare programs they depend on..

I've seen the tax rates... I know why companies are leaving the state in droves, many heading to places like Texas (where I live). t may take awhile, but eventually the robbing Peter to pay Paul will have to end, and the already oppressive tax rates will have to go up, driving more folks away. The cycle is already in motion... I see the results here in Dallas.

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 1) 349

It's not my fault! It cannot be done!

Look, I'm pretty sure that a couple of engineers could sit down and figure out how to make this work though an earthquake or two. But you do realize that liquefaction is only an issue in specific areas of San Francisco. But being able to build houses isn't the only issue here..

Have you seen the tax rates? Sales taxes are 8.5%, State Income taxes are (on 100K) another 9.3 % which is added to the federal taxes for Medicare, social security. Then, you still have to pay property taxes (1% of valuation), highway taxes (though fuel). By the time you get done, you've spent half of your paycheck and have nothing to show for it.

Other states don't have such oppressive tax rates... Both because it's cheaper to live and the tax rates are lower. For instance, Texas has an 8.25% sales tax, ZERO income tax and property taxes which are less for the same for the same home (I pay about 5K/year on my 200K house, which would be a million dollar home in SF area and cost you $10K in taxes). It's crazy!

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 0) 349

Do you really need to turn this into a rant about a 'liberal wasteland...'. San Francisco is expensive because people want to live there. Period. Democratic controlled governments have nothing to do with it other than either

(Rant mode on)

Are you kidding? Have you see the tax rates and real-estate development regulations in these parts of the USA? The liberal mindset is nuts...

Don't forget Cali is about to go bankrupt, as is San Francisco. Just wait and see how "desirable" it is when it's in receivership. (Have a look at Detroit and how it died for how this goes down). It's going to get a lot worse and a lot more expensive before it gets better there. Was I the only one who saw the mass robbery on BART the last few days? Desirable? Not on your life. I'll visit and see the sights, but I'm not staying there.

(rant mode off)

Seriously.. The quality of life and affordability is not the concern of Democrats running this place. It could be a lot more affordable, but government policies prevent the market from working as it should and providing affordable housing for the people.

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 1) 349

Which decision is that? Living in San Francisco? Having a low end job?

I'm all for personal responsibility, but do you have any idea what a simple 1200 SqFt home goes for in this place? If you make 100K you are not going to be making the mortgage payments on that small single family residence...

Personally, I'd move (and I did just that because used to live there), but I get that some folks don't feel as free to flee California and the liberal wasteland of absolutely Democratic controlled governments.

Comment You are fooling yourself... (Score 1) 43

If you think China is going to reduce their fossil fuel use overall, you are a fool. They may be diversifying, but you can bet they will be utilizing the most cost effective means of power production they can find to build all that stuff you buy that they build.

Guarantee they won't reduce C02 production any time soon. Oh they may CLAIM to have done so and make a big show out of "green" projects to appease their customers, but as long as coal is cheap, they will burn it, and they have plenty of coal...

Comment Re:We already had this sales pitch... (Score 1) 144

Your usage patterns may not exhaust your cache, but I assure you, sustained read and write activity will eventually. I did qualify my statements when I used the word "sustained", so sure, you may get performance improvements for a short time, but eventually this will cost you in sustained transfer reductions.

As you point out, writing may be a bit faster, but this will do NOTHING for random reads. It will do nothing for sustained throughput. But this is true for any kind of cache scheme...

Comment Sucks to be you....Damm laws of physics... (Score 1) 267

Man, I feel for you, living in Hawaii and suffering though long latency when you play online games. I guess you cannot surf every day of your life and surfing the web is all frustration because it takes too long....Sorry but you cannot break the laws of physics...

Next you are going to be complaining about the UV exposure rates and the price of gasoline, I know, life is hard and not fair. You have it really bad there...Maybe we can come up with a way to change the value of "c"...

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