The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, May 28, 2004

Project Hell 

Here is a little work-related rant... it really comes from getting involved in a project after the architecture has been somewhat laid down, and a lot of the code has already been written. Some may call it Monday morning quarterbacking... I call it using some common sense.

I work on a project that creates applications which have a very specific look and feel. In fact, we have an entire team dedicated to writing custom .NET controls that look exactly how they want them. Mostly this comes from the fact that we operate in a dedicated touch screen environment... where most common controls simply break down. So... when you create a new application (have a solution all ready to go) and you need to include one of these fine looking controls... how many projects do you have to add to your solution and reference? One might naively suggest that all the common controls might be placed in a single assembly. You would be wrong. One might naively suggest that if two portions of a control are tightly bound to each other, that they would be in a single assembly together. Once again... wrong answer. But thank you for playing our game.

In fact... a common solution for our projects that builds to a single executable references no less than 30 projects!! It takes me a couple minutes simply open up a single solution. I won't even go into how long it takes me to build. In fact, I actively maintain 3 different executables. I was constantly closing one solution and opening another and wasting a ton of time. Of course I can't keep two solutions open at once because there are so many common projects between the two that VS.NET choked and locked assemblies and I could never successfully build. So this afternoon I finally broke down and spend 15 minutes creating a new solution which doesn't go in Source Code Control which I call my playground. Basically it has all 3 executable projects and all its dependent projects in one place. Of course those 3 projects share so many common references, that the solution isn't much bigger than any of the 3 taken on their own.

I would ask who the rocket scientist was who thought this was a good idea... but I'm just a contractor here... and would probably find my contract disappear very quickly... so instead I rant here.

Comments:

I absolutely feel for you. My fiance is in government defense contracting and he brings home some horror stories of the utter junk that gets programmed that he has to sort through (he's a Java developer). Sometimes you just want to tell people to back away from their computers and never ever touch them again until they get a bit of common sense. :)

Oh yeah, feel free to visit my blog site at http://gradgirl.blogspot.com (I can never tell if this thing puts a link so you can follow or not).

  Posted at May 28, 2004 1:37 PM by Blogger Rebecca  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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