Someone published a book some years ago titled something like Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. While I suspect that I did in fact learn some necessary things after kindergarten, the title plays off the relevance that the basic rules have throughout our lives. One of those rules that I follow (and try to instill into my kids) is “A job worth doing is worth doing well”.

My employer maintains a company-wide defect tracking system (a.k.a. bug database). When a customer or employee discovers a problem, a defect is created for that problem that records the specifics, e.g., what did not work, which software, what environment, etc. One of the pieces of data recorded with the defect is the person who created it. Whenever the defect is modified, the creator gets an email notification.

Yesterday I received about a dozen of these emails for defects I had created. The manager of my old group was going through the outstanding (read: not fixed) defects and just closing them. Not fixing them. Just marking them as finished. With some he simply justified the closure with “will not fix”; on others he elaborated with things like “not much of a problem” and “already covered”. Apparently he does not consider displaying to the users data that was garbled on its way out of the database a problem.

This really gets my knickers in a twist. I did not create those defects just for the hell of it. I created them because I saw an area in which the software could be improved. In many cases I entered the defect after someone complained to me about the problem. I understand if the defects can not be immediately addressed because of other, more pressing concerns. But ignoring the problems will not make them go away.

Dealing with this guy is like dealing with a car salesman. Everything is happy talk and smiles and spin. Everything is malleable and subject to reinterpretation at a later date. But no matter how good he can spin to his boss that there are no more open defects, all of the problems still exist. That is the reality. And it really irritates me that this joker is sabotaging my efforts to make the software better by recording what needs to be improved.

What a clown.


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