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Anecdotes from the System Engineer (Consultant)
I'm working on a little project where professional feedback would add tremendous value for me. As a Software Consultant, I have always gotten to the client site knowing I'd have to deal with the issue of the client thinking that as a System Engineer, there was some type of magic bullet I had in my toolkit that could fix anything.
I'd like to approach the software testing/QA community and get some anecdotal feedback about the interesting encounters I'm sure we all have had. I'm thinking this thread can expose some of the interesting, funny, sad, and serious encounters we've had in our careers.
So...let me begin with my story.
Several years ago, I was on a project in upstate New York. We were trying to get this product to market before the company announced it was going public. Things weren't going so well. We were encountering delays of every sort. Our consulting group was trying to tell management that the problem was with their business practices and strategies. They thought differently. Seeing we probably weren't going to make our delivery date the CEO's of the company decided to bring in this Pit Bull of a Project Director. He was hand-picked and came from the Southwest U.S. He was the very definition of "fire and brimstone". His only goal was to "whip the troops" and get them motivated to get the job done.
In a meeting one day (the day happened to be Tuesday), he literally went berzerk. Apparently, we weren't performing up to his expectations. In his tirade, he actually started pointing his finger into several peoples chest saying how incompetent they were, and they'd better shape up or find another job. All the while, he was spittle was flying out of his mouth landing all over the place. The scene was absolutely barbaric.
After that meeting, our team vowed to never again attend a meeting that took place on Tuesdays because it seemed that our Director always had his bad days on Tuesday.
Looking back on that incident, the problem wasn't that the team needed to be whiped into shape, the team needed some sound structure underneath them. Some sound business parctices for delivering "solid" software in a tight timeline. In a nutshell, the project ultimately failed, and the company never went public.