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Dilbert says, "The marketing department has asked us to make our products more robust." Dilbert says, "None of us knows what that means." Dilbert says, "So we can either cancel this meeting and go ask them?" Dilbert says, "Or we can pretend that arguing with each other about the true meaning of 'robust' is just as good." Dilbert says, "While that option is stupid, it would give us the illusion of doing something useful right now." Asok says, "Would it be ethical to ignore the long-term interests of stockholders just ot feel good about ourselves for a few minutes?" Dilbert says, "I think robust means it has lots of features." Wally says, "It means sturdy!"
The Boss says, "As lead software engineer, I give you the first unit of our ten thousand copy production run." Dilbert says, "Wow! I wish we'd designed it with the features listed on the box. That would have been awesome." The Boss says, "What?" Dilbert says, "I'll put this with the other reminders of how my life could have been excellent."
Dilbert: In my spare time I created some awesome new features for our product. Boss: GAAA!!! Shut the door! Dilbert: What?!! Boss: You fool! If my boss finds out you have spare time, he'll think we're overstaffed! You can never speak of these awesome new features again. Dilbert: I'm confused. You told me I need to go above and beyond my job description to get the highest performance rating. Boss: That's just something I say to keep you from getting a healthy raise. Dilbert: So... I lose no matter what I do? Boss: For what it's worth, you're doing better than our customers.
Carol: And then I need you to... Asok: Excuse me. Wally is needed elsewhere to do something unspecified that has an implied high priority. Carol: Seriously? You have a wingman for laziness? Wally: I think of him as a productivity retardant.
Interview Alice: Can you work long hours if needed? Man: Yes. It's normal for me to work 14 hours a day. Alice: Research shows that working long hours causes people to make bad decisions. So we know you're a bad decision maker. Are you a good communicator? Man: Is the right answer "no"?
Ted: You know what would be great? I'd like to see a matrix comparing the features of our past products. Boss: Dilbert, why don't you pull that together for our next meeting! Dilbert: That would take two days and the matrix would have no practical use. The problem here is that Ted doesn't have any skin in the game. I propose that Ted has to bang his head on the table whenever he causes me to do extra work. That will help Ted make better decision about the value of my time. Ted: Never mind. Dilbert: Ninja economics!
Boss: I need you to come with me on a sales trip, but don't talk to the customer. Your presence is needed to give a misleading impression of how much engineering support we plan to offer after the sale. Dilbert: So I'm nothing but a bag of meat? Boss: No. You're a lying bag of meat.
Boss: We've decided to charge customers for features they currently get for free. Dilbert: Um... Have you considered how our customers might react? Boss: Obviously. Wally: I'd like to hear how that reasoning process went. Boss: Fine. Customers love us and they will put up with anything we dish out. Wally: So... It's sort of an abusive relationship? Boss: Not yet, but we're trying to move in that direction.
Dilbert: Our competitor just bought ten million copies of our software. Boss: Huh? Dilbert: They plan to give it away for free to entice people to buy their own product that has more features. We'll be part of their freemium strategy. Boss: That's just showing off.
Dilbert: We interviewed hundreds of users and turned all of their suggestions into features. As it turns out, every user we talked to was an idiot, and their dumb suggestions ruined our product. In hindsight, we probably should have talked to people who work outside this building.