The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, Debtember 06, 2011

Software archaeology is apparently a real thing

My job now was to smuggle these documents back into the company. I would be happy to just hand them over. But that doesn't make any sense to the company. The company officially has these documents (digitally managed!), and officially I don't. In reality, the situation is the reverse, but who wants to hear that? God knows what official process would let me fix that.

Oh, and as an external consultant, I'm not allowed to know some of the trade secrets in the documents. The internal side of the team needs to handle the sensitive process information, and be careful about how that information crosses boundaries when talking to the external consultants. Unfortunately, the internal team doesn't know what the secrets are, while I do. I even invented a few of them, and have my name on some related patents. Nonetheless, I need to smuggle these trade secrets back into the company, so that the internal side can handle them. They just have to make sure they don't accidentally repeat them back to me.

Via Flutterby, Institutional memory and reverse smuggling

This sounds like a cautionary tale of what happened to Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Giza—they were built, but now years later the project documentation got misfiled somewhere and we're stuck with trying to reconstruct how it happened.

Actually, now that I think about it, it also sounds like a lot of software projects.

Hmmm … oh my … no … just no

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