Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Did he mention workflow?

Right on, Ian -- we've all been there. I used to do contracting for the California Department of Transportation, and their policy documents (which I had to follow if I wanted to get paid) made the W3C specs look like children's books.

Fact is, we live in a bureaucracy of staggering proportions; much of the software we write reflects the nonsensical red tape the chokes most workers. It's good to remember that smart people will always route around the damage. If a company installs some insanely complex "Enterprise Document Management System," some smart chap will quietly put up a wiki, and people will use that. When the IT department proclaims their PC-only policy, smart people will still install Cygwin and write quick Python or Perl scripts to automate the depressing parts of their jobs. That's why working on free software is so important to me: when smart people in dumb jobs looks for ways to release the pressure, they turn inevitable turn to the simpler, faster, more secure, or more powerful free software solution.

Maybe that's the solution, then: after spending 8 hours making sure that Bob from upstairs can veto any submission to the Document Management System (unless Roger says it's OK, but only if he's acting as the Deputy Chief of FlimFlam), go home and hack on the wiki that your customers will actually be using.

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by Jacob Kaplan-Moss