How to piss off a developer

Friday, March 27, 2009

This is something I whipped up years ago to brighten up a coworker's sour mood. Enjoy!

Want to piss off developers? Aggravate them? Drive them toward crowbar-bashing road rage when driving home? Follow these steps for guaranteed asshole-ness:

1. Field a call from the customer. Say YES to everything. Promise it in 5 minutes

2. Run (do not walk) to the developer's desk. Huff and Puff and breathe like you just ran a marathon. If you have trouble affecting such respiratory dynamics, hold your breath for a minute and run in circles.

3. Say something urgent like "This is urgent". Sweat is good. Tears are better.

4. Explain your hands were tied and it's a production emergency and if the client doesn't get [insert thing they want here] right away we're going to lose all their business and we'll be closing up shop tomorrow. For added effect, say something like "Think of the children"

5. DO NOT....LISTEN UP...THIS IS IMPORTANT.... DO NOT give the developer any documentation, specification, guidance, or explanation.

6. Say "They want this [again, insert thing here] right now. Please get it to me. It's urgent" (repetition is key, as you may be sensing)

1. Super-Duper Ladder-Climber Tip: when you get sufficiently good (or are certified by a professional certifying agent), you can just forward emails from clients directly to developer without any additional need for commentary. Certificates generally confer upon the sender some degree of telepathic skill. Little known fact! 2. All 9th graders learn that a 1 must have a 2. Here's my 2.

7. Then, start to whisper to the developer so no managers hear the conversation. God forbid they know what you're working on

8. Thank them profusely, effusively, gushingly, for the work they're about to do.

9. Return to seat. Surf internet. Play some games. But do set your timer.

10. In 3 minutes, email the developer. Use this template: "Dear [insert lackey's name here], Thanks so much again for getting this done on such short notice. It really means a lot to me, and to the client, that we continue to provide such world class service. You're a gem!"

11. In 6 minutes, email the developer. use this template: "Dear [insert lackey's name here], Can you give me a report on your status? YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!". The timing of your use of ALL CAPS is a finely honed skill. Guidelines are thus:

2. EXCEPT WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. As the time between the initial client request and the current time increases (now() - InitialClientRequest --> Infinity), so too should the percentage of CAPITAL letters to lowercase ones.
4. Post-issue communications, however, should use lowercase except in cases where use of lowercase violates standard written English. Like so:
2. Post-issue followup letter: "Received rpt. Pls forward to [insert list of people that you are too busy to forward this to yourself here]. tks." (See below for proper use of tks).

12. Repeat that step every 5 minutes. Each time, add another upper level manager to the CC list. In addition, BCC your colleagues so they can see how hard you're working and how slow the developer is and how it's so hard to deal with people who just don't get things done. This facilitates post-issue commiseration and is a critical team-building tool. Do not discount the importance of this step.

13. Upon completion of task, forward report to client. Bask in your glory

14. Email all management explaining what a good job the team did. Pepper with phrases like "here's another example of how our team provides world class service". Be liberal in your use of phrases such as "team" and "we". Third-person plural is GOLD. If it's good enough for the Queen of England, it's good enough for you.

15. DO NOT DOCUMENT THIS. It's imperative that this go down the memory hole so that next time it comes up, the entire process can be started from scratch. Bug trackers are the devil's playground: avoid them.

16. In 2 weeks, when client finally reads said report and complains that the headings are in the wrong font, send email to developer requesting a new report. use this template: "Dear [lackey], Remember that one report? The font was wrong. Please fix. This is urgent. Tks." Click the little red exclamation point in outlook. CC management. BCC colleagues. Also BCC your friends so they can see how tough you are. Make 50 printouts and leave at printer for all to see.

1. Note use of 'tks' in template
2. This is a crucial communication technique. Your abbreviation is a cue that any socially adept recipient will immediately recognize as a manifestation of your disapproval of their performance. Most will respond by working harder. All people crave unabbreviation. It's human nature.
3. If you feel you're dealing with a less emotionally intelligent recipient, start removing subjects from your sentences. This will serve to punctuate said disapproval. To wit: NOT "The font was wrong" but "Font was wrong". better yet: "Font wrong. Will follow up. Urgent. Tks."
1. Super-Duper Ladder-Climber Tip: do not perform this subject-cide when communicating with those whose position you wish to assume someday...only lackeys and those too inferior to be graced by your pronouns. Conserve your verbiage for those who matter.
17. One final basking. Hooooold it..... Hoooooold it...... Wait for it........... Ah, yeah. That was good. Good job


Steve Good said...

Have you been spying on me at work? Great post!

Aaron Longnion said...

Almost fell out of desk chair at work while laughing. tks!!!! I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPACT THAT YOU MADE ON MY DAY.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, that is almost exactly how one of my previous places of employment operated.

Koen said...

I'm not a developer but yeah this is how I usually deal with them! :-D

Joe Rinehart said...

How the hell did you just know what happened to me this morning?