GENESIS Release 2.5
IN THE BEGINNING the Project Manager created the Programming Staff. The Programming Staff was without form and structure. And the Project Manager said, "Let there be Organization"; and there was Organization. And the Project Manager saw that Organization was good; and the Project Manager separated the workers from the supervisors, and he called the supervisors -- "Management", and he called the workers -- "Exempt".
And the Project Manager said, "Let there be a mission in the midst of the Organization, and let it separate the workers, one from another." And the Project Manager created the mission and he called it -- "The System". And the Project Manager separated those who were to benefit from The System from those who were to build it. And he called the former -- "Users", and he called the latter -- "Programmers".
And the Project Manager said, "Let all the Programmers in the Organization be gathered together into one place, and let a Chief Programmer be brought to lead them." And it was so. And the Project Manager saw that he was competent.
And the Project Manager said unto the Chief Programmer, "Create for me a schedule, so that I may look upon the schedule and know the Due Date." And the Chief Programmer went among his Staff and consulted with them. And the Staff was divided into two parts; one part was called -- "Analysts", and the other part was called "Application Programmers". And the Analysts went back to their desks and estimated, as was their custom. And it came to pass that each Analyst brought his estimate to the Chief Programmer, whereupon he collected them, summarized them, and drew a PERT Chart.
And the Chief Programmer went unto the Project Manager and presented to him the estimate, saying, "It shall take ten months." And the Project Manager was not pleased and said, "I have brought you up from the depths of the Staff; you have not grasped the 'Big Picture'." And the Project Manager hired Consultants, and authorized overtime, and he said to the Chief Programmer, "Behold, see all that I have done! The Due Date will be in five months." The Chief Programmer was much impressed and went from before the Project Manager and proceeded to implement The System.
And the Chief Programmer sent his Analysts to the users and said, "Let Specifications be written." And there were meetings, and luncheons, and telephone calls. And the Specifications were written. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, one month.
And the Chief Programmer examined the Specifications and saw that they were too ambitious. And he separated the mandatory features from the optional features; and he called the mandatory features -- "Requirements", and he called the optional features -- "Deferred", and the Users called him names. And the Chief Programmer gave the Specifications to the Analysts and said, "Let the Requirements be analyzed and let the Files be designed." And it was so. And the Chief Programmer said, "Let the Software Houses put forth their Salesmen, and let us have a Data Management System." And it was so. The Software Houses brought forth all manner of Salesmen who presented their packages, and claimed wondrous things for them, each according to his own file structure. And it came to pass that a Data Management System was selected; and the Chief Programmer saw that it was good. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a second month.
And the Chief Programmer said, "Let the systems be divided into parts, and let each part be called a 'Module'. And let programming teams be formed and let each be assigned to write a Module". And it was so. And the Chief Programmer created the programming teams with two levels, a greater and a lesser; and he called the greater the "Senior Programmers", and he called the lesser the "Junior Programmers". And he gave the greater dominion over the lesser. And the Chief Programmer saw it was good. And the Junior Programmers saw it differently. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a third month.
And the Chief Programmer said, "Let the programming be started and let much overtime be consumed, for there is but two months left." And the Programmers, both the Senior and the Junior, were much afraid, and they strove to please the Chief Programmer. And they flowcharted, and they coded, each in his own fashion. And the Chief Programmer looked upon the work and liked it not. And the Chief Programmer said, "Let there be a Standard"; and there was a Standard. And the Programmers looked upon the Standard and liked it not. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a forth month.
And the Chief Programmer said, "Let there be Progress Reports, so we can monitor and control"; and there were Progress Reports. And the Chief Programmer looked upon the Progress Reports and saw that the Due Date was not to be met. And the Chief Programmer arose, pressed his suit, shaved his beard, and went unto the Project Manager, and groveled. And the Chief Programmer pointed his fingers, and caused Blame to issue forth upon all manner of creatures who sold Hardware and Software. And the Chief Programmer asked for an Extension.
And the Project Manager was exceedingly angry, and cast doubts upon the Chief Programmer's ancestry; and uttered a multitude of threats. But it came to pass that an Extension was granted; and the Chief Programmer took the Extension back to the programming teams, and there was much rejoicing. And the programming of the Modules was completed. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a fifth month.
And the Chief Programmer said, "Let the Modules be integrated, one with another, so that System Testing may begin." And it was so. Two by two, the Modules were integrated, one with another. And great difficulties were experienced, and many hours of overtime were used, and many cups of coffee were consumed. Mightily did the Programming Teams labour, causing each module to perform according to its own manner of specification, yet to little avail. And the moon waxed and the moon waned, and the Users prayed for deliverance, sayest amongst themselves "Where is the Promised System, overflowing with milk and honey, as was written in the Specifications and prophesied in the Project Plan?" And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a sixth month.
And the sound of the User prayers reached the Project Manager and he summoned the Chief Programmer unto his presence and conducted the rite of Serious Carpeting. And the Chief Programmer was sorely mortified and rending his garments, abased himself and pleaded for a Second Extention. Yet the Project Manager, terrible to behold in his righteous wroth, spoke thusly: "Verily I say onto you, the sixth month is over, the Due Date is past, and we are not saved."
And the Project Manager in his dire need sent home the Consultants, cancelled all overtime and spent three days in prayer and ritual purification. And on the eve of the third day, in the solitude of his office, by an arcane ritual, strictly forbidden by the Company Rules, there were summoned by him from the very abyss of the Staff, the four Ancients known by the dread name of Implementors.
And the Ancients girdled their loins for battle, and with much evil cackling cast themselves into the murky depths of code. And the code writhed. And unnatural shapes arose on interfaces. And modules melted one into other, giving rise to chimaeras terrible to behold, with calling sequences of indeterminate specification and worse. And data life-cycles were cut tragically short. And data types polymorphed. And public data structures mushroomed as like an evil harvest. And the Chief Programmer and his Analysts paled and signed themselves with the sigil of the Third Normal Form, whilest the Senior Programmers were awe-struck and tempted away from the narrow path of the One True Architecture. And the Junior Programmers spent happy time in a pub. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, a seventh month.
And in the fullness of time it came to pass that the Implementors came unto the Project Manager bearing tidings of gladness and joy: "Lo! The System is integrated. Test it if you must!" And the Project Manager summoned the Chief Programmer and said "Let System Testing begin!". And the Chief Programmer issued a Memo causing System Testing to begin.
And the Programming Teams sprang forth in their gleaming ranks, armed with Testing SOPs and Local Instructions. And large quantities of coffee were consumed and much paper covered with Test Reports. And Incidents were encountered causing more overtime to be used and more Test Reports to be issued. And it came to pass that System Testing was completed with no Outstanding Significant Incidents, and with all signatures and counter-signatures scribed in black ink and assembled together in the due precedence and proper order. And there was a Payday and the Happy Hour, an eighth month.
Then the Chief Programmer did go to the Project Manager and said unto him, "Behold, I bring you good tidings, of a great joy which will come to all the Users; for on this day The System is completed." And suddenly there was with them a multitude of Users praising the Chief Programmer and saying, "Glory be to The System in the highest, but can you make this one small change?"
by Michael L. Coleman, from DATAMATION