Joel on Software - “Two Stories” - Fortune

Joel on Software - “Two Stories”

I sent them [= the Application Architecture group] a copy of my spec and went to meet them, in case they had something interesting to say.

“Blah blah!” said one of them. “Blah blah blah, blah blah blah!” said another. I don’t think they quite had anything interesting to say. They were very enamored of the idea of subclassing and sort of thought that people making macros in Excel wanted to subclass a lot of things. In any case, one of the fellows said, “Well, this is all very interesting. What’s next? Who has to approve your spec?”

I laughed. Even though I had only been at Microsoft for a few months, I knew that there was no such thing as somebody approving my spec. Hell, nobody had time to read my spec, let alone approve it. The programmers were bugging me every day to get them more pages so that they could write more code. My boss (and his boss) made it very clear to me that nobody else understood macros or had time to work on macros, so whatever I did, it better be right. And here this PhD working in a strange research group at Microsoft assumed that things were a bit more formal than that.

Author Joel Spolsky
Work Two Stories