Hilarity: Barry the Code Genie

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While on his Obamacare Is Really Fabulous I’m Serious You Guys!!! Tour ™, still trying to sell Obamacare to an unwilling America, His Royal Highness said

Now, we’ve had this problem on the website. I’m not happy about that. But we’re working overtime to make sure that it gets fixed because right now, we’ve put in place a system, a marketplace, where people can get affordable health care plans. I promise you, nobody has been more frustrated. I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don’t write code.

I had to laugh, if only to keep from crying. This is a man with no self-awareness. Not even a little. This is Barney Fife trying to find out who in the choir is singing off-key. By golly, if he was a code-writer, he’d have had this thing working right. Really you guys!

Yeah, no. This man is an ingenue. In truth, I’m not persuaded he could run a hot dog stand.

A leader who tells the world “my people suck”
He’s happy to claim he’s taking responsibility and blame, because he supposes that’s what a real leader would do. But he never really does. In the same sentence he’ll blame his own people, and make the ridiculous claim that hey, if I was a web developer, I’d have this stuff looking awesome in no time. Really you guys!

Real leaders are generous with praise for their team when things go well, and quick to own up to failures.

A leader who can’t keep the trains running on time
Nobody with a brain is shocked by the industrial-scale disaster which is Obamacare in general, and healthcare.gov in particular. The Obamanistas have merely done for healthcare what they’ve done for the economy, for employment, for America’s respect on the world stage, for the Justice system, for ‘racial healing’, for border security, and we could go on for awhile.

Campaigning is one thing. That just requires marketing. Running the government, managing people and resources, and ultimately making the trains run on time, is a completely different affair. That requires competence.

Say it, and it magically happens
barney_fife_ya_see_andy_01This man-child suffers under the delusion that he can command something be done, and by the sheer weight of his awesomeness, it will be accomplished. Shovel-ready jobs; Obamacare; every couple of months he’ll “pivot” to the economy, with “laser-like focus”, and magically the housing market will pick up, unemployment will fall, the economy will be roaring before you know it.

Similarly, by practicing his mystical speech-fu arts, he can charm anybody into doing anything. He’ll make speeches about how America sucks, and soon the Muslim world will love and respect us. How could they not? He’ll demonize, over-tax, and over-regulate employers and achievers, and suddenly they’ll magically start hiring more people. Accuse Republicans of being racists who hate grandma, and they’ll start cooperating (bad example – that one works).

And since he brought it up….
What if he really was Barry the Code Genie?
barney_fife_assuredI’m sure that in his mind’s eye, he would be Barry the Code Genie. I’m absolutely certain he believes that. He already thinks he’s Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and John Kennedy all rolled into one, and times eleventy-thousand-million.

But hey, if you suck at president, you phoned it in as a senator, and you had a terrorist ghost-write your autobiography before you even did anything, then in this what-if exercise, you don’t get to pretend you would be the Michael Jordan of software development. You come in with your own personality, your own people skills, your own competence.

How would this really work, Barry the Code Genie?
In the Design phase, Barry would loudly proclaim how his software was gonna be the greatest thing, accomplish all the goals, plus cut through an aluminum can too. Not only that, but all the other programmers REALLY SUCK, and HATE THE COMPANY, not to mention they’re dumb too. And racist!

LOE (level of effort). I got this. Couple of weeks oughta do it.

Actually writing and unit testing the code. Dude, gotta hit the golf course. But I’m on this. I’m focused like a laser on it!

Initial QA, formalized testing by the quality assurance team. Nothing works. Or the nominal functionality is there, but it can’t handle any edge cases, any of the typical bumps. Can’t handle any load. Now Barry is in blame-it-on-somebody mode. Well, my stuff works great, it’s the code from my teammates that is messing my stuff up!

Latter stages of QA, where bug fixes are in, and all code is expected to work well and work with other upstream and downstream systems? The team will never get to this stage with Barry the Code Genie. All talk and no competent code writing eventually catches up with a guy, and here is the end of the line. At this point he’s in full blame mode: circumstances, requirements weren’t clear, other people miscommunicated or failed to account for his awesomeness. But a great speech should get things back on track!

A competent manager will just fire him after the first couple of projects, or maybe relegate him to a lesser IT job with less responsibilities. You know, like emptying the trash and keeping the coffee pots filled for the people who do the real work.

That’s what Barry the Code Genie would have been like.

As rotten as healthcare.gov is, it really could have been worse. Barry could have taken a more active role in it.

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The weapons had evolved, but our orders remained the same: Hunt them down and kill them off, one by one. A most successful campaign. Perhaps too successful. For those like me, a Death Dealer, this signaled the end of an era. Like the weapons of the previous century, we, too, would become obsolete. Pity, because I lived for it.

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