Technology, cowboys & quality control
As a self confessed, card carrying geek, I expect that my love of technology will endure for the rest of my lifetime, but I do hope that some day very soon the area of technology that I work in - the weird and wonderful information superhighway - can find a way to rid itself of the cowboys working within it.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with and continue to work with some pretty awesome technologists, but I have also had the misfortune of working with a couple of cowboys. The trouble is that on the surface you can't tell the gooduns from the duff ones. They look the same, talk the same, have the same qualifications and credentials, but somehow it seems that despite all of this, there's no quality control. That is, apart from when you see the cowboys for what they are when they deliver substandard work, but by then it's too late as you're probably out of pocket, out of time and less a good few clumps of hair.
Our industry has so many different types of technologies for delivering content across web and mobile platforms and the battle for browsers and other user agents to keep up with it all and remain competitive has resulted in a very accommodating and forgiving environment where all and sundry seems to be allowed past the gates and into cyberspace.
Of course, there's the question of ethics and how on earth these cowfolk can live with themselves, but for the sake of this wee blogpost I'll just have to assume that they are either a) unethical, b) unconscious or c) from the planet Zorg. Whichever one you pick it seems as though they're breeding, so for now I'm afraid they're here to stay.
And by now you've probably guessed that I've been rumbled by one of them. It's true. We brought someone we thought we trusted in to work on a project and they screwed us around rather spectacularly, but since we are really nice and also way too accommodating and forgiving, we allowed this person to get us and our project into a right pickle. Sure. Right now I feel like a bit of an idiot for getting sucked into allowing someone to take several months to not complete a job they said would take a few weeks, but that's not what's on my mind. What really irks is the fact that this sort of thing goes on, because I'm pretty resourceful and I know I'll find a way out of the pickle, but others may not and that's what worries me. If a reasonably capable geek can get into such a situation, then no wonder there's so much poor technology out there.
I guess what's even more frustrating is that I don't have any answers. Our industry is still in its infancy and it's just going to take time for our technology to mature along with it. And so, I'll dust myself off, shrug my shoulders in bemusement at the complex machinations of human nature and move forward without anger or regret. After all, there's no need to be lugging any extra baggage.