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“Finally in Beta!”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2005 8:15:18 PM Replies: 0
Enclosures: None.

I've referred to this a few times over the last couple months, without really explaining myself.

A couple months ago I presented an idea to a few of Macrobyte's clients. The idea was for a set of new features in Conversant, to make it extremely easy to share all of the important parts of a Conversant site, the parts that define the site's "look and feel," as well as most of it's functionality. Things like templates, stylesheets, javascripts, resources, page configuration settings, etc.

All three clients agreed to co-sponsor the development of these features. That's the first time this has happened, and I was quite excited.

No part of what I was proposing would be difficult. I know Conversant as well as it is pogssible to know any software's code, and that made me confident that what I was suggesting could be done.

Unfortunately, I'm too close to Conversant. I used my familiarity with it as an excuse to avoid the hard work of writing down everything that would be involved in the project and doing an honest assessment of the time it would take.

I told those three clients it would take two weeks. What a fool. Fully two months later, the last significant piece of the puzzle is finally in beta.

It's not that anything about the project was difficult. I was right about that much. I simply made the classic mistake of adding 1 and 1 and 1 and 1 and 1 to get... 1. As in, "that part will be easy, and that part will be easy, and that part too, and that one, and that one... yep, the whole thing will be really quick and easy." Completely forgot that one hundred easy pieces is still one hundred pieces, and a programming task with one hundred pieces is NOT quick and easy. Period.

I've told a few people privately, and now I'll admit it publicly: this was the biggest mistake and the most severe underestimation of my entire career (hopefully, both "to date" and forever).

The clients have been patient with me (Thank God), and for the last couple of weeks I've been able to use some parts of this project in other projects for another client. Still, I've been very hard on myself about this. I even joked with my dad that if an employee had put Macrobyte in this situation I'd have had to fire or execute him. In fact, i'd probably be better off just riding my bike all day, and pay someone else to do my work for me.

Now I can calm down a little, and hopefully start remembering why I love this business so much.

(I hope it's not another mistake to admit that I make them, sometimes!)

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