Not much in the mood to be grateful this year, Auntie sounds off about things for which she’s not so thankful.
Auntie was originally going to do one of those oh-so-clever “We give
thanks for...” November columns, but realized that, in doing so, she’d
be less original than Strom Thurmond’s hair. So Auntie’s gonna be “Anti,”
and go over some “Things We Do Not Give Thanks For.”
Things We Do Not Give Thanks For
- We do not give thanks for yet another security hole in any product
with a Microsoft logo on it. There are more holes in IE, IIS and Outlook
than in a hunk of Swiss cheese the size of Neptune.
- We do not give thanks for the Windows 2000 File Replication Service.
Apparently, if you bring up a new Domain Controller, FRS leaps out of
your server, ruins your credit rating, and turns your household pets
into Man’s Best Friend Tartar.
- We do not give thanks for stock options as a compensation and bonus
tool. In this marketplace, do you really have to ask why?
- We do not give thanks for our friends who suggested that we go independent
just before IT budgets got the Lizzie Borden treatment. Likewise, we
do not give thanks for the same friends who told us to stick with staff
work when consultants with fewer brains than a fruit fly were getting
more than $100 per hour.
- We do not ever give thanks for Fabio’s Gorgonzola and parsnip soufflé—an
unfortunate, but inevitable, part of our Thanksgiving festivities.
- We do not give thanks for the Microsoft antitrust case. This began
sometime before Al Gore invented the Internet and will continue on appeal
to every ruling judicial body of every inhabited planet throughout the
the Milky Way.
- We do not give thanks for spin and doubletalk. “Downsizing” and “rightsizing”
mean the same as when Tony Soprano has someone whacked. A bug isn’t
a “feature,” it’s something your code does wrong. Functionality missing
from your software isn’t a “third-party opportunity,” it’s something
your code should do, but doesn’t. We could eliminate global warming
if we could cut the amount of verbal methane in half.
- We would be happy to not give thanks for .NET, but we’re still not
certain exactly what the #^%&*$ it is.
- We are certain, however, that we do not give thanks for Visual Basic
.NET, which provides increased functionality at the cost of a few measly
changes in syntax. Put another way, VB.NET is to VB 6.0 as Shakespeare
is to Teletubbies. The learning curve is somewhat steep. Harrrrumph.
- We do not give thanks for having to reverse engineer applications
because no one throughout a multinational enterprise ever thought to
get source code or documentation from the developers.
- We do not give thanks for obscure code names for future releases
of Microsoft operating systems. We’d rather not have to study geography
in order to get the joke. Just call ’em “The Next One” and “The One
- We do not give thanks for conferences with attendance topping 10,000.
The joy of learning is somewhat diminished by the need for shuttle buses
between conference rooms, the necessity of sturdy hiking boots and keynote
speeches in spaces the size of pro hockey arenas.
- We do not give thanks for people who charge less than we do for the
- We do not give thanks for the sheer amount of information we’re required
to absorb in order to keep our skills current and remain competitive.
This goes far beyond certification exams—which are, children, as you
well know, sublime concoctions of critical skills, rote memorization
and marketing spin posing as technical data. No, if we’re actually worth
a damn as engineers and developers, we have to stuff “stuff” into our
brains and then integrate it so that we can actually make it serve some
We do give thanks that we can, for the most part, retain enough non-technical
skills to tie our own shoelaces, pass a driving test, form sentences out
of words with more than two syllables, and tell Fabio that the soufflé
is fabulous as always.
Em C. Pea, MCP, is a technology consultant, writer and now budding nanotechnologist who you can expect to turn up somewhere writing about technology once again.