Signs that Your Project Isn’t Making the Release Date

1.) Not only do you not have a QA machine, but your production environment has been nicknamed by everyone as “the vaporware” and has bets placed on it to eventually beat the record of Duke Nukem Forever.

2.) You are supposedly only a few weeks away from the alpha, and you’re still interviewing people for your team.

3.) When you look at the scheduling system for all employees, you see that the majority of management has scheduled vacations around the supposed release date. More importantly, due to the excruciating pain which it has endured from morons, you see that the project has gained sentience and scheduled some vacation for itself, booking a week-long stay in Aruba.

4.) When you return to the operations floor, you observe that the devops team, the sysadmin team, and the network team are still pointing guns at each other in a Mexican standoff…just as you had left them six months ago.

5.) Metaphorically, even though your company is standing on a beach and facing an approaching tsunami wave of destruction, your various directors still insist on planting flags in the sand and arguing over who has jurisdiction over the greatest number of shells. (And when the eventual happens, they will probably use your body as a flotation device in order save their own ass.)

6.) Management finally decides to deal with the low morale and the high rate of employee turnover, and in an effort to help with the problem, they install a revolving door on your floor.

7.) Near the beginning of the project, your boss would occasionally buy pizza as lunch or dinner for the team. However, with the looming release date, your boss has proclaimed eating as “wasting precious time”, and instead, he starts to liquefy all bought pizza and prep it in enlarged hamster bottles that are hanging in each cubicle. “Drink and work, my little hamsters! Hurry!”

8.) Your belated launch of the release candidate went surprisingly well (as customers have lined up for preorders), but your payment system currently only accepts Bitcoin. When you ask the eCommerce team about credit cards, they sadly shake their heads, but they do promise that the next iteration will accept Beaver Bucks from Hustler’s.

9.) The sysadmin group is starting to wear so many different hats that they’ve taken the more practical route of mounting a hat rack to their heads. (I know that you admins love the puns!)

10.) Even though the release date is just a few weeks away and your project is clearly headed for disaster, your company throws an impromptu celebration for all of your hard work, providing all the grape Kool-Aid that you can drink and some really comfortable pillows.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

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