Yes, But You Will Know
In recounting his obsession with quality, I recall an interview where Steve Jobs was telling a reporter about painting a fence with his father when he was a young boy. There was a small section in a corner of the yard, behind a shed and fronted by bushes, that was difficult to lay a brush on. Steve asked his dad: “Do I really have to paint that section? Nobody will know that it’s not painted.” His father simply said: “Yes, but you will know.”
It is pretty much a de-facto standard in the C++ (and Java) world that enum type names start with a capital letter and that enumeration values are all capitalized, with underscores placed between multi-word names:
Now, assume you stumble across some sloppy work like this in code that must be formally shared between two different companies:
Irked by the obvious sloppiness, and remembering the Steve Jobs story, you submit the following change request to the formal configuration control board in charge of ensuring consistency, integrity, and quality of all the inter-company interfaces:
What would you do if your request was met with utter silence – no acknowledgement whatsoever? Pursue it further, or call it quits? Is silence on a small issue like this an indicator of a stinky cultural smell in the air, or is the ROI to effect the change simply not worth it? If the ROI to make the change is indeed negative, could that be an indicator of something awry with the change management process itself?
How hard, and how often, do you poke the beast until you choose to call it quits and move on? Seriously, you surely do poke the beast at least once in a while… err, don’t you?