As some of you may (or may not) remember, I work for a defense contractor. Considering the amount of money the Pentagon pays for weapon systems and such, you'd think we'd all be driving one of these -
Nope. Not even close!
There are times when I wonder where all that money goes. $4000 toilet seats? $250 hammers? Nope.
Meetings and "process".
There are folks where I work who do nothing (it seems) but go to meetings. Where (and I'm not kidding) they spend time planning their next meeting, or series of meetings. Where they discuss flying out to meet with the customer. In order to discuss the agenda for their next meeting.
I try to avoid meetings. I have had to actually hold meetings from time to time. As they were my meetings they were always an hour or less.
One guy told me that sometimes meetings had to be longer than an hour.
I said, "Never. If it lasts longer than an hour it's a conference or a seminar. And the company best plan on providing food. And coffee."
I have been known to get up and walk out of meetings that were one of the following:
- a waste of time
- all of the above
It costs a lot of money to tie down 6 to 10 engineers and a manager (or three) in a meeting for an hour. So it better be worthwhile.
We have a bunch of folks where I work whose job it is to make sure we "follow the process". Actually what they view as "process" we view as capturing "metrics". Ya know, bean counting. (I think one of the "metrics" they feed into the "process" is how many meetings the team holds each month. There might even be a quota.)
So yeah, the glamorous world of defense contracting as a software engineer.
Hey, it's a paycheck. And every now and then I actually make a difference.
Just not today.