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When idiots talk to idiots, everyone loses.

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Our newest product uses .NET 2.0, for obvious reasons.

We decided on this 12 months ago.

The people near the top of this place who talk to the people near the top of our customers places neglected to mention this fact when they got them to sign the contracts 12 months ago.

We peons who know what we're doing, told them to make sure the customers know. They ignored us. They get payed more and act insulted when we tell them what to do, after all, we're just gruntworkers. Hell, they get insulted and confused when we use "all that technobabble", such as words like ".NET" and "2.0". They prefer us to use "managerspeak", infused with "forward-thinking paradigms" and "enterprise platforms".

So we're almost ready to roll out our product, merely a month from now. We had one group of techies representing one of our customers over so we could demonstrate what we have.

One of their techs asked what version of .NET this uses. We were surprised, after all, everyone knows that it was on .NET 2.0.

They were surprised too, since heretoforth, noone had mentioned anything of a platform version upgrade. It took them over an hour to tell their management what this meant, and then the entire delegation stormed out of our office without even seeing the demo.

You see, the companies we deal with are very high on security concerns. It takes roughly a year to complete the bureaucratic process of evaluating a new platform for security risks and finally getting it deployed. They had not planned on going to .NET 2.0 for a long time.

And now they simply cannot accept our product, unless we spend a significant amount of time retooling it back to .NET 1.1 (which completely defeats the point of our upgrade to .NET 2.0 in the first place). It gets better; we have a policy of branching the product for each gold-level customer (they pay lotsssses of money for their own branch; they feel it's worth it because all of our customers compete against each other anyways, so any edge against the others is money well spent), so we'd have to down-port at least 9 different branches back to .NET 1.1.

Quite frankly, not a single person in the company (except for the fools who caused this problem in the first place) thinks down-porting is even remotely a consideration.

*le sigh*
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Yep, sucks. Prepare to downport.

Either that or get a "native code compiler" (http://www.remotesoft.com/linker/) that basically bundles up the necessary runtime stuff into an EXE that unpacks itself upon launch and cleans up upon quit.

That's basically what I'm doing with my games. Can't much expect end-users to have Flash 8 (or even know what Flash 8 is), so I bundle the runtime interpreter into the executable.

Clients rarely know what you're talking about and won't tell you that they don't know. Worst case I had was back while contracting at IBM we had some clients who just assumed that "dragon drop" meant that an animated dragon icon would drop your data where it needed to go.

Thankfully I had already given my four days notice, so I didn't get to watch the whole project go down in flames about a month after I left.

It's a bumpy ride ahead. I don't envy you.

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I can only hope that some of the management people who made such a grave mistake were fired and/or brutally killed.

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Nah, they'll just blame everything on the techs for not raising this possibility earlier. Or if they did, for not pushing hard enough on it. Or if they were pushed hard they will blithely ignore threats, demotings, and/or firings that happened because of questioning thier judgement and rationalize everything with some BS about not going through the proper channels for such things.

Been there, experienced that. Whole departments get thrown into the street because of manager incompetance while the managers just get sidelined into zero-risk, zero-responcibility positions (that still pay well of course, they're management after all).

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In an organisation each person rises to his/her own level of incompetence.

This is particularly true of managers.

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While I feel for you it sounds like your company has some serious mismanagement going on with the senior people and I'm not just talking about the project managers but the top technical people.

Where was the specification signed off by the customer? Building it on a new framework is quite a fundamental change and surely it would be something that was mentioned in the analysis phase and should have been on the final spec? If the other companies managers decide not to consult their staff then they're burnt because they've signed an agreement that is part of the contract.

The lead technical people should be in the important meetings and they should stand up to the customer project managers. No manager is going to have the audacity to fire the lead technical role because he's standing his ground on a technical issue and if he does then you're in the wrong company.

Mind you having said all this what it boils down to is you can have crap managers but you can also definitely have crap technical leads. I really do feel for you because I've seen this happen so many times...

You need some love though rate++ :D

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