Re: Re: another failed attempt at database independence

From: Bill Ferguson <>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 04:55:18 -0600
Message-ID: <>

On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 11:07 PM, Srinivas Chintamani <> wrote:
> Hi All,
> When a lot of people feel the consultants don't put in quality work, why is
> it that they are still hired and paid exorbitant amounts?
> -Srinivas.

Probably because the people on this list are primarily techinal people. I'm not sure about the private sector (industry), since it's been so long, but technical people inside the organization are rarely given the chance to voice their opinion on the technical merits of any proposals, or even solicited for input on how to improve current 'processes'.

These kinds of decisions are almost entirely made in a vacuum of computer-illiterate, management-types, who listen to sales pitches, hear a few key buzz-words, and then say "Oh, I've heard of that word before. It must be good then, because they used of lot of those buzz words during the proposal. Let's go ahead with it." I've seen this happen more times than I can keep track of. Right off-hand, I could easily name a few dozen current applications like that.

They may have sounded good on paper or during the sales pitch, but after the contract was over and the company was out the door, the IT people have to work to maintain the monstrosity. Poor designs, poor UI's, no programming documentation, etc. It's like the contractors intentionally have the attitude of "Well, if they want it work with that also, or to do this as well, let's wait for a follow-on contract. That's more money in our pocket later."

Government especially, would rather spend money with consultants to design something that only does one thing, rather than spending less money to give additional training to in-house personnel, or better yet, hire an additional person or two who knowledge, who would then have a more global overview of how applications could (or should) work together to benefit more of the organization in a more cost-effective way. Internal IT folks have a far better idea of where bottlenecks and problem areas are (since we work on those all the time), but management never asks us how to improve things, and ignores us when say how things could be improved. They have to justify their higher paid position somehow, so they usually do it by making technically unfounded decisions and good sales pitches.

-- Bill Ferguson
Received on Fri May 09 2008 - 05:55:18 CDT

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