Re: OT Discussion- Priority of Performance Tuning...

From: Norman Dunbar <>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:28:38 +0100
Message-ID: <>


> I am curious as to how this works when the priority of the business is quantity versus quality.
I'm pretty certain that a large number of businesses, banks, government departments etc, don't actually consider this.

> Let's just get it out there and it can always be fixed to tuned later and sure enough it was the case.
In my experience, JFDI. Then pay a huge bonus to the "architect" who then leaves the company before the fault are found! Been there, had to fix it!

> Never the time to do it right the first time, but always plenty of time wasted to correct the issue.
Nope. There's never any time to get it fixed because "it's in production and we can't disrupt the users".

> Please help! Any experience to share?

Without naming and shaming:

  • A software house writing a database based system, used by a number of big international banks etc. No version control. The code was "frozen" then shipped to customers. As soon as the freeze was over, start working on the next version using the existing source. Customer raises a problem and there is no identical release to test the problem out.
  • Third parties writing Oracle systems when they have only just completed two weeks Oracle training. Using ADO with no binds anywhere. Result, server hits 100% on both CPUs at 0900 and comes down at 1700. Also, as soon as a ros was selected from a list of "unprocessed" rows, it was updated to "processed" and written back. Result? That row would never be processed when the application fell over (regularly!). This was a bank, processing product applications. No-one knows how many unprocessed applications there were that were flagged as processed!
  • Another bank is writing a system now that allows Financial Advisors to go out and collect customer details at home. They are stored locally on a tablet computer which synchronises with the main database when next attached to the network. Developers are writing code that is not unit tested. The QA team is being inundated with crap code that simply doesn't work - null pointer exceptions that are quietly hidden away and so on. Date on the screen vanishes if you go forward or back etc etc. Totally unfit for purpose. Management are adamant that it is going to go live on the proposed date.
  • A government department where the users in Finance decided on a new system without advising anyone. They made their choice and the first that IT knew about it was when the consultants turned up to install it.

They had been paid and it was all a "done deal". Problem, it was a steaming pile of dingo kidneys! The database was on Oracle, but was "backend agnostic" - never mind that, it wasn't even first normal form.

When a huge list of problems was put to the Finance people by IT, they told IT that they should "put it in and stop complaining about it - unless they never want to have anything approved in future".

They put it in, and had to support something that should never have been allowed inside the building.

I could go on and on and on!


Norman Dunbar
Dunbar IT Consultants Ltd

Registered address:
Thorpe House
61 Richardshaw Lane
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
LS28 7EL

Company Number: 05132767
Received on Fri Oct 28 2011 - 04:28:38 CDT

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