Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood

Mark's Stories. "Version control is for developers!"

A year or so after I was first hired at my previous employer, Digeo, I was involved in an internal project that involved putting together a very important presentation that had to be just right. (I forget today exactly what the project was, or who the audience was to be. Paul Allen, probably, given that he owned us, and every idea had to either come from him or be approved by him.)

Anyway, there were a dozen and a half stakeholders. And there was the PowerPoint file that people would make their own revisions to and then email to everyone else. (It had to be an annoying load on the Exchange server.) Around and around it would go, multiple untracked revisions of it. Very quickly more time was spent trying to keep the PowerPoint complete and coherent than was actually spent making progress on the project itself.

After getting bored sitting in a meeting that consisted mainly of people complaining that their own Very Important Input wasn't showing up on the slides on display, I broke in and suggested that the presentation files be checked into revision control. At the time, we had MS VSS installed on every Windows machine.

The argument stopped dead, assorted executives and marketing people looked at me with confusion in their eyes. None of the other tech people said a word. Then one of the executive/marketing people said, with scorn dripping from the words.

"Version control is for the developers!"

And they went back to arguing, and the harried sucker project lead went back to collecting changes via email. I don't think the persentation was ever complete and correct. And if the project actually got approved, I don't remember which one it was.
Tags: corporate, geek, stories, stupid

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