Friday, May 22, 2009

Some Folks are Unreachable

We have a perennial debate at work (going on 3 years now) about the "proper" and official Source Code Control tool in our company. Originally it was a crappy tool called CCC Harvest (yeah, sue me, it sucks I can't say it any other way), we then had a brief renaissance and used CVS (not great, but a big productivity boost!), then moved to Clearcase (shoot me now, it has a lot of potential and it theoretically GREAT, but in practice sucks almost as bad as Harvest), then began the migration to SVN (whopee, next step Hg!).

Unfortunately, every step of the way has been met with irreconcilable folks in the change management area who seem to think that developers are simply a whiny bunch of prima donnas who are trying to rob the company blind. I say this because I keep hearing about the "superman" exploit as a reason we should use Clearcase. In case you don't know, the superman exploit is where a clever developer sneaks code in to steal money by taking money that is lost due to rounding errors and deposits it in their personal account.

First off, unless someone was criminally negligent in setting the tool up, this would be nearly impossible in SVN. In fact, it probably MORE difficult in SVN than clearcase. I say this because it is possible (and easy) to administratively erase things in clearcase that are very difficult (by design) in SVN.

What really burns me though is that every time we attempt to have an objective discussion about the relative merits of either tool, the change management team spends their effort spinning things instead of really helping make them better. They are a perfect example of a team that has totally forgotten who their customers are and why they exist. Worse yet, they refuse to acknowledge that the complaints of the development teams are even worth addressing.


john_doe said...

Oh Harvest, what an awesome app that was.

I have to tell you a SVN story. In our neck of the woods we have quite the collection of tools: CVS, PVCS, SVN, ClearCase, MKS Doors, Visual SourceSafe and nothing. In my ongoing efforts to promote OSS tools like SVN, I learn that a loosely connected teammate in DE is also promoting the use of SVN as an alternative to the other apps in the wild. So I call him up to see what he's offering to his customers and he's created a "service" to charge people for a SVN repository. He had a tiered pricing model and one was 5 users, 25GB of space for 500EU per month! He thought it was a great deal. Now, granted servers aren't free but I felt obligated to inform him that it really wasn't economical to charge 6000EU a year for a free piece of software and access to a server that costs less less than 5000EU.

I'm not sure that it translated well, but I told him I couldn't in good conscious rip of my customers and recommend his service. :o)

Mainguy said...

Oh, yeah we have everything under the sun too... what the heck are EU's?