With apologies to Flanders and Swann

If you don’t know The Gas Man Cometh then this will probably make very little sense. If you haven’t heard any Flanders and Swann at all, please find some. It’s ever so funny.

Tomorrow morning, my boiler is being serviced. A couple of colleagues remarked that it was clearly the wrong day for a gas man to come, and we then just had to work out which workman comes on Thursdays. By the time we’d sorted out all the days it was time for me to go home, and on my way out of the building I had the idea for this homage. I’m really very sorry. Just not quite sorry enough to avoid posting it.

A Ballad of Unending Commercial Upheaval

‘Twas on the Monday morning the client came to call.
The project was on time so we had no concerns at all.
He looked at all the features and he liked what we had done,
But the graphics were too boring: the product should be ‘fun’.
Oh it all makes work for the working man to do…

‘Twas on the Tuesday morning the designer made a start,
With animated icons – well, it’s not what I’d call art.
From serving all these extra files, requests began to fail,
So we next called in the architect, to try to make it scale.
Oh it all makes work for the working man to do…

‘Twas on the Wednesday morning the architect appeared.
He paced around the office and began to stroke his beard.
He added extra services with pretty UML,
But the change destroyed an index and performance went to hell.
Oh it all makes work for the working man to do…

‘Twas on the Thursday morning we roused the DBA;
He normalised and tuned until he felt he’d earned his pay.
He claimed “It should all work now” but we found when he was gone
That constraints were all disabled and we couldn’t turn them on.
Oh it all makes work for the working man to do…

‘Twas on the Friday morning the coders looked for flaws.
The app had grown so complex that they couldn’t trace the cause.
The only way to fix it was to simplify the flow,
So we took a bold decision: all the graphics had to go!
Oh it all makes work for the working man to do…

On Saturday and Sunday, we did no work; you see
It’s just another timesheet app – how “pretty” could it be?


Of course the real world isn’t nearly as simple as this. If only the working week had enough days so that I could include the business analyst, consultant, recruiter, QA, test, project manager, build engineer, user…

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