Friday, September 13, 2013

Should programmers keep CYA stuff around in paper listings?

Is it a good idea for programmers to keep their own CYA logs?

There was a time when it wasn’t common for programmers to have their own terminals, but when I went to work for NBC in NYC at 30 Rock in 1974, I found everyone had a TTY terminal, attached to a Univac 1110, that had a paper record of everything you entered, as well as system responses, but no video display. Management decided to implement a strict rule in those days of  limited system throughput of “no compiling in demand” between 9 AM and 5 PM.  One time I was “accused”, but saved because I had a TTY printout that showed I had ended a session with a demand compile at 9 AM.

I used to keep paper records for file-compares before elevations, to prove I had done everything to prove the work OK.

I also kept original compile and link printouts, particularly before we started enforcing the “promote” rules in CA-7 (and later ChangeMan) that guaranteed elevation (source-load module) integrity.

And during one parallel implementation in 1987, we filled a conference room in a Dallas office building with printouts of parallel runs of daily billing statements and details.

Implementation in those days was all about attention to detail and accuracy. 

These steps today might sound like a lack of confidence in one’s work.

I wonder what system implementations are like at Facebook or Google.  I’d love to hear from someone who works in the “new age” environment on what QA is really like.   

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