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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Value of a Death March

Anybody who knows anything about software knows that a death march is one way to guarantee failure. If you're at the point where a death march is initiated, your employer has probably already implemented several other mechanisms that guarantee failure.

As several other people have commented here, if your employer says "I demand a death march!", the correct response is "Goodbye!"

Why are death marches so popular? One of the first things an idiot manager does is that he starts a death march.

Look at it from the idiot manager's point of view. The most talented developers are the ones who can see the idiot manager for the fraud he is. They are the primary target for elimination. The psychopathic idiot manager does not see a skilled developer as someone who is there to help him. The idiot manager sees a skilled developer as his enemy.

The number one priority of an idiot manager is to get rid of people who know what they're doing.

From this point of view, instigating a death march is an excellent strategy. All the good developers will quit instantly. The remaining people will be those who are barely qualified and grateful for any job they can get.

The death march is an excellent tactic for removing talented workers without firing them directly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too funny, FSK.

I read a book entitled "Death March" by Edward Yourdon, that describes what you are talking about.

It has been 10 years since I read it, but your experiences with all of this made me want to pick it up again to see if it was worth reading. You can see it here:

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