Wayback Wednesday: So much for job security

The years just roll on by.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

The big insurance company where this pilot fish works buys up a small outfit that handles workers’ compensation claims.

“The small outfit's sole customer was a city government, which was the only reason we bought it,” says fish. “The claims application was written in a PC DOS database.”

The app's developer — who's also the former owner of the workers’ comp company — has written the app in such a way that, at the end of each year, he has to manually tweak all the menus to add the new year.

So when fish’s company buys out the small outfit, the developer is kept on retainer for $12,000 per year to provide the necessary, er, maintenance.

Boss asks fish to look at the app and determine whether it could be maintained internally.

That doesn't take long. “I merely added the next six years to all of the dropdown menus,” fish says. “Plus I fixed some rather glaring bugs. Then I told my boss we should be good for the next six years without the developer.

“My boss promptly ended his retainer. Two years later we had a replacement software system in place anyway.”

Sharky won’t even be good for the next six days without fresh true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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