One day at the software factory

Here where I work as a tech writer, there's a system in dev with a field on a screen which is a drop-down menu, and the selection defaults to "none". At that point a certain feature is turned off. If you select anything but "none" the feature turns on. For that feature to work, either or both of 2 other fields need non-0 values, and they are set to 0 to start. There's a note on the screen that says to check them. I take the view that the system should prevent the "non-none" choice from the drop-down being accepted if neither of the other values is non-0.

We do know that computers are good at that stuff... 5 minutes coding to do a check, and no calls to the support desk...

My boss agreed and took that view to a meeting. Meeting says no, not a bug, explain in the manual.

Oh well, it pays the rent.

aren't the fields disabled before selecting 'non-none'?


That would be waaaaaay too obvious a way to do it

Maybe heavy weight processes kick in, involving lots of people/resources, even if the coding change is as "trivial" as described. In large systems, this is essential to maintain stability. Your idea has already cost one meeting.

The "meeting" was right; this is exactly how it should work. I designed a smart timed relay to save energy, and this is how i did it: I stuck a note under the switch that reads "turn it off after a while". We don't need no stinking "technology"!

Fun fact is, probably half of the "meeting" folks use their smartphone instead of a piece of paper for their list of groceries.