That genius must be an idiot

By Eirikur Eiriksson

Published 2020-06-23

A true story, names and places have been altered to protect the innocent.

The day started a bit murky, working on the laptop out on the balcony, in the wee hours of the morning. The problem needed a swift resolution.  Poking around and wondering how best to complete the task, I came across a software that was stunning. The user interface was close to perfect and everything flowed naturally. Importing all the data needed for the task hardly require any effort, although I had to occasionally supply my user credentials. Almost all imaginable types of data sources were listed under the data import section. In addition, there was a list of additional data sets that were extremely helpful for solving the problem.

“Darling, where have you been all my life?” I thought, this is a match made in heaven. Who ever wrote this software must be a genius, just hope he gets remunerated accordingly!

The otherwise boring work became fun and hours pass without me even noticing, the time was flying by. The work turned into the perfect E4; effortless, enjoyable, educating, and entertaining.

Yet another nice surprise was that almost all the required logic and functionality was already available. In the few cases when the built-in functions did not fit the requirements, adding, or modifying logic turned out to be simple, easily done in a human readable functional syntax. I quickly found out that I could use previous work from different platforms and in different programming languages, including external libraries.

Whenever I had questions, the documentation was not only thorough, but also had multiple examples that could be copied almost unaltered into the project. Just like having a personal tutor looking over my shoulder.

What a beautiful day!

Working from home as I normally do, I started to think that life was good, in few hours I could do weeks’ worth of work. Then, out of the blue, a thundering voice announced that the dinner was served. You know whom I´m referring to of course, she is the one that must be obeyed!

Somewhat tempted but not willing to upset the local authorities, and having done all the work and then some, I started to wrap things up. The last thing was to export the project into the centralised work system. Since both the work system and the fabulous software came from the same vendor, my assumption was that it would be a breeze. Having seen all the data connection options in the software, my immediate thought was to connect to the work system and export the results. After a little bit of poking around, some tweaking of connection settings, I got the work system listed in the connection catalogue. Browsing through the otherwise intuitive and friendly user interface, I quickly found out that all the export options were either disabled or only partially enabled. A partial export would have meant taking every bit of the data over to the work system separately, reconstruct relationship and dependencies, write hundreds of lines of code, and just to add insult to an injury, not in a repeatable manner.

By now the master of the house had gone silent, indicating that there might be trouble ahead. Somewhat like being on an aeroplane when everything goes quiet.

Not willing to give up, I turned to GMBF (Google My Best Friend). Someone out there must have had the same problem and hopefully solved it. I found some websites with links to applications claiming to do the job. Download, install, test and in all cases, there were three outcomes, failure, ransom, or extortion.

Hungry, fatigued, tired and frustrated, in the early hours of the following morning, I came to a conclusion, the genius that wrote this software must be an idiot!

High Skills Partners’ articles are provided for your interest and do not constitute advice, legal or otherwise. We aim to be informative, thought-provoking and to reflect our experience, whilst striving for accuracy and correctness.
© 2020 High Skills Partners Limited

One Reply to “That genius must be an idiot”

  1. This aptly illustrates why most of us mere mortals have a love/hate relationship with modern tech, brilliant and useful that it is most of the time! I guess even a genius sometimes suffers moments of idiocy….

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