This gun's for hire...

Subject: This gun's for hire...
From: John Stamps <stampsj -at- REMEDY -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 08:40:19 -0700

Even if we're just dancing in the dark.

>>The best of all
>>worlds, of course, is highly-trained, experienced and knowledgable internal
>>people who can blaze through projects and cost the company a minimal sum.
>>But sadly, those characteristics don't occur together, so companies have to
>>choose between them.

Really? I don't believe it for a nanosecond. Just work for any company under
less than, say, 500 people or for any start-up in The Silicon Valley.

> I find it interesting that, thus far in this limited discussion, the view
> seems to be that internal people are less productive than contractors.
> Being somewhat new to the business myself, I wonder if you good people
> could tell me: is this the common view?

I think it's impossible to generalize here. I've seen equally incompetent
internal vs. external employees. Recently here at Remedy we had both working on
the very same project! One internal employee dropped the ball, missed
deadlines, didn't doc the features properly, didn't understand the writing
tools, etc. & we had to bring in a Highly-Paid Contractor of Great Repute to
... urrr ... ummm .... remedy the problem, who then promptly proceeded to screw
up the project as well, missed deadlines, didn't understand the project,
demonstrated incompetence at least as great as our inhouse writer, etc.

As it turned out, in thorough disgust we turned the doc BACK over to the
inhouse team who then had to deal with our own legacy of incompetence AND fix
the subsequent mistakes of the contractor.


This anecdote only goes to show that.... hmmm.... not much of anything. Except
IMHO that the value of contractors is only as good as the individuals

> Personally, I don't feel too weighed down with "red tape" and such, but I
> work for a small company with a fast pace.

Me neither. The problem with working in a small company like mine is that it's
like walking a tight-wire without the safety net. One of our company tenets is
"to hire the best & trust them." With all my heart, I really believe Remedy
does exactly that. The ONLY weakness I can discern with that tenet is if
somehow an incompetent person gets hired. On the writing team, we can fill in
each other's gaps but we cannot afford to carry the weight of an incompetent
individual. Not even one.

In bigger companies, there are processes in place to compensate for group
weaknesses. But with companies in frenzied start-up mode, I've come to see that
if individuals don't take the initiative to do something that needs to be done
AND don't do it, chances are it won't get caught until it's too late.

That's the curse and blessing of working in a startup. But personally, I
wouldn't have it any other way.


St John The Exorcist of UNIX/NT Daemons
aka John Stamps Remedy Corporation
Senior Technical Writer 415-254-5309

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