THE NIGHT BEFORE BETA TEST 'Twas the night before beta test, and all through the house, no

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Skeptic Tank!

THE NIGHT BEFORE BETA TEST 'Twas the night before beta test, and all through the house, not a program was working not even a browse. The programmers hung by their tubes in despair, with hopes that a miracle soon would be there. The users were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of inquiries danced in their heads. When out in the machine room there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter. And, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a super-programmer (with a six-pack of beer.) His resume glowed with experience so rare, he turned out great code with a bit-pusher flair. More rapid than eagles, his programs they came, and he cursed and muttered and called them by name: On update On add On inquiry On delete On batch jobs On closing On functions complete. His eyes were glazed over, fingers nimble and lean, from weekends and nights in front of a screen. A wink of his eye, and a twitch of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, turning specs into code, and then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger upon the "ENTER" key, he brought it all up and it worked perfectly. The updates updated; the deletes, they deleted; the inquiries inquired; and the closings completed. He tested each whistle, he tested each bell, with nary an a bug, all had gone well. The system was finished, the tests were concluded, the users' last changes were even included. Yet the users exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt, "It's just what we asked for but NOT what we want."

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E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank