Fully automatic manual system

    This system was supposed to be truly perfect. Ordered by an internal client that is not alien to information technology, managed by a competent project manager, described by astute business analysts, designed by an experienced architect, created by talented programmers and polished to the brilliance by alert testers. It was entrusted with difficult but noble tasks, replacing the existing manual billing system with a fully automated one, which will keep records of the services rendered, hours of work, accounting and billing. She was called upon to save a lot of time for the organization’s employees, and the company itself would break the money by transferring the processing of accounts to its halls. But, alas, she came across an insurmountable obstacle - the Chief Technical Officer.

    At D. Travis North’s organization, the technical director is proud to consider himself a person who is open to developers with all his heart. He even manages to comply with all those certificates hung on his wall. In any case, he thinks so. If you look into his office, you will notice that the last subject of his pride is the certificate of an Expert in Visual Basic 4.0, received more than ten no back.

    No one knows for sure how the technical details of the new (for the most part already implemented) account management system got to him, but for an expert like him this was categorically unacceptable. Therefore, the project was immediately frozen due to serious security problems.

    Most of all, the technical director was concerned about the fact that programmers would gain access to the electronic payment system in order to implement electronic transfers. They explained to him that technically programmers will not get access to the working system, only to their test one. They also explained to him that the connection is via a secure VPN channel, to which programmers do not have direct access. They also explained to him that the electronic payment interface could only work with predefined bank accounts. But in vain, anyway, the risk was too great. Fortunately, the technical director already had a better and safer solution ready.

    He demanded that such changes be made to the system that each department and department head had to print a report on electronic transfers. Then the boss had to fax this report (because it is safer than by email) to the head office of the company. Then these reports were to be entered line by line into the web application of the electronic payment system by one of the six specially hired employees.

    To this day, the system is still operational. Of course, it happens that the employee makes a typo, and then someone notices it, but already in his receipt. However, D. perceives this as confirmation that the fully automatic manual system is still alive and well.

    Translation: Eugene Vigovsky

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