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The most common name for an organisation’s first application must be Project Genesis. This is the system that will breathe life into our company and it’s what our dreams our founded (and probably funded) on. However after a while we realise Genesis doesn’t quite fit the needs of all our customers. The real answer would be to re-architect the application but we don’t have time. The customer wants software now so we simply make a new branch of the source code, implementing these very specific changes that allow us to quickly get a release out for this one one very important customer. We know this means we need to maintain two branches but the intent is eventually merge them back, so we’re happy to take the hit for now.
Three years later, of course, we now have 17 branches, each of which support at least three very important customers. On top of that we have another three apps and we’ve now found out that they all talk to each other using different protocols. It’s become impossible to release anything because of the overhead of maintaining all the codebases and testing all the different versions of the apps. It doesn’t matter anymore about customer satisfaction because we’ve been breaking promises for months and most of our customers have become used to being disappointed. Time for Project Synergy. This is the project that unites all our codebases and makes all our apps talk to each other seamlessly. It will take us back to those happy days when the customers loved us and everything was rosy in the garden.
But it doesn’t work! Of course not, the vast majority of our customers have been alienated and have gone somewhere else. They’re not coming back! We only have a few customers left, so the only thing to do now is downsize the company. With our few remaining developers we have just enough resources to maintain the codebases and fix the most pressing defects. Fortunately, with fewer customers, we have fewer codebases and things are a bit simpler so we can maybe start thinking about Project Phoenix. The one where we rise from the ashes and breathe life into the company once more…
Let me know if you’ve ever been on any of these projects: email@example.com