What I learnt from my wood work teacher

Our class had a project, make something. We were old enough to be more adventurous than 'coffee mug tree'. This had to involve joints, maybe doors and decorative routing.

One guy in our class, he was the guy who was always late, shirt un-tucked, shoes dirty etc. he made his mind up quick, simple cabinet with a shelf. I spent days planning and designing, by the time I had my plan done he was finished.

Man, his cabinet was rough, I mean, rough, not just not perfect, but rough. Huge gaps in the joins, it didn't look square. I looked at his cabinet, I looked at him. "Don't worry, I will sand it good and proper, put a good varnish on it, it will look fine." was his reply to what must have been my rather unimpressed look.

I carry on with mine. Meanwhile as the classes progress and other people are doing their projects, we look at what I will call 'the rough one', one day the teacher came over. This was probably on the 4th or 5th day of sanding. He looked at it, didn't criticise it, or praise it, he just said...

"Sandpaper makes a good job better. ...
not a bad job good. "

This blog is supposed to be about AppSense and RES (other profile management tools are available, Microsoft UEV, GPP, Desktop Authority etc.).
I have done a lot of Windows7 migrations, sometimes I do all of the packaging (50 - 400 apps), sometimes I get called in to help the onsite packagers with a few tricky apps. Oh dear, this is normally when I tell the above story.

They 'package an app' and throw it out there, when a problems comes up, they investigate, find a reg key and then say 'I will chuck that into AppSense (RES etc.) '
Same app a different problem, more investigating, a file, ahhh RES (or AppSense you get the drift)

Don't get me wrong, its good to investigate the issue and fix it, but would it not be better to 'solve it'. I get that whapping a setting in to your profile management solution is 'quick', you can close the call and move on, but you need to sit back and look at the BIG PICTURE. The punch line here is not to rip out your Profile Mgmt tool either.

The reason I do my fixes in the actual package (MSI, App-V, ThinApp etc) is because I don't normally have access to the Profile Mgmt tool, nor do I want it. I also do not want to have to go over and talk to the person who has access. Its a bit like saying, "I cant do this, so despite getting a days pay, can you do this thing for me please???"

I am used to larger environments, where people have their own little empires and seem to get more out trying to look busy and seem important with out actually helping and making anything better. There is a whole industry around this person and getting anything done is a chore.
However with my smaller clients, its one person or a very small team, that control the Profile Mgmt tool, so its easy (I think a little too easy) for them to get that setting or file into the tool. The smaller they are the friendlier they all seem to be too, more interested in actually helping and fixing/solving something.

So, think, you have investigated the issue, you have a cure. Take a bit of time to celebrate, but don't get cocky. Do go the drink vendor/dispensary and have a drink. Read the funny comic calendar on your desk. Now you can plan how to implement the solution.

If you go for the quick fix, just remember, in a years time when you do the newer version of the app and you have forgotten the moments prior of celebrating (and the issue that you fixed that prompted the celebration) and during the testing, your user isn't in the group to get the setting from your Profile Mgmt tool. Think and remember when you read this blog, you liked the saying...

"Sandpaper makes a good job better, not a bad job good"

Thank you for reading, now grab yourself a beverage



  • Great Article Badger , thanks! - jaybee96 9 years ago
  • on a similar vein, from a different source:
    http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/how-devops-can-cut-innovation-crushing-technical-debt/a/d-id/1318677?_mc=RSS_IWK_EDT - Badger 9 years ago
  • Is learnt the American spelling of learned ? ;-) - EdT 9 years ago
  • Phew, its not American!! Learnt and learned [lurnd] are both valid. But I am more used to not using 'ed' for past tense, saw (cut) sawn, NOT sawed (OK nobody uses sawed) . So learnt, as past tense for learn. Leaving learned [lurned] for 'having much knowledge acquired by study'. There is a funny reference to this in the Simpsons (coincidentally an American show).... - Badger 9 years ago
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