The Tech Lead and the Manager

The Tech Lead and the Manager

Lewis Carroll's "Walrus and the Carpenter"... If oysters were unsuspecting developers, lured to their ends.

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"The Walrus & The Carpenter"

The sun was shining on the sea,

   Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

   The billows smooth and bright—

And this was odd, because it was

   The middle of the night.

 

The moon was shining sulkily,

   Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

   After the day was done—

"It's very rude of him," she said,

   "To come and spoil the fun!"

 

The sea was wet as wet could be,

   The sands were dry as dry.

You could not see a cloud because

   No cloud was in the sky:

No birds were flying overhead—

   There were no birds to fly.

 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

   Were walking close at hand:

They wept like anything to see

   Such quantities of sand:

"If this were only cleared away,"

   They said, "it would be grand!"

 

"If seven maids with seven mops

   Swept it for half a year,

Do you suppose," the Walrus said,

   "That they could get it clear?"

"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,

   And shed a bitter tear.

 

"0 Oysters, come and walk with us!"

   The Walrus did beseech.

"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

   Along the briny beach:

We cannot do with more than four,

   To give a hand to each."

 

The eldest Oyster looked at him,

   But never a word he said;

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

   And shook his heavy head—

Meaning to say he did not choose

   To leave the oyster-bed.

 

But four young Oysters hurried up,

   All eager for the treat:

Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,

   Their shoes were clean and neat—

And this was odd, because, you know,

   They hadn't any feet.

 

Four other Oysters followed them,

   And yet another four;

And thick and fast they came at last,

   And more and more and more—

All hopping through the frothy waves,

   And scrambling to the shore.

 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

   Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock

   Conveniently low:

And all the little Oysters stood

   And waited in a row.

 

"The time has come," the Walrus said,

   "To talk of many things:

Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—

   Of cabbages—and kings—

And why the sea is boiling hot—

   And whether pigs have wings."

 

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,

   "Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

   And all of us are fat!"

"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.

   They thanked him much for that.

 

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,

   "Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

   Are very good indeed—

Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,

   We can begin to feed."

 

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,

   Turning a little blue.

"After such kindness, that would be

   A dismal thing to do!"

"The night is fine," the Walrus said,

   "Do you admire the view?

 

"It was so kind of you to come!

   And you are very nice!"

The Carpenter said nothing but

   "Cut us another slice.

I wish you were not quite so deaf—

   I've had to ask you twice!"

 

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,

   "To play them such a trick.

After we've brought them out so far,

   And made them trot so quick!"

The Carpenter said nothing but

   "The butter's spread too thick!"

 

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:

   "I deeply sympathize."

With sobs and tears he sorted out

   Those of the largest size,

Holding his pocket-handkerchief

   Before his streaming eyes.

 

"0 Oysters," said the Carpenter,

   "You've had a pleasant run!

Shall we be trotting home again?"

   But answer came there none—

And this was scarcely odd, because

   They'd eaten every one.

Written by: Lewis Carroll, December 1871

"The Tech Lead & The Manager"

The boss was whining angrily,

  Whining with all his might.

The ceiling bathed the boardroom

  In a sharp, fluorescent light-

Ensuring wakeful discourse in 

  The middle of the night


The coffee bubbled lazily,

  The hard disks whirred and spun.

Consultants each remained in chairs

  As sleepy, hired guns.

The project was a misery

  Of budget overruns.


The talk was dull as dull could be,

  The tasks were dry as dry.

You could not see the devs because

  No coders were nearby,

No sacrificial lambs to bid

  An undeserved goodbye


The tech lead and the manager

  Were seated on their hands,

They wept as they considered

  The position of their brands,

“Could any team achieve the board’s

  Impossible demands?”


If seven teams with seven devs 

  Arrived this fiscal year,

“Do you suppose,” the C-suite asked,

  “We’d find another gear?”

“Of course,” replied the manager,

  (He sounded quite sincere)


“O engineers, come work with us!”

  The posting did beseech.

“Refactor schlock for shares of stock

  And stretch the product’s reach.”

(The latter lines were anodyne-

  The standard corporate speech)

  

A senior dev reviewed the post

  With post-traumatic dread;

He scrolled on by without reply

  And shook a wiser head,

As if to say, he’d rather sleep

  On broken glass instead


But four young engineers were signed,

  All eager to compete,

Their laptops shipped, each well-equipped-

  The latest Office suite. 

Add this was odd because, of course,

  They all used Google sheets.


But four more coders joined the team,

  And yet another four,

Each youthful mind, each docu-signed,

  And still they hired more,    

Each opened up their IDE,

  The codebase to explore,


The tech lead and the manager,

  Reviewed the user flows,

They started drawing wireframes

   And other portmanteaus:

The devs began their ticket queues,

  But progress still was slow,


“The time has come,” the tech lead said,

  “To talk of many things:

“Of minima and maxima, 

  Concavity, and springs-

Of pull requests and late-night asks

  And unrelenting pings.”


“So where’s the shares?” the coders cried

  On each internal chat,  

“They’re options.” said the CFO,

  A corporate plutocrat,

“They’ll vest in future years, we’ll raise

   And exit after that.”


“The pace is unsustainable!”

   The engineers would plead,

“For software is complex and not

   Some impudent stampede!”

The manager just shook his head,

  “That’s not the talk we need.”


And so morale degraded fast

  It turned a deeper blue,

The manager could not foresee  

  The corporate deja vu-

A lamentation on a loop 

  Each exit interview.


Departures came in droves, at first

  The talent was enticed

By outfits less dysfunctional

  And offers market priced

The C-suite thought the lesser devs

  Should surely have sufficed.


“It seems a shame,” the tech lead said,

  To give these devs a kick,

“We’ve overworked them day and night!”

  (A bit impolitic)

“We still need twice the heads we have,

  It’s just arithmetic.”


The manager, implacable, 

  Refused to agonize,

“The software isn’t shipped, my friend,

  You’ve missed your KPIs.

Your budget thus is altered

  To a palatable size.”


“Dear coders,” said the manager,

   “Your software doesn’t run.

Should we attempt another sprint?”

  But answer came there none-

And this was scarcely odd, because

  They’d fired every one.

Written by: Evan Coopersmith & AE Studio

"The Walrus & The Carpenter"

The sun was shining on the sea,

   Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

   The billows smooth and bright—

And this was odd, because it was

   The middle of the night.

 

The moon was shining sulkily,

   Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

   After the day was done—

"It's very rude of him," she said,

   "To come and spoil the fun!"

 

The sea was wet as wet could be,

   The sands were dry as dry.

You could not see a cloud because

   No cloud was in the sky:

No birds were flying overhead—

   There were no birds to fly.

 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

   Were walking close at hand:

They wept like anything to see

   Such quantities of sand:

"If this were only cleared away,"

   They said, "it would be grand!"

 

"If seven maids with seven mops

   Swept it for half a year,

Do you suppose," the Walrus said,

   "That they could get it clear?"

"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,

   And shed a bitter tear.

 

"0 Oysters, come and walk with us!"

   The Walrus did beseech.

"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

   Along the briny beach:

We cannot do with more than four,

   To give a hand to each."

 

The eldest Oyster looked at him,

   But never a word he said;

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

   And shook his heavy head—

Meaning to say he did not choose

   To leave the oyster-bed.

 

But four young Oysters hurried up,

   All eager for the treat:

Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,

   Their shoes were clean and neat—

And this was odd, because, you know,

   They hadn't any feet.

 

Four other Oysters followed them,

   And yet another four;

And thick and fast they came at last,

   And more and more and more—

All hopping through the frothy waves,

   And scrambling to the shore.

 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

   Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock

   Conveniently low:

And all the little Oysters stood

   And waited in a row.

 

"The time has come," the Walrus said,

   "To talk of many things:

Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—

   Of cabbages—and kings—

And why the sea is boiling hot—

   And whether pigs have wings."

 

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,

   "Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

   And all of us are fat!"

"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.

   They thanked him much for that.

 

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,

   "Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

   Are very good indeed—

Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,

   We can begin to feed."

 

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,

   Turning a little blue.

"After such kindness, that would be

   A dismal thing to do!"

"The night is fine," the Walrus said,

   "Do you admire the view?

 

"It was so kind of you to come!

   And you are very nice!"

The Carpenter said nothing but

   "Cut us another slice.

I wish you were not quite so deaf—

   I've had to ask you twice!"

 

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,

   "To play them such a trick.

After we've brought them out so far,

   And made them trot so quick!"

The Carpenter said nothing but

   "The butter's spread too thick!"

 

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:

   "I deeply sympathize."

With sobs and tears he sorted out

   Those of the largest size,

Holding his pocket-handkerchief

   Before his streaming eyes.

 

"0 Oysters," said the Carpenter,

   "You've had a pleasant run!

Shall we be trotting home again?"

   But answer came there none—

And this was scarcely odd, because

   They'd eaten every one.

Written by: Lewis Carroll, December 1871

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