My dad bought me a copy of Office Space when I was 17, shortly after I got a jobwbelow I was dealing with a “boss” on a constant basis (caddying didn’t reallyfit that need and is around as much from the Office Space setting asa task can be). The movie has become ingrained in pop society given that it came outin 1999. In one scene, Tom, an employee at the “fictional” softwaredesign company, is being quizzed by consultants (Bob & Bob), who havebeen hired to analyze the company’s company procedures and make them moreeffective (in other words, fire the chaff).

You are watching: Office space i deal with the goddamn customers

Let’s watch, or follow alengthy below(my focus added).

Bob Slydell: So what you do is you take the specifications from the customersand also you carry them dvery own to the software engineers?

Tom: That, that’s best.

Bob Porter: Well, then I gotta ask, then, why can’t the customers simply takethe specifications directly to the software people?

Tom: Well, uh, uh, uh, because, uh, engineers are not great at dealing withcustomers.

Bob Slydell: You physically take the specs from the customer?

Tom: Well, no, my, my secretary does that, or, or the fax.

Bob Slydell: Ah.

Bob Porter: Then you have to physically lug them to the software program world.

Tom: Well…no. Yeah, I expect, periodically.

Bob Slydell: Well, what would certainly you say… you carry out here?

Tom: Well, look, I already told you. I address the goddamn customers so thedesigners don’t have actually to!! I have human being skills!! I am excellent at dealing withpeople!!! Can’t you understand also that?!? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUPEOPLE?!!!!!!!

Annnd end scene.

As I kept the movie and that scene in mind (and also as I rewatched the movie faralso many times) throughout college, I tended to watch the Bobs in a favorablelight. After all, they were making things even more effective for a firm, whichwas great! Even if some world “lost” their jobs in the process, it would certainly bebetter in the end; if your job was redundant or can be done by a machine,wouldn’t it be much better to shed it and relocate on to something more meaningful?

My identification with the Bobs, while it absolutely wasn’t the sole motivatorbehind my post-undergraduate project search, did seem to jibe through the finish resultof that search: an entry-level position at a consulting firm.

See more: Without Calculations, Determine The Contribution Margin At The Break-Even Point.

However, my suffer over the last year has actually led me to at least think about theopportunity that tbelow are many kind of civilization in consulting that are actually morelike Tom in the above scene than the Bobs. Consider:

They aren’t the ones that have actually the actual technical skills to develop the solution (the “software program guys” in the scene) They resolve the customers/clients to recognize what the specifications for the final style must be, yet without a full understand of what it takes to technically implement the solution. That solution (regularly in the form of a “useful design”), basically has to be translated into a technical style which is what’s supplied to develop the final product anymeans. In order to produce a good “functional” style (i.e. one that will interpret well), it’s more or less crucial to have actually the technical know-exactly how such that you might compose the tech spec and also develop it yourself anymethod.

So what’s their purpose? What would you say… they carry out here?

And to tie this back in to my previouswrite-up around agile development, this realization that Tom andsensible deindications aren’t all that valuable appears to be at the root of theagile manifesto. Also at that root is the Bobs’rhetorical question: Why can’t the customers just take the specificationsdirectly to the software application people? Why are the engineers/developers necessarilypoor at managing the customer?