Tales of heroic hacks and inspired work-arounds

I really love reading Neil McAllister’s articles in InfoWorld and this last week he wrote about hacking (in a good sense) in the IT world we all live in. It made me realize that if we really want to characterize the types of “solutions” in the IT world as hacks then almost everything I ever did in the Marines and at KeyBank would be considered a hack. The fact of the matter is many times you have to write these little scripts, macros or agents to get around overall system flaws (usually in commercial software). So while I agree they may be hacks they are really patches to a commercial product where it doesn’t give you the desired behavior or you are trying to make it do something that it wasn’t designed to do.

What I recommend to all you “Hackers” is to post your hack to a blog or a bugzilla database or in the Lotus Notes case get on the SPR system and get an enhancement request in. I did this many times at Key Bank and was very surprised to get core patches to Lotus Notes not too long after.

What I think is unacceptable is this “hacking” mentality at a commercial software company. You really need to make sure your change has gone through the design team, get approval and of course then included in your regression test suite.

Reference Article
InfoWorld, Tales of heroic hacks and inspired work-arounds

*the “other” sections of this article can be referenced under the See Also section.

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