Burning Money On A Bloated Ship

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX
Published in
7 min readNov 15, 2023

--

It’s not just the fabled metaverse, it’s often day to day corporate culture.

“Image generated using OpenAI’s DALL·E.”

Very few days go by in the real world outside the office window, beyond your home office blinds, or on the other side of your monitor when some corporate institution or other isn’t found to be burning huge piles of cash on some bizarre vanity project or borderline sociopathic social media exercise.

Whether it’s yet another tiresome stab at a version of a fundamentally unwanted metaverse, repeated attempts at introducing privacy destroying camera nerd goggles, or just yet more glitzy chatbots built around the usual API keys — the news sites, blogs, and podcasts¹ are awash with this sort of filler pretty much every single day.

However, what is not widely known is the simply astonishing amount of cash burnt on a daily basis within the organisations that populate the Grand Game of software engineering.

Of course, as any progressive software engineer will already attest to, it’s most definitely not burnt on anything even remotely related to making their work lives happier and less stressful, increasing their productivity, or making them not want to leave at the earliest opportunity.

The budget for that, as we all know, is so close to zero that it’s pretty much the budgetary numerical equivalent of vapourware.

Where it does go, of course, is on bureaucracy, management, and hapless schemes masquerading as wellbeing programmes that simply extend the existing dysfunctional status quo.

Modern day corporate culture, where accountability is as rare as a PowerPoint transition that doesn’t trigger motion sickness, where agile — the methodology of choice for excusing continual project failure and developer morale² — fully rules the roost, is at the root of the many burning pyres of cash that could have been spent in so many better ways.

The key to effective money wasting in the modern corporate dystopia is to facilitate as little actual work as possible, encourage as many valuable staff to leave as possible, and to retain the people who do the least work possible.

To enable this bizarre charade, two important exercised must be continuously be carried out.

  1. The people in the company…

--

--

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.