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There I am just getting ready for another painful debug session when in walks Kevin, fresh back from his training course. It's a miracle of course because we don't have a training budget. These days we don't even have a books budget, but who am I to complain? It's only the fact that Kevin enters every competition on every web site he visits that finally paid off. A one-day no expense incurred intensive training course on 'extremist programming', and already I can sense that Kevin has returned to us a changed man.
'Good was it?' I ask as he saunters over brimming full of new-found confidence.
'Excellent,' he replies. 'Just excellent.'
'So what did you pick up?'
'We're doing it all wrong,' he announces loudly, drawing the attention of the rest of the team. 'Just totally wrong.'
I can the 'no shit sherlock' comment. 'In what way?'
'Our waterfall process sucks,' he announces.
'But we don't use waterfall,' Alison points out.
'We've never used it,' I add.
Kevin is thrown for a moment but then bounces back. 'Yeah, but if we did use it, then it would suck big time.'
'So what else did you learn?' Rice asks him.
'Forget analysis-paralysis. You ain't gonna need it.'
'Ain't gonna need what, exactly?' Alison demands.
'It,' he replies, losing confidence. 'And what's with all this old fashioned terminology we're loaded with? Our process is sorely lacking in the menopause department…'
'Menopause? Kevin, do you have any idea of what you're talking about?'
'Er… Hold on a second…' Kevin reaches into his pocket and pulls out a crumpled bit of paper, covered in barely legible scribble.
'It's metaphors we're missing,' he says. 'I mean all this talk of thin-clients, fat-clients, rich interfaces, it's so old fashioned. No more hiding behind stupid labels. With the BolliX software process we've got the courage to call things by their real names.'
'Such as?' we all ask.
A quick look at the bit of paper again and Kevin feels confident. 'The web app I'm working on at the moment? It's not a thin-client application at all. It's anorexic. That desktop tool Alison's working on? It's not a Swing-based rich client application, it's a fat bastard app…'
'And you got all of this for how much?' Crispin demands.
'You get a free mouse mat too,' Kevin adds helpfully.
'Sounds good to me,' Colin says eagerly. 'How much does the course cost?'
'I won it in a competition, but now that I've been on it I can get you all in on a reduced fee of …'
We greet the exorbitant cost with stunned silence.
'I tell you what,' I say gently. 'Get back to that bastard anorexic client and stop talking a load of BolliX, there's a good lad.'