We can’t do it that way, we have this exception, just like last time

This has come up a dozen or more times recently. We want/need to take some action and without skipping a beat comes the reply, "We can't do it that way because we have this special …" It was in a meeting about Katalon, "Let's set up that old Selenium project in Katalon, and move forward from there with updates. Nope, can't do that, we have to many exceptions, custom code, and custom ways doing things."

No you don't, you're just lazy.

It has come up with making Agile changes, process changes, UX changes that allow automation, and as above, even getting a project inside Katalon which is where the new code is written. Or at least where it should be written.

I see this all over the place. People think the "one off" is a one off even thought it's happened half a dozen times in a row. Even though it derails the project. Even though it cobbles the code and prevents future updates, we still say it's a one time thing, a special exception and do it anyway.

It's the same as all the other excuses. "We can't do Agile without Gantt charts." "We can't do Agile without a Kanban board." "We have to write all this extra code to handle this one exception, just like we did last year." "We will deploy on Wednesday then do a hotfix deployment on Friday." When did planning a hotfix become a thing?

Point being, we need to stop lying to ourselves and stop calling something an exception when it happens every year, every month or every week. Either plan on it happening or start taking steps to prevent.

Same thing for finances, that out of the blue expense isn't out of the blue when it happened last month.

Like so many other things, it all comes across as poor planning. Or more to the point, failure to plan. When contemplating that "exception," think for a moment about what damage it will cause later down the road. What problems does this open up? What mistake is this exception setting in motion? What other exception is it going to cause?

The issues with importing Selenium into Katalon really burned me, simply because the answer came without a moments hesitation. "We can't do it, we have all this special code." What special code? I didn't know there was "special code" for Selenium?

The fact it was answered so quickly meant that mindset was ingrained.

Katalon IS Selenium, so that was just ignorance and laziness talking.

Instead of exceptions, they need to be seen as features or requirements and incorporated into the schedule, into the code base, into the testing, and into the future expansion of the project. We need to stop one-offing ourselves into a corner.

If it really is an exception, why shouldn't it be done by hand? Why not a separate module we can throw away? Why not a separate process we then turn off forever?

If it's an exception, how about special billing? A one time, one off bill. Just this once.

When faced with those consequences, those exceptions don't seem like exceptions and better solutions can be provided.


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