The Inception of Collaboration Tools — Careers Done Write

Setting: A corporate America conference room, complete with whiteboard and glass walls. 

Characters: Developers/Engineers; Clueless Boss; Users (silent role)

Scene: An average day at MacroBurst, maker of widely used business software known for its extremely non-intuitive, frustrating pseudo-solutions. 

The scene opens in the conference room. In the room is a group of developers, all clad in Patagonia vests. The Boss, who holds the title of Vice President of Managerial Logistics of Management, sits at the head of the table and runs through his riveting presentation. 

Clueless Boss: Okay, guys (because they’re all guys), today we are here to collaborate on improving the user experience with MicroBurst’s flagship product, MicroBurst Groups. Let’s discuss what updates we can include in the next release to address our user needs.

Developers: What are the user needs?

Boss: I don’t know. We will decide what they need and just wing it.

Developers: Okay. Cool. 

Developer: I have an idea. Let’s aim to model our solution based on generalized anxiety disorder. 

Boss: This is brilliant. Do you know what else we could do? We could take each Slack and Zoom feature and make them bad!

Developer: Yeah, and just as soon as our users master this release, we could mandate an update to a new version with totally unnecessary changes. 

Engineer: Of course, this won’t work properly when we issue the update. It will be like the old video game Donkey Kong, where we just go around breaking stuff. 

Users: Scream silently into the void. 

Developer: Oh! Any time an individual user wants to do a screen share of an individual window, we’ll just show their entire desktop. This will happen most usually when there is something on the desktop like a DM to a coworker sh*t talking their manager, their Amazon cart, or the open job application. 

Boss: Now we are getting somewhere. I wanna be sure we deliver on this point: whenever there is an important presentation to a customer or a key executive, Groups will crash, usually at the most unfortunate moment of the presentation. 

Developers & Engineers: We can totally do that!

Users: Sit silently while MacroBurst updates the software.

Boss: Hey, did any of you talk to any users? Do we plan to do any UAT with this before we launch it? 

Developers & Engineers: We don’t talk to people. 

Boss: Yeah, I get that. It’s unhygienic to talk to customers. Okay, cool. Well, fellas, I’m outta here. Time for me to hit the links and think about how my bonus is gonna be SO MUCH BIGGER than all of yours!

Users: Receive new updates. Try to get training on it. Their manager tells them they don’t need it; they can just learn as they go. Deafening silent screams ensue.

Fade out.

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