How Is It Possible?

How is it possible that people who are running an online company don’t have a clue when it comes to technology?

Case in point today: I was handed a project to take care of for a client. They want me to take input from a form, validate it, store it in a local database and then create a CSV file and send that via FTP to a remote server. Not a difficult request, but also not a terribly secure one either. So I decided I would call the company that was supposed to be getting the CSV via FTP and see if I could just POST the data to a web form instead. So I called them…

Me: “Yeah, hi. This is so and so from company and I was wondering if you guys had a web form that I could send this CSV/FTP data to instead of the CSV/FTP method.”

Other Guy: [:long pause:] “Uhm… I have no idea what you are talking about. The CTO is out of town and won’t be back until tomorrow. Let me ask [so and so].”

Me [now with so and so on the phone listening]: “Yeah I would like to just send this via curl data post.”

At this point I could tell that the loud sucking sound coming from the other end of the line wasn’t a good sound. So I tried to explain myself further.

Me: “You know… An online form… Where you type stuff into it, and it saves it some place… like a database… and then you guys can create your CSV from that instead. It would save me a lot of time.”

Other Guy again: “Well this plan has been laid out for two weeks and it is supposed to go live tomorrow. Don’t you think it is a little late in the game to change things?”

At this point I was annoyed… Here I am two hours into this project, and he is talking down to me like I had been there through out the entire thing?!? WTF?

Me: “You know you are certainly right _IF_ I had been involved at that point. And I wasn’t. So… getting back to my question, can you do it?”

Other Guy: “Well we would have to get the CTO involved.”

You have got to be f*cking kidding me. You need the CTO to tell you how to make a web form? And you people run a web based business?!?!

At his point I decided to cut my losses.

Me: “Okay I will create the CSV and FTP the file. I will need the FTP information as well as the CSV format.”

Other Guy: “Well we have already sent that to Bob.”

Me: [leaning over to Bob] “Did you get that CSV formatting and FTP info from ComapnyB?”

Bob: “Nope they never sent it.”

Me: “He says you never sent it. So please send it so that I can continue my work.”

That was 3 hours ago. I am still waiting for the CSV file.

Its no wonder the dotcom bubble burst. If any of the companies Were run this way its a miracle they survived.

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