Efficiency in Government

on Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"I worked briefly as a sub-contractor for a company that won a government contract for software development in the mid 90′s. My task was to maintain and “fix” a program another developer had written before leaving that wasn’t working correctly. The program took close to 2 hours to run and spit out an erroneous report. Anyway, after figuring out that the code was complete crap, I went to the specs and re-wrote the code from scratch. Took about a day and a half. The program then ran in under two minutes and spit out the correct data. I took it to my boss, figuring he would be proud of my efficiency and initiative, but he took me outside and told me point blank that he didn’t want the program to run so quickly, nor did he want the news to get out that his department could fix things so quickly. He said I could either maintain the status quo or quit. I quit." --Comment at Cafe Hayek