Wheel, reinvented

IT pilot fish returns from a week at a hardware vendor's user conference -- remember those? -- and the junior consultant on the project team has a status update for him.

"He was beaming, and so excited to tell me about the in-memory sort he had implemented while I was away," says fish.

"He explained how he dug up some of his computer science class notes, coded up a bubble sort and completed testing. It was not a large number of records so the sort algorithm really didn't matter.

"We talked about both the elapsed time and billable hours that went into this effort. Then I reached up above my desk, pulled down the runtime library reference manual for our system, flipped to the page detailing the qsort function and showed him the information.

"I explained that there was nothing wrong with his bubble sort, but that we now had a bunch of code that we'll need to maintain, when it could have been handled with only one line.

"He was a bit disappointed that I didn't see his brilliance. I made sure he spent some of his compile-wait-time reviewing the manual."

Just think -- in that time, he could've sent Sharky his story. Put your time to good use by emailing me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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