Posted on April 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Manual Time Entry

Kolby had gotten a stellar reputation as a developer able to solve difficult problems. His newest client was an international food supplier. “We’re so glad you’re here,” said Rita Manesh, the CEO. “The IFS Quality Control scheduler is too slow. It takes fifteen minutes to enter a single schedule. We hired five developers before you to make it faster, and they couldn’t do it.”

“I’ll give it a shot,” Kolby said. “Do you have the source code?”

Manesh sent him to Quality Control to get the code and observe the program in action. The manager on duty, a gaunt middle-aged woman with glasses like raven’s wings, pulled up a seat. “So you’re here to fix this, huh? It’s not broken, just slow.”

“Well, maybe we can see what’s making it — hey, wait a second.” Kolby stopped the manager at the time entry screen.

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“You have to slide the knobs to adjust the time?”

“That’s right,” the manager said. “The top for hours, the bottom for minutes. We just keep sliding it until the number’s just right.” The manager slid the bottom knob a pixel at a time until the minute value landed at 15:00.

Kolby spent the afternoon timing how long each part of the scheduling process took. Moving the slider took three minutes on average, twelve minutes total per schedule. After driving home, he swapped out a generic date/time interface in five minutes, recompiled, and installed the new scheduler at the office the next day.

He got an urgent call from Manesh a week later. “I don’t know what you did to our scheduler, but it needs to be fixed right away. The Quality Control managers want the slider back so they don’t have to type so much!”