Are you a Cowboy Monkey?

Written on 8:08:00 AM by S. Potter

Everyone of us has probably met one. You may have worked for one as a subordinate. You may even be one. Though many people do not know what a Cowboy Monkey is. In a nutshell a Cowboy Monkey is that person on your team that jumps in to save the day with a hack. They are the ones that repeatedly put out the same fires instead of making sure they don't start them again. A Cowboy Monkey can't be bothered to take 5 minutes a day to commit code changes into a SCM and resync their working copy, but spends half the day in meetings not achieving anything. They are generally horrible dates because they spend all dinner talking about "quick and dirty" solutions. Generally a Cowboy Monkey:

  • does not believe in any type of SCM system.
  • does not think about the longer-term consequences of their actions only the immediate effects.
  • does not believe in unit, functional, integration, performance or system testing or specifications of any kind.
  • prefers to test in production rather than create a whole new staging environment.
  • has not heard of best practices.
  • has a tendency to build silo systems.
  • has a total disregard for the software architecture of a project.
  • usually has no real understanding of design patterns of any kind.
  • thinks PHP is so good that it can solve the war in Iraq.
  • gives smiles and nods but delivers very few of the promises they make and almost nothing on time.
If you nodded at least 5 times in agreement with any of the statements above, you might be a full-fledged Cowboy Monkey. Do not fear, you are amongst friends and we will help you overcome this disorder. If you are not one, how many Cowboy Monkey's have you worked with thus far? Please feel free to share your (anonymous please) stories of the Cowboy Monkey's you've met on the job in comments.

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