are in information technology, the software engineers, the computer science graduates, the newly graduated Java programmers and stuff, are we really that different, are we really that dysfunctional?
Mauricio: You mean different from those people?
Carol: Well, different from… My background is engineering, and I know all engineers are perfect, and I know that your background's engineering too, and even in Brazil, all engineers are perfect. But I say that tongue in cheek. But it's interesting that this seems to… Scott Adams seems to have ….. something that goes beyond sheer coincidence. Somehow he's tapped into something that goes beyond just experiencing life. It seems that the IT industry has something very different about it.
Mauricio: Oh, yes. IT is full of controversial, and sometimes even irrational beliefs and behaviors. And I think that's what you've got. You only have to stay in IT for a couple of years and you will acquire a Dilbert perspective. For example, take a look at this. Both the government and private companies have been spending millions of dollars in the last 15 years or so to improve the software development processes. The idea is to focus on the process instead of the results, because the process generates the results. So if you improve the process, you will get better results. But from the point of view of the people who actually generate the results, like the analysts and programmers, this process thinking has led to the nullification of jobs like software quality specialists, convinced that they add no value to the process. On the contrary, the Dilbert view is to see these people as results-… bureaucrats, as obstacles to getting the real work done. Of course, it has nothing to do with the actual truth, but it's the point of view that Dilbert brings into play.
Carol: It's quite interesting too, the… You see that with the software quality analyst, the quality consultant, or, I know Dilbert had an entire series focused on the quality improvement and going to Elbonia, which I think was sort of a take-off on Elbowland or something like that, some sort of knee jerk reaction. And there was a whole series of things, when he went to Elbonia to learn quality methods. And I think they all came up with their own job titles.
Mauricio: And you know what Dilbert said? What consulting means? He says "consultant" is created by the addition of words - "con" and "insult." You put them together and you get a consultant. That's the way he sees it.
Carol: And it's probably good that we're not having radio callers right now, because we'd probably have a number of people who would say, "I'm a consultant. You can't say that about me."
Mauricio: Oh well, that doesn't mean it's true. It's just as I said, Dilbert draws the boundaries, and if you're aware of the Dilbert boundaries, you will be sure not to step over the boundaries. If you're a consultant, take care that you never become a "con-insultant."
Carol: Right. Well, we have to take a quick break here. And we will come back shortly and join Mauricio Aguiar.
We're back. Welcome back to Quality Plus Technologies e-Talk. And we are talking to Mauricio Aguiar this week, who is a senior consultant with CAIXA Economica Federal, and I probably mispronounced that. But he lives in Rio do Janeiro. The company is a leading Brazilian government bank with over 2,000 branches. And we've been talking about the Dilbert Society, about Scott Adams' cartoon that has pervaded, I don't remember how many countries, probably 62