Ms. Dekkers and Mr. Aguiar talk about the relevance of the Dilbert comic strip to real life in IT organizations.
TEXT TRANSCRIPT: 26 September 2000
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.
Announcer: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. This program will focus on the latest in the field of technology. All comments, views, and opinions are those of the host, guests, and callers. Now let's join Carol Dekkers.
Carol: Hello. Welcome to the show. This is September 26. Last week we had Heather Winward, who is a graphologist. That went very, very well. I'm Carol Dekkers. I'm the president of Quality Plus Technologies, which is a management consulting firm specializing in successful implementation of function point analysis, software measurement, and process improvement for the software industry. I'm also the immediate past president of the international function point users' group. I participate in ISO project standards, and have a number of qualifications in terms of professional engineering, certified function point specialist, and certified management consultant. Today I'm privileged to have on my show a guest who is a colleague and friend, who is Mauricio Aguiar, who is a software manager with CAIXA Economica Federal, a leading Brazilian government bank with over 2,000 branches. His extensive experience spans 25 years in software management, application of accelerated learning in IT. He's also the president of the Brazilian function point users' group and serves on a number of different committees. He's a professional engineer, a systems analyst with a master's degree in neurolinguistic programming. He's a member of the Project Management Institute, the American Society for Quality, and the international function point users' group. And I'd like to welcome you to the show, Mauricio.
Mauricio: Hi, Carol.
Carol: Mauricio resides in Rio de Janeiro and is here in the United States to attend a conference on software measurement. And today's topic, we'd like to talk a little bit about why is every IT shop, every information technology department, everything that we ever see seems to be with computers emulates the Dilbert Society. Scott Adams… Actually, I emailed him and asked him if he would be a guest on my show, and Scott Adams must have had too many emails or too many things to do, or probably too many customers on the line, because Scott did not even return my emails. So I have a better guest, actually better than Scott Adams, who is the creator of Dilbert. And one thing that kind of hit me in the overall Dilbert Society… Dilbert being a cartoon strip specializing specifically on information technology and software development and that type of thing… is something I read in The Readers' Digest about a month ago, and that was that email in our society, email is like walking home after a long day at work and finding 30 people in your kitchen. And I know, having talked to Mauricio and sending him emails, he probably feels like that some days. Even in Brazil. Would you agree?
Mauricio: Sure. When you get home, and you get lots of emails, it's like everything's started again. And you feel like you're in a Dilbert world. You just can't stop. They find me here! My God! I want to go back to work! No, I don't! No!
Carol: We're going to talk today a little bit about the Dilbert Society. Why does it seem like every place you go there is a Dilbert Society? And it doesn't matter who you talk to, doesn't matter if it's an engineering type firm, it doesn't matter if it's software based. It seems like all of the characters in the Dilbert comic strip come to life once you walk through the door. And I'd just like to ask you, Mauricio, what do you mean by Dilbert Society?
Mauricio: Well, Dilbert Society is a society where rules and logical reasoning are used to justify illogical behavior and irrational conclusions. A society where one is virtually powerless to deal with ……. stupidity, like the pointed-head boss that Dilbert has to deal with.
Carol: I know that your boss is not pointy-haired. Would you say that he has some of the characteristics… not necessarily in your current job, but have you encountered people who behaved like the Dilbert boss?
Mauricio: Well, Carol, now and again every one of us will behave like that, because that's the way you see the person. But sometimes you're not aware of all the facts about a certain situation, and then you'll act stupidly.
Carol: And stupid is probably somewhat of a subjective thing that probably changes a little bit with each person.
Mauricio: Yes. And then, the Dilbert thing is when you act stupid and you use rationality and logic to justify your behavior in a way that people think that you're doing the right thing. And they feel cornered, not able to respond to you because you're using logic. But deep down, you know that the person is doing something stupid.
Carol: Right. What do you see as the role of Dilbert, who is… It's amazing to me when I think about Dilbert having started as a very small comic strip, syndicated in one or two newspapers, then emerging into a full-scale TV show, a number of management tapes, that I know you've got a few of, management books, full-scale cartoon… The calendars. Every time I go into a client site that has anybody from IT, I see a number of different Dilbert cartoons up. And is it the same thing in Brazil? Do Brazilian IT companies and software companies… Do they have Dilbert in Portuguese?
Mauricio: Oh, they do. All of these books are in Portuguese. All of them have been translated into Portuguese. And in IT companies like mine, I work in a bank that has 600 people in IT, every one of us laughs a lot reading Dilbert books. The first time you read them, it's just like you've found yourself somewhere. My God! This is like one of those enlightening experiences. That's who I am! That's me! And this is my boss, and this is my colleague! You do find yourself there. And you know why? Because it's the same everywhere.
Carol: Would you say that it's not necessarily just an American depiction, it's more of a universal thing? There's something in information technology pervades the cultural boundaries?
Mauricio: Oh, yeah, because you don't have all the answers yet. So you have to try, and then sometimes you make it right, sometimes you don't. And then people will do stupid things, as I said. And they won't be aware that they're doing them.
Carol: Right. What do you see as being the role of Dilbert? Being the main character, kind of in the context of the Dilbert Society?
Mauricio: Well, I think to some people, Dilbert is a cynic. I'll grant that. But I don't agree. I think in fact that deep down, the Dilbert view is rather humanistic. Dilbert is there to remind us of what should be done to people, and what should not. You see? (inaudible) …one of that Scott Adams strips, that the employer has asked to be sent to a technical conference, like this one here that we're in. And the manager says, "Well, I see you lack the knowledge to perform these tasks in your job description." And the employee replies, "Not really. As a matter of fact, I'm a recognized expert in my own field." And then the manager says, "But you admit there are things you should know that you do not know." And the employee says, "Yes, I know what's going on here!" And the manager says, "I see you have a communication problem, too. Have you considered counseling? The company has a program." This is an obvious exaggeration, but it reminds one of the way people should and should not be treated. And that's what I think Dilbert is there for.
Carol: Do you find that Dilbert is more true than some fiction? That it really, truly depicts sometimes the very environment that you walk into.
Mauricio: Oh yeah, because Dilbert is like a symbol. And then you'll have many characteristics that you won't find together in real life, but every one of them will be found sometime somewhere, so Dilbert is like a pattern that you can use to identify the situations you're in and remember not to act like the pointed-hair boss.
Carol: Right. Do you think that managers today are really that stupid? Do you think that managers really lack the knowledge that… Are there really managers that are as bad as the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert?
Mauricio: Well, sometimes you'll find somebody who will step beyond the boundaries, you know, and fall into one of those patterns. And then you remember the pointed-hair boss. But Dilbert is useful, because if you are that manager, and if you step over the line, you may remember the Dilbert story and say, "My God. I'm the pointed-hair boss now. I don't want to let that happen!"
Carol: And do you think that happens? Do you think that bosses recognize themselves?
Mauricio: Well, some will, some will not. And I think that's the road to improvement. If you recognize when you're the pointed-hair boss, you'll be able to change it. Some will, and some won't, but they will later, maybe.
Carol: It's interesting, when you look at the cast of characters. There's the Ratbert, and there's Dogbert, and there's Dilbert, and the pointy-haired boss, and the secretary with the triangular hair. And it seems like… And the other one, I can't remember his name, the one with glasses and the mouse-looking head, or mole-looking head. What's…
Mauricio: Oh, you've escaped my mind. I know who you are talking about.
Carol: It seems to be very interesting, the whole pattern out of which Scott Adams emerged. And for him to have gained that kind of notoriety, the fact that his cartoons are in everyone's office. Every time you walk through an office, and sometimes I think it even goes beyond pure IT. It's interesting to me that everyone can recall exactly the same cartoons a lot of times. I can remember the ones on casual day, when the secretary would actually walk in with very little on, or Dilbert actually, I think completely removed his shirt at one point. And so, you know, has casual day gone too far?
Mauricio: Yeah, well you know, Scott Adams worked for 17 years in a cubicle, in an IT organization. So he had time to learn the way these things happen, and to learn how to turn all these experiences into the cartoons. I think that's why Dilbert's so successful, because it comes from experience, from actual experience.
Carol: Right. And I think it's very interesting. I think that… Would you say that the people who 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 wouldn't be a far-off number. He's been translated into many, many languages, including Portuguese. And Mauricio has a background in neurolinguistic programming, which applies very well to being able to analyze a lot of things going on in information technology and the Internet and that type of thing. And we were talking a little bit about the quality initiative, the new initiatives that are going on, and the fact that in information technology, sometimes they've got a plethora of new job titles, new job positions. The whole aspect of doing process improvement is a whole new area that our Department of Defense here in the United States, and many leading government organizations, as well as private industry, have started …. and realizing that to build quality software is going to require something more than just programming. That we have to improve the way we develop things. And I think that things have gotten very, very competitive, particularly with the infusion of the Internet. Dilbert seems to capture a lot of the things going on in our society, especially in software engineering. And just before we took a break, Mauricio was talking a little bit about consultants, and their role. Mauricio, what would you say? Does that mean that we should stop hiring consultants? That it's all a scam, that we should be doing things internally for process improvement? What do you think?
Mauricio: No, the Dilbert point of view… that's the Dilbert point of view… is not necessarily true, and does not intend to be. It's not a guide for action. It breaks out and goes beyond cause and effect relationships, in fact. To put it simply, the Dilbert view is useful to help us draw certain boundaries. So if you are spending more with consultants than with system development, then you may remember Dilbert, and you'll take some time to analyze the situation and see what you're doing right. That's what the Dilbert patterns are good for.
Carol: And you talk about boundaries. In terms of… What do you exactly mean by Dilbert sets boundaries?
Mauricio: Well, Dilbert shows you where you can go if you act real, real stupid. And when you analyze a situation like the pointed-hair boss. The pointed-hair boss does very, very stupid things, and you draw the boundary. You say, …………… I won't let myself become the pointed-hair boss. In that sense, it draws boundaries.
Carol: Just in thinking back… I know that you've got a lot of Dilbert tapes and a lot of books and things on Dilbert. What would you say is your favorite, kind of theme that Dilbert has had over the last couple years?
Mauricio: Well, I think it's about project management. I love when they have those things about project management, what happens in projects. Like your project's just been canceled. Why? Because we have another project which has a better acronym. See? This is the kind of thing. It doesn't happen that way, you see, but it happens sometimes in a way that resembles that way very much. And you can suspect that your project was canceled because it had a bad acronym.
Carol: And acronyms, for someone who's not involved in systems projects, every single project, every single system development, if you've got some software you'd want to be built, actually starts in some cases, in the worst case scenarios, with people trying to find out what witty name they could call the project. And I've seen meetings where people have said, "Okay, let's figure out… Let's call it something like SPICE or SPAR or something," and then try to fit words into a witty acronym.
Mauricio: Yeah, it's true. And words are really important, like you can have a word like "power." That's a really powerful word. And you might use it in an acronym. And it has an effect on people, you know. And that's why acronyms are important. And at the same time, that's why Dilbert is not necessarily the truth, because if it were the truth, then you would say, "Okay, so we won't make any decisions about acronyms anymore." That's not the truth, either. That's what it says about boundaries. The boundary is something that makes you, in fact, makes you think. In fact, you know those Zen puzzles, like, "What's the sound of one hand clapping?" I think Dilbert is a kind of Western Zen, you know.
Carol: That's a really interesting perspective, that I'm sure Scott Adams would kind of appreciate that. That almost has a religious overtone. One thing that kind of hit me is… Do we respond to Dilbert, or do you think that Dilbert actually is changing… Does it have an effect? Does anything that's written in Dilbert cartoons or in books, does that really have an effect to change the way people react?
Mauricio: I think it will sometimes. It started as a reflection of what people actually do. I think that what happened with Scott Adams is he spent 17 years in a cubicle, and then he started writing about what he had experienced. But then, you also have the effect… The effect becomes the cause for other people. So people will read the Dilbert stories, and they'll understand their roles in the workplace. And they will draw those boundaries I was talking about, and maybe they'll start improving based on what originally was for laughs only. That's the beauty of it.
Carol: We have to take another quick break, but we will be back shortly and continue talking about the Dilbert Society with Mauricio Aguiar and Carol Dekkers.
Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! We've been talking a little bit with… talking about the Dilbert Society. My background is as President of Quality Plus Technologies, which is a management consulting firm, where we specialize in successful implementation of software measurement, primarily for the software industry. So we're consultants, we go in and we tell people how to build better software. I'm involved in a lot of different organizations, such as the American Society for Quality, the Quality Assurance Institute, the international function point users' group, and involved in ISO standards. And my guest today, I'm very fortunate to have Mauricio Aguiar, who is a senior software manager with CAIXA Economica Federal, which is a leading Brazilian government bank with over 2,000 branches. His background includes a professional engineering designation. He's a systems analyst with a master's degree in neurolinguistic programming. And I can't think of anybody else who would be better qualified to discuss our topic today, which is the Dilbert Society. Why has Scott Adams' cartoon really pervaded and flourished, through books, presentations, and in multiple languages? Mauricio visits us here today from Rio de Janeiro, where he has lived, worked, and been part of, essentially, Brazilian Dilbert Society. So I'd like to welcome you back to the show. And we were talking a little bit about whether we should have process improvement, whether we should abandon process improvement. We've talked about that in the last half-hour. And we've talked a little bit about whether Dilbert leads or follows the industry. And we were talking about some of the favorite strips, in terms of advice that Scott Adams, the inventor, or the author, or the creator, of Dilbert actually put into place. And Mauricio commented that his favorite line of strips was the project management group. What, in particular, do you think is wrong with project management today? In the way that software is developed?
Mauricio: Well, Carol, the main thing about project management is to have management. The problem is most of the time, we don't have management. There are many managers who are just like Dilbert's characters. I mean, people who just do communication, which is part of management, but not all of it. Doing communication is… You know the type. That's the kind of guy who manages using his telephone and asking people, "Is that ready?" or "How long? How long is it going to take? No, tell me. What's the status of this?" So they ask questions all the time. They get information, but you get this feeling that they are not going to do anything with that information they get. They're just doing… going through the motions, actually. And that's not management at all. But you'll find it many, many times, and not only in the Dilbert strip.
Carol: Right. One of my favorite strips, that I use, actually, in a number of classes I teach, has the pointy-haired boss saying, "I need to come up with a project estimate. How long will it take you to do things?" And he says, "Anything that I don't understand, and I don't comprehend, I'm going to give it only a couple of minutes. And anything that I understand, I'll be able to allocate." So he says, "I want to design a client server network for our worldwide operations. Time, five minutes." And I think that really stretches the point of project management, that a lot of people don't even realize what it takes to develop software. And the software developers a lot of times are managed by people who may not have a development background, or who may not understand the users, who are being told that they need to increase the shareholder value, the stock prices, return a better bottom line. And they're managing technical people. I'd like to just ask you, do you think that managing technical people is different from managing, say, retail staff or other people just in our society?
Mauricio: Yeah, there is a difference, which is that technical people, actually they produce the results in their own minds. It's not like building something that you can see and measure. Most of what happens, of what is accomplished in technology, happens before any results are actually seen. And that's something… You are dealing with people's minds there. You don't get the actual results for quite awhile. You get only representations. Like if somebody makes a drawing, what is he doing? He's communicating what he's thinking of. He's communicating what his view of the solution is, but until you have code, you have nothing. And that's why some managers make the opposite mistake. They want code as soon as possible, perhaps in five minutes, as you said. And that's impossible, because people have to think first. And that's the main difference between, like, construction work and software building. You don't build concrete things in software. People have to think, and you build soft representations, maybe.
Carol: And it's frustrating. I know, having been a software developer, and having a background of being a user first, I think sometimes what happens is we have, almost what I keep waiting for in Dilbert, which is a base level of idiocy. If you go into school, or you come out of school, and you're a doctor or you're a lawyer or you're an engineer, you expect that the rest of society or everybody that you deal with is going to have at least a base level of idiocy, I guess you could call it. Which is, you expect them to know at least what you knew when you first went in. And I think that causes frustration. I think that when we've got software being developed, and somebody says, "I kind of sort of want a system that kind of sort of does this," the software engineer might say something like, "I know exactly what you want." And we've all seen those depictions of "what I wanted was not what I got." And why do you think that happens? In construction, we've got floor plans, and we can say, you know, "I want a two-bedroom, three-story house." And typically, you're going to end up with something that looks fairly similar. Why do we have all the problems in software?
Mauricio: For many reasons. Maybe the first is that construction has been going on for about 3,000 years at least. Like the pyramids, think of the pyramids. People have been learning about construction for a long, long time, while software development has been around for about, let's say, about 30 years only. And that's a very, very small amount of time considering 3,000 years as a basis. And something else. You go to your house, and you see the interior of the house every single day of your life. And you go to hotels and other people's houses, you get many, many examples to draw upon. And that doesn't happen in the case of software. Even though you may interact with the Internet, and you may use Quicken or other systems at home, you will not have so many experiences, so many different experiences of the interior way software is built as you have in houses. And there are many other options also. And software is evolving much, much faster than construction. How long have you had rooms and bathrooms and kitchens? For hundreds of years at least. And how long have you had the Internet? Four years, at most.
Carol: Do you think that the whole Internet speed… I know that Steve McConnell just wrote a book called After the Gold Rush, and he talked about programmers kind of being tied into the most common way of programming in the United States, which is code and fix, code and fix. Is the code and fix the most dominant way of designing systems in Brazil as well?
Mauricio: Oh yeah, yeah, I read that book too. And that's just the way people want to do things, you know. I think that's the friction between engineering and art. Like, people want to be free and create and do it, whatever they want. And the most pleasurable way of doing things is by trial and error. You do it, you do a little bit, and you see what happens. And then you do a little bit more, and you correct it, and you go ahead. But that's not the way engineers have to do things, right? And people will try to do it by code and fix, and you will have to have a way that they will change. And that's what process improvement is all about right now.
Carol: And would you say that software, the way that software is developed, in terms of coding and fixing, one of the things I've found is that there's a fundamental mismatch between the people who specify what they want in requirements, in terms of software, who can't really articulate it. Who say, "I kind of sort of, I know what I won't want. Just show me something of what the software might do, and then I'll tell you what I know I don't want it to do." Is there a fundamental mismatch in the way that people who are specifying requirements, and the people who are implementing speak?
Mauricio: Well, I think that's the main analysis problem. In Brazil, we have an analogy. I don't know if that will work in the States. But it's something typical from my country, which is the analyst cannot be a waiter. Like, you can't just go to your customer and say, "What do you want?" And the customer says, "Well, I want a steak, and I want some ice cream on it." And then you write it down, and you bring it to the customer. And then he says, "Well, I can't eat this." And you say, "Well, that's just what you asked." That's the waiter analyst. No judgment at all, right? But the analyst cannot be a doctor, either. Like, the client says, "Well, I want a….." "No, no, don't say anything. I know what you need." And the analyst prescribes what the clients will have. That doesn't work, either. The analyst should be like an architect, and that's something that allows for creation, allows for being sensitive to other people's needs, you know. And that's the image you should have. This communication problem should be minimized by an analyst who knows what he's doing. And who is able to hear what the client needs, too.
Carol: Do you think there's differences in… Well, I will finish my question when we get back from break. But I have a couple more questions, just in terms of what Dilbert means to us from an educational point of view, as a potential, and also what ………. And we'll be back.
Welcome back. We're into just about our last segment. And I'm sitting here with Mauricio Aguiar, who works for CAIXA Economica Federal, a leading Brazilian government bank with over 2,000 branches. And he's here for a conference on software measurement, run by the international function point users' group. And I'd like to welcome him back to the show.
Mauricio: Okay, Carol. Here I am.
Carol: And we have time for probably a couple more questions. And then that's pretty much rounding out our entire time. We've kind of talked all over the map, kind of about Dilbert. Dilbert the comic strip that Scott Adams introduced a number of years ago, which has now expanded into books, tapes, and a full-length TV show. And it has made its way down to Brazil and become a dominant force, as much in the IT industry down there as it is up here. And a final couple questions I'd just like to ask you, Mauricio, is your views on how could Dilbert potentially be used as an educational device to kind of change… With your background in neurolinguistic programming, what could Dilbert do to improve the software industry?
Mauricio: I think that the Dilbert strip could be used as an educational device for managers and employees in the IT industry. I don't know if Scott Adams ever thought of that, but the way Dilbert uses language and situations is very, very important for conveying the true meaning of certain interactions between managers and employees. I think managers can get a better view of themselves through reading Scott Adams' strip. I mean, for some people, you have to have indirect ways of showing them the truth. You cannot tell somebody, "You're an idiot." Or "You're acting as an idiot." But if you were to give them some books, some Dilbert books, in time they'd maybe be able to see themselves there. And you can tell, even seminars or workshops, based on Dilbert books.
Carol: Right. It seems like sometimes it's a lot easier to learn through humor. And I know one of the things that I've found with the Dilbert comic strip is it seems that we are so frantic with life, we are so frantic with downsizing, we've got less people working with us, we've got more work to do, we've got longer working hours. And it just seems like sometimes humor has disappeared from the workplace. And I find that Dilbert provides just that little bit of smile when you're just overcome with work.
Mauricio: That's true. And a smile comes with some content. And that's good, too.
Carol: And I think sometimes if we recognize ourselves, we might say we're actually quite proud to be the pointy-haired boss. I know that Scott Adams' boss said… He got disappointed, and he'd walk into his office when he was working still at Packard Bell, and said "You haven't written about me for two weeks. What's going on? Have I turned boring?"
Mauricio: That's typical.
Carol: That's probably true. We don't want to admit how dysfunctional we may be, but yet we certainly want attention.
Mauricio: Yeah, that's true. I think Dilbert provides a way of improving, of self-improvement, too.
Carol: And I'd like to thank you very much. I think we're pretty much out of time. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Mauricio for being in the United States. He's been here a number of times. He runs the Brazilian function point users' group. Would you like to give out your email address for people who may be here visiting from South America, who may be interested in joining your group, or who would be interested in corresponding with you?
Mauricio: Well, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.