Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wefi - Rewrite Hell

I was talking to a friend tonight who told me in an off-hand way that he had just gotten and lost a job in one week. This sounded funny, so I asked him to elaborate. Apparently, he had been been hired by a guy starting the "Seattle office" for the Israeli wi-fi sharing startup, Wefi that has just been getting some coverage this week.

Usually, a US office of an Israeli software company is a sales and marketing front end for Israeli developers - but my friend was doing some dev. work for them. Turns out that he had been hired to help port their website to python/django from the earlier java version - which itself had been a ground-up rewrite from some third different technology stack.

Python/django is a pretty rapid framework, so my friend and his boss were able to get something up and running quickly, but as soon as they did, the Israelis decided that it wouldn't seem like a wise use of resources to just toss out all the code that they had already written - so they decided to close the "Seattle office" instead.

I am pretty sure that there are at least several lessons to be gleaned from this story - but mainly, I am just glad that our own .NET/RoR discussion from a long time ago wasn't anywhere close to this chaotic!

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