Administration Humour Oracle Peoplesoft PeopleTools Performance Tuning

A Conversation with a PeopleSoft “Developer” – Part 2

Another amusing conversation and somewhat shocking “discovery”.

More poor performing SQL – obviously missing any sort of suitable index (on Oracle).

Me (to developer): Could you add a suitable composite (multi-column) index to table PS_xxxx please for columns C,B and A – there seems to be frequent access using these three columns that would be vastly improved by adding an index.

Developer: OK.

After a few days I notice new “alternate search key” indexes in the DEV environment. One for each of the columns A, B and C.

Me: Did you add that index?

Developer: Yes, but in the testing I did it wasn’t very much faster.

Humour Peoplesoft Performance

A Conversation with a PeopleSoft “Developer” – Part 1

A bit of amusement, but unfortunately based on actual conversations I have had with developers over the years.

This one started with me noticing some heavy logical I/O at the database level across various views. These originated from various user actions – search records on pages, “submit” buttons on approval pages and even scheduled queries.

A bit of investigation into each case always brought me to a single locally developed “workflow” table. It had the usual structure for a workflow/worklist table – had all the workflow key columns, followed by the “data” key columns. Every column in the table was flagged as a key column. It was instantly obvious that the developer did not understand the importance of indexes and possibly quite a few other things. Here’s the conversation:

Me: So, this worklist table PS_xxx_WL – you created that right?

Developer: Yes.

Me: And you developed all the approval pages, the PeopleCode and the search records that use this table?

Developer: Yes (starting to look a bit nervous).

Humour One-liners

Some Quotes

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge” – Isaac Asimov

In the fields of observation chance favours only the prepared mind – Louis Pasteur

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter – Winston Churchill


You Could Not Make this Up

Q: “Can you replace/emulate the functionality of “system A” in PeopleSoft?”
A: “Yes” …

… work ensues for many months reverse engineering the undocumented system A …

… a huge specification document is created and reviewed …

… much code is developed …

… users test the new system …

Statement: “The results from the new system don’t match the old system. There is a bug.”

Q: “Can you provide an example?”

… an example is provided with expected results ….

Q: “But system A doesn’t give those results …?”

A: “Oh … we’re comparing it to system B”

Err ….

Humour Peoplesoft Workday

Why PeopleSoft and Workday Succeed

Maddies Fund

’nuff said? People with pets make better companies. Discuss!

Humour Rants



You don’t pay road tax (well for the bike at least)

You aren’t insured

Surely you could at least obey traffic lights? They do apply to you “entitled” sods too you know!


OK .. I know some of you **might** be insured. But I seriously doubt your insurance covers running a red light! 🙂


Some Quotes

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. Ronald Reagan

In the fields of observation chance favours only the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur

The above was also misquoted by the bad guy in the Steven Seagal film “Under Siege 2” as “Chance favours the prepared mind” 🙂 That film is also the source of my all-time favourite quote:

“Assumption is the Mother of All Fuck-ups”

Humour Off-shoring


Some observations on off-shoring:

1. You have to manage the relationship carefully and frequently. Do not let it drift – it is too important for that. The salesmen/account managers/practice directors/whatever like to claim you can “leave it to us to manage everything” – but they are not to be trusted. They don’t know your business – you do. And if you don’t then you are in the wrong job!

2. You must be very precise in defining your requirements – especially for software developments. Vague specifications and poor analysis up front will lead to a higher cost using off shore resources due to the amount of reworking needed. Remember – with most off-shoring you will get EXACTLY what you ask for … nothing more …. nothing less. So make sure what you ask for IS WHAT YOU WANT! 🙂

3. You must allocate budget for a QA process – and use an independent resource to carry out that review. Do not under any circumstances allow them to sell you a QA resource. Poacher / gamekeeper is not a safe strategy for a quality end result 🙂

4. Check for built-in “additional time & materials” in the code/design. Check for hard-coding and inflexible code – if they can write something that will work right now but break when your business changes they will. It is in their business model to gain value added on-going “fixes/updates/enhancements” that can be charged as time & materials outside the main contract.

5. Don’t let them convince you that changes are outside the original contract – if the original solution was not fit for purpose then make them fix it within the main contract – free of charge!

6. For every “good” resource there are at least 20 “average/below average” resources. Make sure the good ones you are allocated are not moved off to other projects/customers and replaced by less able ones.

7. Paper qualifications are no substitute for ability. Many of the resources are fast-tracked through numerous training courses to pass certifications. My experience is that many of the resources may be “qualified” but they just do not understand the technology.