Building Fences, the Sequel
By mrbill on Mar 12, 2005
As a sequel to my previous post on Engineer types, I was thinking what other folks, perhaps non-engineer types at Sun might approach the fence building challenge.
Scott and Jonathan wander into the field which now has a round fence, a square fence, and a neat pile of lumber. They ask the customer (farmer) what the original goal was. "To maximize the area I can contain given a limited supply of materials", he answers.
The Principal engineer asks what the real business problem was, not the tactical implementation problem. "I need to lower the cost of managing my cattle", the farmer explains.
The Farmer and Scott head off to the local golf course, while Jonathan and the Principal Engineer take inventory of the lumber, and list it on Ebay to recover some of the farmer's investment. They then start calling around, finding a huge farm with room to spare for the farmer's cattle. They negotiate on behalf of the farmer for a price to host the farmer's cattle, including feed, water, grazing, breeding (increasing the available gene pool for both the hosting partner and the farmer), market management (buying and selling the cattle at auction), transport and schedule regular "service management" meetings to discuss the status of the herd.
Four hours later, Scott and the farmer return, rested and relaxed from a day on the links. The Distinguished Engineer, Scott, Jonathan, and the farmer look out over the rolling green land. The Distinguished Engineer suddenly grins, and suggests that the farmer might want to reinvest his herd-management savings into building a golf course. The Engineer rents a Bobcat and starts excavating.
Welcome to utility farming. :D