The last part sounds like a dream, get 4 weeks paid time off, overtime, top brass realizing its mess. Fat chance, and only if they're really nice. Top brass doesn't have a clue, the software people like to have aggressive schedules (or risk losing the job), and all are gambling that the customer will not hit one of those problem spots. But, given the golden rule, the man with all the gold makes the rules. If he wants it out tomorrow, he will get it out tomorrow, with or without us (or someone else). To the top brass, the software production is a competitive business. If we can't get it out there in their time frame, then the feeling is that someone else will. And, that someone else will sell them a good con story, say they can get it out when wanted, then end up being late and over budget, or send out buggy software.
When it is going to be late, the software team announces that the software is 90% completed and needs more time to finish the last 10%. And, the company, after investing in the project, is highly likely to continue investing until the completion of the project. And, if the software engineers make it to the end, they will have spent many 60 hour weeks and will be completely burned out. A classic sweatshop.
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