I read an article on News Ycombintor and copied the title from there. The short story is that somebody inherited a product + team which don’t use source control, tests, or any dependency management, and no code has ever been deleted. All the changes are done directly on production. Pretty much the whole 9 yards.
The interesting part is that the product brings $20M a year (even considering it’s a shit show). And he/she was trying to figure out how to fix it.
I had my own share of similar experiences. It was a smaller scale (Thanks, G-d). However, I have seen my share of problematic code, absent processes, and pressure to get something out quickly (regardless of consequences).
First of all, the company doesn’t end up accidentally in such a place. I can bet you that they prioritize short-term gain above everything else (through their whole organization) for a long time.
On the other hand, I think they got lucky. Most likely, their product is incredibly fragile and buggy, and as soon as there is a reasonable quality competitor, they will be in a terrible place.