In the movie Man of the Year, Robin Williams plays a Jon Stewart-esque comedian who runs for President of the United States. He wins the general election due to a programming glitch in some e-ballot machines deployed nationwide.
In Belgium, as Adrien F. can attest, this very nearly happened.
Mike had a different perspective on wiring and cable management- because he worked at a factory which made wires and cables. It was the early–90s, and he was in charge of babysitting a couple of VAXes and their massive, 85lb hard drives. It was an easy job: the users knew the system and needed very little support, the VAXes were practically unstoppable, and the backup battery system could keep the entire thing running for over an hour.
The computers supported HR and accounting, which meant as the year ticked towards its end, Mike had to prep the system for its heaviest period of use- the year end closing processes. Through the last weeks of December, his users would be rushing to get their reports done and filed so they could take off early and enjoy the holidays.
Regular expressions can create new problems. Like an industrial drill, they’re extremely powerful- and potentially destructive. They’re expensive, they’re cryptic, but can be extremely concise.
For example, Jessica is reimplementing some C# code written by another developer. This developer was never interested in being concise, and instead favored being “clever”. For example, this developer had an array of strings, and needed to remove any non-word-characters from each string.
The English language contains words with multiple and often contradictory meanings. A dress, for example, is only one of many items you could put on while dressing yourself. Meanwhile, if you want to wear pants instead, you should avoid pantsing yourself, as that would be counter-productive.
Back when we were setting up The Daily WTF: Live, I gave a shout-out to the Pittsburgh tech community group, Code & Supply. They’ve been a great way to network with local developers, dev-opsers, designers, and more, ranging from the seasoned vets to those just cutting their teeth on IT. I’m a huge fan of their events, and I only wish I could make it to more of them.
Being a freelancer is hard. Being a freelancer during the downturn after the Dot-Com bust was even harder. Jorge was in that position, scrambling from small job to small job, fighting to make ends meet, when one of his freelance clients offered him a full-time gig.
Carol, the customer, said “Jorge, we’re really short-handed and need help. We’d like you to start on Monday. You know PHP, right?”
Jamie has a co-worker who subscribes to the “
malloc is slow” school of thought. Now, for most programs, it’s fine, but Jamie works on a high-performance computing system operating in a massively parallel configuration, so there are portions of their application where that philosophy is completely valid.
In this case, however, the code Jamie’s co-worker wrote is in their message handling layer. There’s really no reason to pool buffers there, as the performance gain is practically non-existent based on the frequency of buffer allocation. That doesn’t change Jamie’s co-worker’s opinion though- malloc is slow.