« Mar 14

April 2014

The First Rule of Enterprise Software is: don't talk about enterprise software. The Second Rule of Enterprise Software is: when you do talk about enterprise software, make references to stylish dramas from the '90s starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton to make it seem more exciting. However, the most important rule of enterprise software by far is Rule Number Three: Even the simplest little things can't be simple. Arthur was reminded of Rule Number Three on a recent trip into his employer's company-wide database.

Desert Packet Storm

Jonathan D. was the system administrator for a school nestled in a war-ravaged city somewhere in the middle of the desert. What with bombings here, explosions there, and the odd RPG whizzing by, dealing with a converted bathroom as an office/datacenter just didn't seem to be all that big of a deal.
We've all had that feeling before. We see something happening in front of us, yet because the sight doesn't conform to the worldview held within our brain, we just can't believe our own eyes. Dogs playing poker. Cats wearing panty hose. Politicians telling the truth. You get the idea. And depending on your personal threshold for incredulity, you might experience this feeling as a double take, a spit take or a psychotic break. If you happen to be prone to psychotic episodes, then I'm going to have to ask you to move on. Wait for tomorrow's WTF. Or maybe pet some kittens. Here's a picture to help you get started.
"Adding an account on, it asks for the last 4 digits of my SSN and for the first 3 digits," John A. wrote, "Seriously? There are only 100 combinations left to guess the full SSN!"
When you read a lot of bad code, you start to get a sense of why the code exists. Often, it’s ignorance- of the language, of the functional requirements, of basic logic. Sometimes, it’s management interference, and the slavish adherence to policy over practicality. Other times, it’s just lazy or sloppy work.

Secure Development

Steven's multi-billion dollar tech firm spared no expense in providing him two computers. One was stuffed in a broom closet down the hall; he used it for email, Internet access, and other administrative items. At his cubicle sat the computer on which he did all his programming, connected to the company's separated development environment (SDE).

I Had My Reasons

Trevor spent a huge amount of time writing a 2,000,000+ PHP/JavaScript/HTML system for an e-commerce company. Like a few other I'm-Special geniuses in our field, he believed that he could do it better than everyone else. For this reason, he came up with his own way of doing things. Database queries. Date-time logic. You name it.
Back around the turn of the century, governments were a different place to work at. The public trough, while not as fat as it had been, was still capable of providing funding for boondoggles handed out to friends and family. This was before deficit hawks made a sport of picking off small cost overruns that scurried around the fields of government largesse. Before billions was spent on wars of questionable necessity. Before mayors broke down the stereotype that all crack addicts were skinny.
"I was hoping to take a trip to Hong Kong, but NON-STATIC METHOD seems to be a good value," writes Ryan.
Don't forget, The Daily WTF loves terrible emails. If you have some to share, mail in your mail!
The Java-based application that Dan M. supports does something that is frequently accomplished by applications the world over - based on the value of a passed string containing a valid date, convert it to datetime. Simple stuff. Java even has built-ins to make this task even easier.
In the ancient time of 2008, people were still using Lotus Notes. Rumor has it that some still do, even today. Danny worked for an IBM partner which was a “full service” provider. It was the kind of company that you’d leas your entire IT infrastructure from, from servers to desktops and soup to nuts.
JH supports web-based property management software, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. We've all been there: obsolete tech—their database was running SQL Server 2000 long past its sunset date—and outsourced development. The Indian office had a problem to solve: they'd already written a database function to return all completed work orders for a given tenant's unit, but since notifications were only sent once a day, the client wanted to scoop up any work orders from the previous day that were completed after that day's notification was sent. JH could have modified the function to look back at the previous day in five minutes, but then his company would have missed out on the incredible cost and efficiency gains of offshoring. Instead, JH was tasked with reviewing the code. The first thing he noticed was that, instead of just comparing the work order dates to the current date using SQL Server's GETDATE() function, the technician did this:
"Apparently Microsoft realizes that my chosen birthdate is fake," Chris D. writes, "I can have the 2nd of January, though."
"Pourriez-vous s'il vous plaît répéter la question?" said Andre, head developer. His voice was garbled over a VoIP connection. "My English ... not great."
One of the The Architect's developers laid the egg that is this round-robin connection pooling code. He discovered this when he noticed that his connection was getting incorrect responses under load.

Make It Work

Update 2014-04-02 10:07pm (EDT): direct downloads are now hosted on instead of Soundcloud. Break out your decoder rings, mix up a glass of Ovaltine, and don't touch that dial! It's time for... Radio WTF Presents! Today's episode: "Make It Work", adapted for radio by Lorne Kates, from a submission by Mitch G.
« Mar 14

April 2014