"It was around 2005 when I landed my first job at a small software company," writes Derek, "I was the youngest programmer on the team by at least a decade, and my coworkers certainly made sure I remembered it. Fortunately, it was all in good fun, but they reminded me that I had a long way to go and that I should learn from older, more experienced folks – presumably like them."
The Beacon of Hope (from Pete)
My phone interview for a senior developer position in the banking industry started off pretty well. The jovial and affable development manager told me that my CV stood out "like a beacon of hope compared to the vast oceans of crap applicants" he had been sent by HR and various recruitment consultants. "I just have one question," he said with a smile in his voice, "how soon could can you start?"
"The product we maintain has come a long way," writes Tod Hoven, "the backbone is a three-tier VB6 application that is slowly being ported and rewritten in .NET languages (VB.NET / C#)."
"I think my Docking Station is docked to my docking station," writes Tod Hoven, "I wonder which one my laptop is docked to?"
There are certain baselines that telecom companies care about. If, for example, your company is responsible for a set of network devices at the local airport, detecting and correcting failures quickly was very important.
"This is a small peek into the production database of one of our client's systems," writes Walter. "I wish I could say that this was an unused table, an isolated occurrence... or even that I had some other job prospects. But sadly, none of those are the case."
"Years ago," writes Maxime, "we found ourselves plagued with a brand new, unusably sluggish website. Most of the team blamed the esoteric VMCMWTH-based architecture (i.e. View-Model-Controller-Model-What-The-Huuhhhhh) that was pioneered by the Chief Developer. But the Chief Developer and the CTO (who also happened to be his uncle), blamed the hardware. More specifically, it was the 'inferior, off brand' CPU."
"Avast blocked itself from updating on reboot," Tejio writes, "if it can't trust itself, who can it trust?"
"Lucky me," Ryan wrote, "I got assigned to work on Legacy, an application whose name accurately describes itself. I'm pretty sure that this system manages to have a WTF/line ratio greater than 1.0, especially if we include the 'minor' ones, like the System.Environment.Exit calls peppered throughout library code that causes the app to inexplicably exit."
Lawrence's employer had heard that this newfangled "Desktop PC" could reduce their IT costs, and they wanted in on it. It was the mid 80s, and at the time, their plants scattered all over Alabama connected to a central mainframe via dumb terminals connected over very expensive leased lines. It was time to upgrade, and Lawrence wasn't in charge of it. He didn't get called in until things went wrong.
"We're had been using a manufacturer's web service, but started getting errors all of a sudden," wrote Peter Lindgren. "Something has really, really failed."
"I found this ad for an interior design company," wrote Wouter, "they probably do a lot of rectangular designs."
Everybody in the IT department was quite happy -- even a little surprised -- with how well the outsourced project to replace the legacy billing system was progressing.
Local businesses aren't exactly known for their web savviness or IT prowess. And for the most part, that's just fine. You'd be better off judging a prospective attorney on the suit he wears rather than the website he maintains, as that at least has some tangential relationship to practicing law. But usually, you'd just go with whomever a trusted colleague recommended, anyway.
"Bit manipulation can be tricky," writes Nathan, "especially if you have no familiarity with bitwise operators or logic."
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"At my company," writes Ryan L, "we have a 'certain' developer who has been here a while but is very reluctant to learn or improve. In fact, he actively works against the rest of us when we want to implement pesky things like proper version control, design patterns, or architecture to our code behind having 3000-line code-behind files."