"I decided to take a try a new bus route. It usually takes me 35 minutes to get home," writes Chris, "I guess I should have been taking this route all along."
Diego inherited a system from a "senior" developer. The largest challenge in the system was that it had to handle DataSets that could contain up to 700 columns, but could contain less.
"I'm still a student," writes Rob J., "but recently I completed an internship for my Computer Science courses with a manufacturing company nearby. The company's process machines were totally computerized and their IT department consisted of the Network Administrator and the Software Developer (fortunately 2 different people), supporting the entire IT needs of the company of nearly 200 workers."
Carl’s investigation started when he found out that his predecessor had set up a cronjob to restart Tomcat every three hours. Carl never tracked down one specific reason why the application server needed to be restarted every three hours, but paging through code like this, he knows the problem’s in there somewhere.
Many European nations require their citizens to serve in the military. For those not ready for that Starship Troopers-esque future, most of those nations offer a civilian alternative. In Finland, this is called “siviilipalvelus”.
"Saw this while I was building my pizza on Domino's website. I wanted to add garlic to the pizza," Cole Johnson wrote, "but I guess that they don't have any."
“The users want some changes on the ticket form,” Bucky, the smiling intern said. “I was told I should talk to you.”
When you're designated as your family's official internet support technician, you find that what someone perceives as the biggest web-based WTF often turns out to be something that's relatively easy to dismiss being attributable to poorly designed or misleading UI.
Trouble with Founders (from Ben C.)
A few of my friends (all CS people) were attending a startup mixer hosted at a little airport near our university. At one point, we all got kind of bored of talking with everyone, so we stepped outside to look at the planes. Soon enough, some business people in suits noticed the nerds talking outside so slowly started approaching.
It started when David tried to access a Singleton and got a null-pointer exception. Then he noticed some bugs where the Singleton had inconsistent state. And then he looked at the code…
"I've always wondered if people pay attention to the errors their computers produce," pondered William Walsh, "Empirical evidence would suggest not, though apparently the opposite is true over at The Weather Channel's web site!"
Most of the emails that arrive in The Daily WTF inbox are some kind of a submission. Or a hate mail. But every now and then, some one will request something a bit out of the ordinary: advice.
If you ever hit upon a scenario where you need to mine meaningful text data out of any set of HTML files, you will likely find yourself facing a potentially hairy situation.
The marketing firm managed the web presence of several large banks and needed a Unix admin. Nick had spent the past decade running heavy HP-UX servers in the banking industry. It seemed like a very natural fit, and Nick thought he was going to enjoy the faster pace in a smaller firm.
The firm, as he learned, was broken into two major branches: consulting and everything else. Everything else existed to keep consulting happy, since consulting pulled down the big bucks. On Nick’s first day, his boss Ted introduced him to Larry, one of those consultants. Larry had some very important things to tell everyone who worked with the server team.
When Matthew saw this attempt at a JSON serializer, he had one question: why didn’t you use one of the many libraries we already use in this application?
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And now back to our regularly scheduled program...
I'll be hanging out in New England next week doing all sorts of BuildMaster client things, but I'll also be giving a couple database-related talks at some local SQL Server events. If you're in the area, feel free to stop on by -- both events are free.
Database Horror Stories, Bad Code, and How Not to be a Statistic
If you're a regular reader, you'll recall Rachel's code submission from last week where we saw super fun things like first and last names represented by double variables. Well, if you enjoyed that, you'll probably love today's CodeSOD.
“Hey, is that a COBOL book on your shelf?”
Can you string words together and form a sentence? Can you string statements together and form a class definition? Can you sometimes be funny? Can you do all three at the same time?
The web application David inherited has one main job: fetch articles based on the integer ID passed on the URL. The only trick to the whole thing is that the ID might be encrypted and represented as a hexadecimal number.
It's Labor Day here in the US, so we're taking the day off. So, here, enjoy a classic! Making a Difference was originally published on March 20, 2008.