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Back in the year 2000, Frank slaved away as a peon for fairly large consulting organization. Though his title technically was "Programmer", he did very little actual programming. His job mostly consisted of creating test data scripts, writing technical documentation, and analyzing code to see what the actual programmers might need to change. It wasn't very exciting work, but having experience at that particular company provided an excellent ROR (Return On Resume).
As the months progressed, more projects were being commissioned and resources were being stretched thin. Frank was finally placed on the development team for a project, where he'd finally get the change to do some actual development. It was very exciting.
With all the new work going on, things were pretty chaotic. The kick-off meeting for Frank's project was no exception: programmers from different groups, analysts from different departments, and project managers who, before that day, had never seen each other. The conference room offered standing-room only and, with all the meeting-and-greeting going on, sounded like dollar margarita day at the local Chotchkie's. And then, all of a sudden, there was silence. Some one very important had just walked in.
Everyone made way for this sharply-dressed, perfectly-groomed man as he strode towards a chair just offered to him. Frank, having not really worked in development before, had no idea who this man was and quietly asked his coworker who the man was. The whole room gasped; apparently, Frank didn't ask quietly enough.
"He's the spearhead of our Advanced Technologies department," Frank's coworker whispered in his ear, "they call him The Java Wizard, 'cause he knows **everything** about it and practically invented it!"
Unfortunately, Frank didn't get a chance to learn much from The Java Wizard, as the wizard only graced the project with a few hours of his time. What Frank did learn, however, was how precise the Java Wizard was in all of the code he wrote. And I mean precise. As in, "laser-guided-precise" precise. There was no room for question or ambiguity in any of the code he would write ...
// Get Current Interactive User's Permissions for // CompleteClosingStep, HasSpecificPermission, // and CompleteApprovalStep boolean hasPermissionsRequiredToCompleteSigningStep = currentInteractiveUser.HasSpecificPermission ( SpecificApplicationPermissions.CompleteClosingStep ); boolean hasPermissionsRequiredToInitailizeClosingStep = currentInteractiveUser.HasSpecificPermission ( SpecificApplicationPermissions.InitailizeClosingStep ); boolean hasPermissionsRequiredToCompleteApprovalStep = currentInteractiveUser.HasSpecificPermission ( SpecificApplicationPermissions.CompleteApprovalStep ); // Determine if Current Interactive User is authorized // for the Renegotiation Action, which requires that // the user has CompleteClosingStep, HasSpecificPermission, // and CompleteApprovalStep boolean hasPermissionsRequiredForRenegotiationAction = hasPermissionsRequiredToCompleteSigningStep && hasPermissionsRequiredToInitailizeClosingStep && hasPermissionsRequiredToCompleteApprovalStep;
After the project was over, Frank never saw or worked with the Java Wizard again. In fact, neither did anyone else; rumor had it that the Java Wizard had retired. As time passed, Frank forgot about the wizard and moved on with his career. Five years and a few employers later, he took a job as a PHP programmer with some "minor" Microsoft Access programming duties.
Surprise surprise, "minor" meant "entirely" and "PHP programming" meant "a platform we'd eventually like to switch to." We all know the story; what was unique about this place was their giant Microsoft Access application. Before meeting its programmer for the hand off, Frank had the opportunity to check it out.
It took all of three minutes to see that the Access Application was all over the place. The older modules contained entirely functional code. Then, in the later modules, the author found the joy of VBA classes and started to use them. Then, he found the limitations of VBA classes, and wrote functional wrappers for all his classes. And then he decided to switch back to entirely functional code. It was like the journey of a beginner programmer to an advanced programmer to a lazy programmer.
When it came time for the hand-off meeting, Frank sat in the conference room and waited. He was stunned to see who walked in the room. It was the Java Wizard. The Spearhead of Advanced Technologies. The ultimate master of precision. Frank thought, What is he doing there? Why is no one rushing to give up their seat? Where is his entourage?
The Java Wizard sat down. "Hi, you must be the new guy," said the wizard, "the code is pretty much self-documenting but it needs just a little cleaning up."
That was one of the bigger understatements Frank had heard in his life. Sadly, after spending several months wrestling the application, Frank quit, deleted all the source code he kept, formatted the drive, set it on fire, and buried the ashes so that he'd have nothing to remind him of those tortuous days. As for the Java Wizard, Frank never saw him after that meeting again. Rumor had it that he retired ... again.
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