Remy Porter

Remy Porter lives in Pittsburgh, PA. During his ten years of IT work, he's been a helpdesk monkey, an independent contractor, a technical trainer and most recently a lead developer for an international company.

Recent Articles

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October 2012

Nov 12 »

Quitters Never Win

Lawrence’s interview started with Mark, the new MIS manager. A recruiter had hooked them up. The company was a medium sized organization, with four large locations and a few thousand employees. There was an AS/400 serving as their main back-end, and a small collection of other servers pitched in to provide extra ecommerce applications.

Blame Peter

We’ve all had the moment when we search for an answer to a technical question and our search engine suggests a trip to Er, And when we realize that they expect us to pay to see the answer, our instincts take over- we scrub our way through the page source hoping to see a way around the paywall.
Some code demands a little breathing room. Phil found this block of C#, which makes sure it has plenty of space to do its work.

The Wrong Route

“We’ve invested quite a bit of money in our new network,” the bureaucrat said. His desk was tiny and so cheap that it sagged under the weight of the CRT and tower resting on it. “That’s why it’s probably a more rigorous interview than you’re used to.”


Dan had a business object. It represented a user’s Dashboard, a screen which had a collection of widgets that displayed some user specified data. The application needed to be able to compare these Dashboard objects to tell if two instances were the same, so someone had written a custom Equals method, back in the Cambrian epoch.

Ask the Index

Different tasks call for different conventions. At least, that’s the excuse some people use for switching between 0-based and 1-based array indexes. That still doesn’t explain why Phillip’s co-worker did this.

Server Dump

When he arrived, the first thing Florian checked for was his box of rubber gloves. It was a daily ritual, but most important on the days when he had server room duty. The new hires got quite a laugh out of his odd behavior, but that’s only because they hadn’t been there on… that day.

The GNDN Protocol

The sort of software that’s used for research is the sort of software designed by engineers, not developers. With tight deadlines, corners get cut. This creates software that supports more shell injections, sql injections, and venous injections than useful functions. That’s bad, but all too common. This block that Koen found, on the other hand, is special.

Ask WTF: Salary

Some IT problems are easier to solve than others. And some might be downright impossible, like this letter:


There are a large number of programming problems that involve the use of matrices and linear algebra. And when you have a matrix, there may be times where you need to know its determinant. For calculating the determinant of a 2x2, or a 3x3 matrix, there’s a fairly straightforward formula. On the other hand, if you need a generic solution for a matrix of any size, you have to get a little more complicated.
« Sep 12

October 2012

Nov 12 »