Comment On Classic WTF: We Use BobX

Christian’s first day at his new job started out just like many others in the professional IT world. [expand full text]
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Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-27 20:45 • by Callin
One does not simply stop using BobX

Re: I'm Bob

2012-12-27 21:50 • by El Oscuro (unregistered)
398085 in reply to 398062
Mike:
I'm guilty of this. Back in the day I started with a non-C like language. So one of my first projects (more of a learning exercise but still) was making a parser for G++. G++ was just like C++ except you didn't need to end statments with a semi-colon and if I recall correctly you ended an if/for etc with an "end" statement.

if(this == that)
printf("Moo Ha ha")
end

would be converted into C++ and then compiled with VC++ 6.0 I believe it was at the time. Now I'm so used to the semi-colon that I find myself using it when I'm doing vb coding every once and a while.


20 years ago, we got the latest fashionable "next generation" language, FOCUS. It was touted as being "more powerful than C++" even though it was written in C++. It as also a buggy POS before such things became fashionable. One of things I was having an issue with was interfacing with an SQL RDBMS. I had a carefully tuned query which was performing poorly. So when I traced it, I discovered that, instead of sending my query to the RDBMS, it was converting it to its own language and then generating crappy SQL from it.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 05:28 • by Darth Paul (unregistered)
I recall a programmer who wrote his own "operating system" for a power company and rigged it so it wouldn't continue to work without undocumented interactions from himself every few days. This story is probably more common than we fear.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 07:16 • by Not blakeyrat (unregistered)
398100 in reply to 398071
Blakeyrat:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
the beholder:
Hmmm I wonder what Blakeyrat did to grant himself a Personal Dedicated Troll Impersonator™?
I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. I'm also surprised that the impersonator isn't very good at it.


And I suppose you could do it fucking better? Its not fucking hard to fucking pepper your posts with the word fuck you idiot. If you have a problem just fucking be an internet tough guy you fucking wank. Don't forget to include: windows sucks Linux sucks Mac sucks fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck oracle sucks.

So you were actually trying to write like blakeyrat? That's even sadder.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 09:08 • by VeeTwo (unregistered)
398110 in reply to 398073
Jazz:
Don't forget how all of the positions are for "entry-level programmers" with a minimum of "five years of experience."

Translating from HR-eze to English, I take that to mean: "We want experts who are willing to work for nothing."

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 12:40 • by History Teacher (unregistered)
398120 in reply to 398013
Shipshape:
Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.


"Beaming up" is often used as an euphemism of death in some geeky circles, so being welcomed to a company that way might be a bit creepy...

For extra impact, remember to have a red shirt to give as a welcome gift!

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 13:18 • by foxyshadis (unregistered)
398125 in reply to 398067
ObiWayneKenobi:
Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords. That means if you're a Java dev its VERY hard to get a job in a C# shop unless you've also worked as a C# dev, and vice versa.

To spend years on a proprietary language no one but some random nobody company uses is a death sentence; even if you are an accomplished programmer in other languages, you'll be filtered out by HR drones and recruiters (rightly or wrongly) because your recent work experience isn't relevant. Unless you learn some specific domain knowledge you can leverage, you're screwed.

That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.

You don't have to be scrupulously honest in your interactions with companies you're interviewing for. If you think you have the skills to handle what they're hiring your for, even though you didn't use them in your previous job, bluff your way through it. If you actually got too comfortable and let your skills go to pot, well, that was your mistake.

In fact, it's almost always better to not be honest at all with HR and recruiters, rather just keep throwing buzzwords closely related to their job ad around until you can speak to someone technically competent enough to determine what the actual job requirements even are.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 13:28 • by ObiWayneKenobi
398126 in reply to 398125
foxyshadis:
ObiWayneKenobi:
Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords. That means if you're a Java dev its VERY hard to get a job in a C# shop unless you've also worked as a C# dev, and vice versa.

To spend years on a proprietary language no one but some random nobody company uses is a death sentence; even if you are an accomplished programmer in other languages, you'll be filtered out by HR drones and recruiters (rightly or wrongly) because your recent work experience isn't relevant. Unless you learn some specific domain knowledge you can leverage, you're screwed.

That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.

You don't have to be scrupulously honest in your interactions with companies you're interviewing for. If you think you have the skills to handle what they're hiring your for, even though you didn't use them in your previous job, bluff your way through it. If you actually got too comfortable and let your skills go to pot, well, that was your mistake.

In fact, it's almost always better to not be honest at all with HR and recruiters, rather just keep throwing buzzwords closely related to their job ad around until you can speak to someone technically competent enough to determine what the actual job requirements even are.


Yes but at the same time, you have to figure out how to "lie" and say that your job of "maintaining code written in proprietary language BobX" is really "design and develop PHP applications using the Symfony web framework" or whatever. It might be easier if you're actually still doing "PHP" work, like in the OP.

But what if you're not doing any development of any kind? Let's say you were hired as a project coordinator (and that's your job title) but you are instead writing scripts in a proprietary company language, and that's 99% of your job? What then? Lie and claim that you're really coordinating projects, or what?

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 13:32 • by A developer (unregistered)
Maybe BobX wrote the code for the XBox

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-28 14:26 • by The Big Picture Thinker (unregistered)
I hoped there would be XML. I was not disappoint.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-29 06:12 • by Bernhard (unregistered)
strangly enough: if you spin the story just a little bit, you may come to a point where you could realize that BobX is very similar to a modern cutting edge system like flow. even if it might be flawed by the fact that "Bob" is way to smart for his own good (e.g.: a team would have created a more fitting solution).
just think about doctrine and how it has changed the way persistent storage is used...

YES: plain php is faster. and if your grandmother would have used assembler it would feel more like "real programming".

still, for enterprise level applications "BobX" may be the solution and the real WTF is that the story is about how to fuck up a system that is designed to NOT allow messy plain php.

in my opinion, this was a security breach and this cowboy/hacker should have been fired on the spot.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-29 10:47 • by gfsgs (unregistered)
<xbobif condition="amount <= 12" >

it's not even valid XML

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-29 12:34 • by Jake Spurlock (unregistered)
Man, replace PHP with Perl, and that is the CS platform that I work on all day...

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-29 17:17 • by Anon (unregistered)
Goes to show (once again) that when working for a company, politics is more important than technical abilities and/or creativity. I've learned it the "hard way" (somewhat similar to the parent story).

You're a mercenary, a "tool", if you will, and are expected to do *exactly* what you're told; predictability is desired, surprises are not.
You could have vision, you could do things better, more efficient, easier for users, etc, etc, etc. Unless you've got decision power - none of those have any value.

Basically one has two choices : 1) get the f*ck out of there; or 2) play dumb, get the paycheck, while planning for 1)

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-29 18:48 • by Hotline (unregistered)
The solution to this problem as well as so many others in IT is obvious. The correct solution is of course to murder "Bob" and assume his identity and then either cash in his checks or preferably to proceed to destroy his monstrous creation enough to force the company to switch back to some saner IT solutions with you, provided you are marginally competent, leading the way. Anyway, as long as "Bob" is brutally murdered and his corpse defiled according to local customs, justice has been served and the world is a slightly better "bob"-lesser place.

No it really is ok, nobody likes him anyway.

captcha - ingenium, yes common sense really is sometimes.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-30 15:44 • by Cole (5urd) (unregistered)
Reminds me of M$ Bob: completely useless - and when you get around it (at your school), you get a pink slip.

Litteraly, in 1st grade, I Ctrl-Alt-Del'd (I just made a word) out of M$ Bob and my teacher gave me a pink slip - a slip your parents sign that also leaves a mark on your citizenship.

If you don't know what a pink slip is IRL at a IT job, you're not good enough.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-30 21:33 • by pelrun (unregistered)
398153 in reply to 398147
Which is precisely why nobody knows exactly where Bob is. He's either avoiding the hordes of angry programmers wanting his head, or he's *already* been replaced by one of them :)

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 07:04 • by SnarkyBoy (unregistered)
398154 in reply to 398024
Substitute "proprietary ETL tool" for BobX, and "SQL" for PHP, and it sounds disturbingly familiar...

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 09:23 • by urza9814 (unregistered)
398168 in reply to 398070
Two WEEKS? Took around two MONTHS to get all my logins and software installed here....

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 10:52 • by Michael Clark (unregistered)
398175 in reply to 398016
Assuming they could not just restore from backup, you would have crippled the company, lost them the faith and goodwill of their customers, and depending on cash reserves, might well destroy the company outright, putting hundreds out of work. Refactoring is "for your own good" - piecewise incremental changes away from a hated "solution", and painful enough. Your proposal is quite a bit more anti-social.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 13:23 • by ObiWayneKenobi
Refactoring is something that needs to be applied ruthlessly and frequently to code, else it rots and becomes infested.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 14:55 • by wbrianwhite
398187 in reply to 398067
ObiWayneKenobi:
That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.


BobX wouldn't get you in the door for a C# job, no. But we're a BobXII shop, and we hire lots of BobX developers. BobXII is a lot like BobX, but instead of xbobif you do xiibobif.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2012-12-31 14:58 • by wbrianwhite
398188 in reply to 398142
gfsgs:
<xbobif condition="amount <= 12" >

it's not even valid XML


Duh. It's XbobML of course. XbobML is a lot like XML, but quotes actually prevent literals from being interpreted. And it has the word bob in it.

Re: I'm Bob

2013-01-02 07:22 • by George (unregistered)
398227 in reply to 398085
El Oscuro:
I had a carefully tuned query which was performing poorly. So when I traced it, I discovered that, instead of sending my query to the RDBMS, it was converting it to its own language and then generating crappy SQL from it.


So it was LinqToSQL then?

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-02 15:36 • by Spewin Coffee (unregistered)
The style of BobX reminds me a LOT of a scripting language I wrote once upon a time, but I wrote it in C, not PHP.

It also has a ColdFusion feel to the code. So Bob likes CF but implemented it in PHP.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-03 09:11 • by bio_end_io_t (unregistered)
As if PHP wasn't bad enough to begin with, Bob decided to write an interpreter in it? Clearly Bob is both evil and twisted.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-03 11:57 • by Benjamin Smith (unregistered)
398380 in reply to 398016
Sadly, that would also be illegal in most countries.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-03 15:58 • by Why? (unregistered)
This WTF was published back in Aug 2010. Why is this being repeated?

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-06 12:37 • by ObiWayneKenobi
398554 in reply to 398406
Why?:
This WTF was published back in Aug 2010. Why is this being repeated?


You must be new here. It says "Classic WTF" which means it's an older WTF that's reposted for new people. The site does that during the holidays in lieu of a new article.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-07 04:10 • by Corporate_Monkey (unregistered)
TRWTF is that he was able to publish code that violated company development guidelines without anybody else noticing.

Also, WTF is he doing trying to do things differently than the company standards?

And WhyTF didn't he quit earlier?

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-07 07:07 • by Salagir (unregistered)
"This was definitely not the reaction that Christian expected."

You used another language that the one all the company use, and did that so by hacking current code?

And you expect to be rewarded?
Of course bobX sucks, but our hero there acted stupid.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-08 06:56 • by Paul (unregistered)
398666 in reply to 398072
Jazz:
operagost:
Please don't Google "BobX".


I love that the page title at bobx.com is "You are now in the DARK" -- just like the protagonist in this story, I guess.


I love the bit half way down that home page:

"If you landed here looking for some stupid pseudocode programmed by a shameless retard, who called it "BobX",
probably to freeload off my fame, you have come to the wrong place. <rant continues>"

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-08 07:59 • by Christian (unregistered)
It's always nice to see classic ones again. And this is me this happened to. I commented on it back when it was first posted, but funny enough new things came up this time.

It was a trial, working there for 3 days to get the lay of the land. My old job sucked, big so I was just looking for a way out, and this seemed like a good one to go for. Until I met bobx. I had already thought of not making this a career 3 minutes into the code, but I decided to give it a good go, just for the heck of it. I love learning new things, though this was probably one of the most painful experiences I have ever had.

After those days, I told them how it would be much nicer to actually use something more standard, suggesting a framework such as ZendFramework back then. They seemed open to it, but they needed to think it over. I said I would not work on bobx, but for anything else I would be open to bring them into the current year.

This story happened (as always with Alex artistic license added) in Summer of 2010, then was posted in August 2010.

I have never had the misfortune to have to deal with bobx ever again and today develop happily with the symfony2 framework.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-09 04:46 • by Christian (unregistered)
As a couple other pointers:
- The company was the boss and one programmer. I was to be the second. And of course there was Bob, somewhere. The boss knew nothing of programming as far as I could discern.
- I did not finish the assignment using PHP. It was all done to their specs, but I did dig around, finding something along the lines of 500 custom declared functions and 4 classes (3 of which were from open source projects, abandoned in the PHP4 age). The digging was done using PHP, trying to get more info on how this monster worked to find out why something didn't.
- Call it perverse curiosity why I even agreed to stay those 3 days for testing.

Re: Classic WTF: We Use BobX

2013-01-16 11:41 • by André (unregistered)
Bob's whereabouts.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/16/developer_oursources_job_china/
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