Comment On Creating a Lead Developer

J.F. had a pretty good idea of what he was getting himself in to. And considering his other options -- remain unemployed, work at his father's glass company, or spend another two years at the university getting another degree -- this was actually his dream opportunity. [expand full text]
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Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:08 • by TJ
Managers + programming = FAILURE

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:11 • by Saladin
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:12 • by James
I'm pretty sure that this could beat all the other entries to date.  Hacks, cracks, and sloppy patch-up jobs I've seen; I've heard many a tale of sales staff that never say no, and sell stuff that doesn't exist yet, but... this simply boggles the mind.  

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:17 • by djork
Wow. I bet The Boss cries himself to sleep at night.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:20 • by accident
98639 in reply to 98635

Saladin:
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?

 

ya i noticed that too.. I was in the middle of reading it (didnt have a chance on friday) when i accidently hit refresh button and then it was gone....

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:20 • by Tann San
98640 in reply to 98638

ner I bet he laughs himself to sleep every night:

 

HA Ha HA ha! Wait till they see what I invented tonight....

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:26 • by Gieron
98641 in reply to 98639

You can find the foxpro article on Google cache. For now anyway.

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:C76UzgEr8EwJ:thedailywtf.com/+the+daily+wtf&hl=sv&gl=se&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:32 • by Anonymous

This is actually several steps up from normal management ...

Normally they just promise stuff, this one actually prototypes and checks it in under version control ...

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:36 • by dande

Clearly not a position that fit the NON-WTF Jobs :) 

 

Alex Papadimoulis:

I think J.F.'s reaction was somewhere between holy-crap-an-actual-programming-job-in-the-post-tech-boom and wait-a-minute-he-didn't-even-ask-a-single-programming-question. But no matter, J.F. couldn't pass up the opportunity and accepted the offer. He was officially a programmer.

This shows that the saying 'If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn't' has some merits.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:37 • by bramster
98646 in reply to 98635

Saladin:
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?

 

It was eaten by a Diebold Voting Machine.  Now there's a WTF! 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:37 • by mouseover
98647 in reply to 98635

Saladin:
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?

A WTF on the WTF? 

On topic: Once learned about a new application I was supposed to develop from scratch after the company owner started promoting it on the company web site. 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:41 • by Daniel

This guy really should be beaten to death with a programming manual... or maybe a managing manual...

Should be beaten up with the "easiest to get" manual...

WAF
 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:45 • by Renan renan_s2

This is like what happens to some programmers I know. Picture this:

 
- Client that doesn't know exactly what he wants (OK, I understand, sometimes it is difficult to make a picture of what you EXACTLY need) 

- Boss that only think about money, doesn't know much about programming and wants everything done "for yesterday".

- Programmers that have to follow the instructions of the boss, or they are fired! Since they can't do a good job so quick, they have to "throw the bomb" (the badly-done program) into the client's hands.
 

Result? Bad software (large bugs, no QA, ugly hacks, etc...).

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:47 • by djork
98650 in reply to 98649
Anonymous:

This is like what happens to some programmers I know. Picture this:

 
- Client that doesn't know exactly what he wants (OK, I understand, sometimes it is difficult to make a picture of what you EXACTLY need) 

- Boss that only think about money, doesn't know much about programming and wants everything done "for yesterday".

- Programmers that have to follow the instructions of the boss, or they are fired! Since they can't do a good job so quick, they have to "throw the bomb" (the badly-done program) into the client's hands.
 

Result? Bad software (large bugs, no QA, ugly hacks, etc...).

 



Result: my job!

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 12:53 • by Renan renan_s2
98651 in reply to 98647
mouseover:

On topic: Once learned about a new application I was supposed to develop from scratch after the company owner started promoting it on the company web site. 

 

This reminds me of this Hackles comic strip:

http://www.hackles.org/cgi-bin/archives.pl?request=195

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:21 • by bauer

Alex Papadimoulis:
The Boss took up residency in a corner of the third floor. He had a shower, bed, dresser, and all of the other living amenities one would need to live in an office building. More strangely, he would "work from home" some days, presumably to save the dreaded commute to his second-floor office.

This one remind me of an interview I had gone on once. It was in this guys house - which was also the "corporate headquarters". There were two other people there, a secratery and the tech support I suppose ( now that I think about it, they did have that help me break from here kind of look). My interview was on me sitting on his couch. As well, while I was waiting for him, I was looking around on his bookshelf, and found about 6 different boxes of business cards for this, ranging from (as I recall) CEO to phsycologist.

 Ahh, memories - at least they are behind me :o)

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:23 • by Cody
98655 in reply to 98635

Saladin:
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?

Perhaps the company saw it and threatened legal action because they didn't want to look too [Captcha]enterprisey[/Captcha]. 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:23 • by pbounaix
as sad as this is, its actually quite common. (well, maybe not the shower part, but then again...)

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:31 • by abx
98659 in reply to 98635

Saladin:
Is it just me, or did Friday's FoxPro WTF vanish from the front page?
Bet Alex lost his code snippets, and now wants to pretend that the new syndication announcement never happened :P

 

Oh say it isn't so!! 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:33 • by Milkshake
98660 in reply to 98645
dande:

Clearly not a position that fit the NON-WTF Jobs :) 

 

Alex Papadimoulis:

I think J.F.'s reaction was somewhere between holy-crap-an-actual-programming-job-in-the-post-tech-boom and wait-a-minute-he-didn't-even-ask-a-single-programming-question. But no matter, J.F. couldn't pass up the opportunity and accepted the offer. He was officially a programmer.

This shows that the saying 'If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn't' has some merits.

 Not quite as many merits as the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:48 • by GoatCheez

I've been at a loss for words for the last couple of weeks' worth of WTFs... I dunno why though... I mean, this is some pretty messed up stuff going on. I guess after frequenting the site for so long you get accustomed to some of the horror stories. This is a huge WTF and the only thing I can think of is eh, yeah, not surprised... It shouldn't be like that. I should be on my toes screaming at the monitor in horror. Oh well...

 I wanna see the quality of the modules that the Boss coded in his hotel room. I bet that code is littered with WTFs.
 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:55 • by Billy Oblivion
98662 in reply to 98648
Anonymous:

This guy really should be beaten to death with a programming manual... or maybe a managing manual...

Should be beaten up with the "easiest to get" manual...

WAF

 

You would do that to a book?

This is precisely what lead pipes were invented for.

And elbow length rubber gloves. And vinyl aprons.  

Goggles or a face shield are probably a good ideal too. Wouldn't want to get any on you.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 13:57 • by kipthegreat
98663 in reply to 98661
GoatCheez:

I've been at a loss for words for the last couple of weeks' worth of WTFs... I dunno why though... I mean, this is some pretty messed up stuff going on. I guess after frequenting the site for so long you get accustomed to some of the horror stories. This is a huge WTF and the only thing I can think of is eh, yeah, not surprised... It shouldn't be like that. I should be on my toes screaming at the monitor in horror. Oh well...

 I wanna see the quality of the modules that the Boss coded in his hotel room. I bet that code is littered with WTFs.

 

I'm with you, I've become desensitized to WTFs.  This is actually the first time I've read this site in about two or three weeks.  Funny site, but nothing entertaining me anymore.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:00 • by CodeRage
98664 in reply to 98661
Please please please tell me what city this was in!

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:01 • by GrandmasterB

JF should be glad it was only the boss.  I once worked at a place that had a whole sales staff that would routinely sell program modules we didnt have in that manner.  They'd go out to the customer, write up the contract complete with 'cost estimate', and then come back and act like heroes.  Of course, they'd flip out in disbelief when we'd tell them the new functionality would take 6 months, not 3-4 days, and that development cost would be far larger than what they were charging the customer, meaning we'd lose money on the deal. 

Though, to be fair, at least the sales people werent coding!  We were lucky they could manage to remember where the on switch was on their laptop.

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:30 • by ptomblin
98668 in reply to 98647
mouseover:

On topic: Once learned about a new application I was supposed to develop from scratch after the company owner started promoting it on the company web site. 

 Same thing happened to me at "Gold".  I took over developing a new pet project of the boss before I knew the program well enough to really do something like that, and one day I was sitting there listening to him talk about it to an existing customer he started telling this customer about a bazillion things that this new project could do, none of which he'd told me about before.

 

Pardon me while I head back to the drawing board.

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:36 • by Ghost Ware Wizard

<run fast> J.F. had the right idea, albeit 2 years and 11.75 mos. after his initial employment.

<the idiots are everywhere....and they keep following me around..../>

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:39 • by NZ'er
98670 in reply to 98664
CodeRage:
Please please please tell me what city this was in!


As the submitter of this I won't say what city but it was in New Zealand if that Helps.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:42 • by Sizer

This is just the extreme version of something that's pretty common in my experience. The Manager who would much rather be a Developer. Development is, after all, much more fun.

At my previous job the VP of Engineering made no secret of the fact that he hated to manage and would much rather be developing, so instead of managing he generally led development projects, and he had a couple major components he was responsible for... the trouble was that besides a big lack of management in the company (some is good!) he wasn't all that great at programming, so I had to code my stuff to work around him doing things like:

      f = open( "filename", "rb" );
     read( f, buffer, 128 );
     close(f);
     [ do something critical with buffer here that will core dump if it's not correct ]
 

After all, what could possibly go wrong? Then when his code exploded he'd always blame my stuff (since my stuff did the real work on the back end) and I'd have to trace it down. By the end my code was ridiculously defensive.

 On the positive side, this was a real learning experience in defensive coding!

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:57 • by Volmarias
Alex Papadimoulis:

The cycle continued almost every month for the next three years: The Boss would head out to a client site, sell a module that didn't exist, develop it in the hotel room at night, install it the next day, and let the customer work with the developers to get it working. And actually, it's probably still continuing to this very day, but J.F. was finally able to make a break after three long years.



No, wait, hold on here a second. Who was actually running the company? Was there any sort of management setup? Was The Boss actually the Owner? Because if I was this guy, and there was a level above The Boss, I'd be screaming and flapping red flags like crazy.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 14:59 • by Ross Presser

This seems to have been a "lead developer" where "lead" rhymes with dead.  As in, "that code went over like a lead balloon; it must have been written by the lead developer."

 CATCHPA: zork
 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:02 • by Michael
98677 in reply to 98647

On topic: Once learned about a new application I was supposed to
develop from scratch after the company owner started promoting it on
the company web site.

 


This wouldn't happen to be a Market Research firm in Florida, would it? 


Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:07 • by shep

Jesus Christ, this is my job.  Seriously.

 

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:08 • by v6h10p6
98682 in reply to 98665

Are you talking about the company from SW FL area? If not I used to work for an Identical Twin of the company.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:14 • by CodeRage
98684 in reply to 98670

Anonymous:
CodeRage:
Please please please tell me what city this was in!


As the submitter of this I won't say what city but it was in New Zealand if that Helps.

Well, let it be known that these kinds of bosses (with the bathroom, shower, etc, in the corner office of a corporate building) also exist in the USA.  And they also do those crazy things at client sites, and have many roles and titles depending on their mood and/or whim.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:16 • by Sean
I used to think people like The Boss were fairy tales.  Then when I met someone like The Boss, I thought he had to be one-of-a-kind.  After reading today's WTF, I think people like The Boss are an epidemic.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:16 • by Jman
98686 in reply to 98663

> I'm with you, I've become desensitized to WTFs.  This is actually the
first time I've read this site in
> about two or three weeks.  Funny
site, but nothing entertaining me anymore.

 

I rarely visit anymore.  Not enough actual code WTFs.  Too many long stories... 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:20 • by NZ'er
98687 in reply to 98674
Volmarias:
Alex Papadimoulis:

The cycle continued almost every month for the next three years: The Boss would head out to a client site, sell a module that didn't exist, develop it in the hotel room at night, install it the next day, and let the customer work with the developers to get it working. And actually, it's probably still continuing to this very day, but J.F. was finally able to make a break after three long years.



No, wait, hold on here a second. Who was actually running the company? Was there any sort of management setup? Was The Boss actually the Owner? Because if I was this guy, and there was a level above The Boss, I'd be screaming and flapping red flags like crazy.

 

Boss, Owner, salesman, ect ect ect.  There was no where to go, but home to stress over what new mess you would find the next day when you started the cycle all over again!!! 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:34 • by JD
98688 in reply to 98687

Anonymous:
Boss, Owner, salesman, ect ect ect.  There was no where to go, but home to stress over what new mess you would find the next day when you started the cycle all over again!!! 

When I find myself in messes like this one, I come to this site in hopes of seeing people in worse messes than I (somehow hoping that the world is worse off, in general, than my little corner of the wordl).  I keep hoping to see something actually "worse" than I've already been part of, but no.  At least I'm not alone :) 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 15:41 • by NZ'er
98689 in reply to 98688
More WTF's from the same company,  The interview was on a Sunday, and I was asked to start on the Monday, when I arrived the next morning and announced that I was the new programmer, no one there had any clue that I was comming.  The boss was on a plane to Australia so couldn't be contacted.  There was no room for an extra person in the programming room so I was set up (eventually after a couple of hours) in the support room away from all other developers, and given some coding to do, no training on the system, and only what help the other VERY busy devs could give me.  All on foxpro a language that I had never even heard of before the previous day at the interview!  Boy was that a stressfull few weeks till I found my feet and managed to get into the dev room where I could at least ask questions and start to learn my way round.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:04 • by Brad

I think it's pretty common to have sales not necessarily prototype or even promise functionality, but to simply say, "we can do that" thinking they can get it in the next release w/o adding any time.

The CEO at a place I worked once said, "layman says it's just a matter of adding a button."  The code monkeys wondered at length how he envisioned software development.  Did he think that adding the appropriate text to the button would make it do the appropriate task?  Did he think there is an infinite number of "buttons" available on the 3rd party market for any imaginable task?  We never found out, but it's fun to imagine... 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:04 • by HitScan
98694 in reply to 98686
Anonymous:

> I'm with you, I've become desensitized to WTFs.  This is actually the
first time I've read this site in
> about two or three weeks.  Funny
site, but nothing entertaining me anymore.

 

I rarely visit anymore.  Not enough actual code WTFs.  Too many long stories... 

I know, it's awful! It's like there's all these words, and somehow they come together in big long lines like sentences and they tell stories... It's like still being in school! Ew!

 OR,

Do you honestly think that a couple lines of shitty FoxPro coding would really get the point across like this story? The thought of having to work for this loser schmuck for years+ should damn near make you brick in your pants. Is "lblwhatever.text = strAlreadyAString.toString().toString()" really that much better?

That said, a hybrid style would be fine. A little code may (may, mind you) add to the story, and if nothing else, remind some of us what FoxPro looks like. More likely though, we'll just see some more anon'd VB.Net or C#, and there's really only so much WTFery to mine there.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:09 • by triso
98696 in reply to 98665
GrandmasterB:

JF should be glad it was only the boss.  I once worked at a place that had a whole sales staff that would routinely sell program modules we didnt have in that manner.  They'd go out to the customer, write up the contract complete with 'cost estimate', and then come back and act like heroes.  Of course, they'd flip out in disbelief when we'd tell them the new functionality would take 6 months, not 3-4 days, and that development cost would be far larger than what they were charging the customer, meaning we'd lose money on the deal. 

I suppose the sales-person still got his commission for the deal.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:30 • by Gsquared

I've had salespeople promise things to clients that, if implemented, would have completely broken the whole system for every other client we have.  I've also had to deal with salespeople promising something to the client that, if implemented, would be illegal.  It's all part of my job as DBA, I guess, to tell them "no".

On the point of "there should be more code WTFs", I guess it depends on the purpose of the site.  If it's meant to be a reverse training environment, i.e., "here's what NOT to do", then, yeah, code WTFs would be more valuable.  If it's meant to be a source of entertainment and a place to vent about bad IT jobs, bosses, code, customers, etc., then stories are a valid part of it.

I see the site as a mix.  Some entertainment (how could anyone possible be that stupid, ROFLMAO!!11one!!).  Some venting (my stupid boss can beat up your stupid boss, or my bad customer isn't as bad as your bad customer but he sure was bad).  Some reverse education (wow!  that looks like something I might have come up with since I'm not that familiar with OOP, good thing these guys pointed out not only how it breaks things, but some alternate solutions that would work much better).

If anyone wants a more "pure" site, just with bad code and counter-samples of good code that would accomplish the job better, there's really nothing stopping anyone from setting up such a site.  Since it's pretty much just a blog and discussion forum, it wouldn't even be hard to set up.  For that matter, Alex would probably link to it if it's set up well.  (Return the favor and give both a better Google rating.)  Would take some work to moderate, pick submissions, etc., but if you want it, I'm sure you can produce it.  (Heck, let me know and I'll send some of my own early code - chock full of 1000% of the USRDA of WTFery in every module.)

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:51 • by Alex Papadimoulis
98701 in reply to 98663
kipthegreat:
GoatCheez:

I've been at a loss for words for the last couple of weeks' worth of WTFs... I dunno why though... I mean, this is some pretty messed up stuff going on. I guess after frequenting the site for so long you get accustomed to some of the horror stories. This is a huge WTF and the only thing I can think of is eh, yeah, not surprised... It shouldn't be like that. I should be on my toes screaming at the monitor in horror. Oh well...

 I wanna see the quality of the modules that the Boss coded in his hotel room. I bet that code is littered with WTFs.

 

I'm with you, I've become desensitized to WTFs.  This is actually the first time I've read this site in about two or three weeks.  Funny site, but nothing entertaining me anymore.

 

New "bad code" posts will be coming very soon in a feature called "Code Snippet of the Day" (Code SOD). Maybe even later this week =-)

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 16:56 • by GoatCheez
98703 in reply to 98701
Alex Papadimoulis:
kipthegreat:
GoatCheez:

I've been at a loss for words for the last couple of weeks' worth of WTFs... I dunno why though... I mean, this is some pretty messed up stuff going on. I guess after frequenting the site for so long you get accustomed to some of the horror stories. This is a huge WTF and the only thing I can think of is eh, yeah, not surprised... It shouldn't be like that. I should be on my toes screaming at the monitor in horror. Oh well...

 I wanna see the quality of the modules that the Boss coded in his hotel room. I bet that code is littered with WTFs.

 

I'm with you, I've become desensitized to WTFs.  This is actually the first time I've read this site in about two or three weeks.  Funny site, but nothing entertaining me anymore.

 

New "bad code" posts will be coming very soon in a feature called "Code Snippet of the Day" (Code SOD). Maybe even later this week =-)

 

Article Sponsor

 

Will there be a seperate submission form?  I've got tons of little snippets of code where you look at the one line and just wonder what in the hell the developer was thinking... I like those.... they're funny ;-P

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 17:12 • by my name is missing
98706 in reply to 98703
I once had a head Sales guy say to me "My job is lying to customers, and your job is making me look good" with a straight face.

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 17:12 • by Hairy Monkey
98707 in reply to 98648
Anonymous:

This guy really should be beaten to death with a programming manual... or maybe a managing manual...

Should be beaten up with the "easiest to get" manual...

WAF



Beaten up manually?

 captcha = truthiness, ain't that the truth

 

Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 18:06 • by Satanicpuppy

This sort of thing was actually pretty common immediately post-bomb, because a whole host of idiots who'd gotten in way late in the curve, still had enough money to push on into 2002-2004.



I worked for one...God, nightmare. I applied for the job, sent in my resume, and got an interview. The guy looks at my resume, and then at me, and says, "So, you know HTML?"



This is what the programming languages section on my resume looked like:



Java, C/C++, Perl, Cobol, VB5-VB6, Php, Lisp, Prolog, Basic, Turbo Pascal, XML, SQL, HTML.



I had years of experience out next to each language, with examples of the work I did in 'em, and I threw XML/SQL/HTML on the end because, what the hell, why not? Pad it up a little bit. Who doesn't know HTML, for example?



I needed the work, at the time, and I got seduced by the fact that the tech guy who interviewed me later knew his stuff. Less than a week after I started working there, I was doing .Net/SQL web apps, and two months after that, when the guy who'd actually hired me tried to get me to do whatever batshiat crazy HTML thing he'd had in mind when he hired me (which was SCOBiz as it happened, just to add icing to the cake of shame), I had so much other stuff to do I could tell him to stuff it.

Company failed pretty spectacularly a few months after I was "let go" for telling the bosses son he was a screw up. The day I left I was supposed to install an inventory control system I'd built from scratch...Even programmed the  bar code readers. Got a call about a week later asking me where the software was, and I told 'em, and they were quiet for a second, then said thanks and hung up. Turns out they were so paranoid about me "sabotaging" their systems that they'd formatted my development server, which pretty much left them completely screwed. Good times. They hit bottom so hard it left a crater, and it took me 18 months after I got fired to get the grin off my face. I couldn't have wished anything worse on them than what they did to themselves.


Re: Creating a Lead Developer

2006-10-30 18:11 • by EnterUserNameHere
98714 in reply to 98682
v6h10p6:

Are you talking about the company from SW FL area? If not I used to work for an Identical Twin of the company.

 That's the second reference to a Florida Co. I'll bet I know who it is...

About 10 years ago I worked with a guy that wrote the nastiest code. Functions that went on for 10-20 pages with every-other line a "Break" or "Exit". Made debugging a PITA. Anyway, he would work all week and never really accomplish anything. Then he'd "take it home to work on it over the weekend" and, come Monday, it would work. We all suspected he was having his wife do the actual work on the weekends.

He eventually left to start his own company in the S. Fla area.

I declined his offer to go with him.

 

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