Comment On Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

K.G. has been working in Information Technology for twenty-five years. He's built systems in COBOL, lead teams of C++ developers, and designed complex applications in ASP.NET. These days, K.G. finds himself taking it easy and picking up the odd freelance job here and the interesting-sounding contract job there. But despite this wealth of knowledge and experience, there is one individual whose expertise transcends it all: The Medical Specialist. [expand full text]
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Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:08 • by thorin (unregistered)
113195 in reply to 113129
How can true/false be unique enough to be a Primary Key? "lookup" only contains 2 records?

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:09 • by Steamer2k (unregistered)
113196 in reply to 113133
ContractorInLivingHell:
Along with that and the high malprac. insurance rates, managed care B.S., understaffed wards and EDs, ...


I assume you mean ERs? Oh well--given the context of this story, I'll chalk it up as an understandable Freudian slip.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:10 • by (unregistered)
113197 in reply to 113179
Yah, but any government exam will be fifteen years out of date and test for whatever's politically powerful.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:21 • by Steamer2k (unregistered)
113198 in reply to 113179
[quote user="diaphanein"]One of the reasons I believe software developement should be a licensed profession. i.e. You have to pass a government exam before you're allowed to practice in certain areas.[quote]

That's a nice theory--unfortunately it would mean that software would be managed by the same people that run the DMV.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:24 • by snoofle
113199 in reply to 113197
:
Yah, but any government exam will be fifteen years out of date and test for whatever's politically powerful.

Thus creating significant, prolonged and heated congressional debate on such topics as:

Can new code be created, or must it evolve?

Can data objects be morally cloned?

If it is not politically correct to point, then should all langauges containing pointers be banned?

...

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:24 • by Jethris (unregistered)
113200 in reply to 113197
I worked for a civil engineering company. They had spreadsheets that detailed out the materials used in each structure. Then more spreadsheets that listed totals for each material. Needless to say, it was a nightmare waiting to happen. They couldn't keep the data up to date in multiple places.

Enter the DB designer/developer. I understood instantly the relationships they were expressing, and told the engineers that the design would take a day or two, and application another 3-4 weeks.

One particular engineer questioned the ability to keep material quantity current by material and by structure. Easy enough, I tried to explain table design. She went on for 15 minutes about how I could not do it any better than their rudementary spreadsheet system.

1 week later, and I present the first alpha release. It worked (had some bugs), but showed all the functionality that was required. She never said a word the entire presentation.

Captcha: xevious

That's not even a word!

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:28 • by Anon. (unregistered)
Check out these two.

http://www.explosm.net/comics/743/

AND

http://www.explosm.net/comics/695/

and i have nothing else to say.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:46 • by Woody (unregistered)
113205 in reply to 113196
Steamer2k:
ContractorInLivingHell:
Along with that and the high malprac. insurance rates, managed care B.S., understaffed wards and EDs, ...


I assume you mean ERs? Oh well--given the context of this story, I'll chalk it up as an understandable Freudian slip.


Nope, Emergency Department is the "new" term for that. Don't know why, exactly.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:47 • by Derrick Pallas
113207 in reply to 113193
At least, when my stuff fails, nobody dies.


Maybe you've never heard of Therac-25. Or the MIM-101 Patriot. Or Chinook.

When I lectured for the undergraduate Software Engineering class, we spent the first week of class (two lectures) talking about software problems that killed people.

In the corporate world, who knows if your company or code-base will be bought and assimilated? That's when cut-and-paste becomes dangerous. "We wouldn't have purchased this if it didn't work!"

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:49 • by diaphanein (unregistered)
113208 in reply to 113193
nobody:
diaphanein:
One of the reasons I believe software developement should be a licensed profession.


Living in the Boston area, I've heard of WTF (as well as Oh, Sh!t!) from licensed engineers. Holding up concrete ceiling panels (yes, ceiling panels) from bolts GLUED into concrete. It is supposed to work when done properly, but this is asking construction workers to be very careful with lots of bolts. And of course, the test parameters were adjusted so the work done wouldn't have to be re-done at contractor expense.
At least, when my stuff fails, nobody dies.


And by signing off on the design, the engineer is assuming legal responsibility for his/her design. When was the last time you saw a programmer do that?

One of the reasons for being licensed is that by doing so, you acknowledge legal requirements and responsbilities associated with your profession. The above article is regarding medical software. Ever heard of HIPPA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPPA

While *YOUR* software may not cause death if it fails, there is a lot that does. Think about how many things contain computers and software these days. As an example, what about xrays? You've probably never heard about the THERAC-25: http://www.netcomp.monash.edu.au/cpe9001/assets/readings/www_uguelph_ca_~tgallagh_~tgallagh.html

What about the software in your car? Hrmm? What if the software controlling your brakes crashes right when you need them to avoid an accident? People are placing more and more trust in computers and software and unlicensed "professionals".

I'm not suggesting you be required to be licensed in order to write a web service that vends blogs. But there are many, many areas where lives are on the line when software fails.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:57 • by Old and Cynical (unregistered)
It could have been worse. It could have been the doctor's wife that made the software.

My mom used to work in the medical field and the wives were worse than any of the doctors there.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:57 • by PseudoNoise (unregistered)
113210 in reply to 113193
nobody:
...
At least, when my stuff fails, nobody dies.

That's pretty harsh. So I take it none of your stuff has failed so far, since you're writing this. I guess the threat of death is a good way to keep up code quality.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 15:58 • by Anony Moose (unregistered)
Becoming a licensed professional only requires one thing. It's not education. It's not exams. It's not even related to government. All those are just details.

The primary requirement that actually matters is this: some agreement on what constitutes a minimum level of acceptable competency.

I'll take up cat herding before I ever risk getting involved in that WTF of an argument. ;)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:00 • by an ex-ED dev (unregistered)
113212 in reply to 113205
Its not just a room, its an entire department.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:04 • by ogilmor
113213 in reply to 113133
yeah, the funny thing is if this doctor (er, endocrinologist) had let the sw developer do his job he might have made some money. the world is full of specialty software shops.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:08 • by CynicalTyler (unregistered)
113214 in reply to 113161
rmr:
For whatever reason, we see absolutely nothing wrong with arguing over the correct position of curly braces for hours.


You feeble-brained, grub-headed, chair-spinning nasal discharge! It's:

if(condition) {
...
}

not:

if(condition)
{
...
}

And I'll fight anyone who types it otherwise!!!

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:13 • by Rich (unregistered)
113215 in reply to 113208
diaphanein:
Ever heard of HIPPA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPPA


No. Is it anything like HIPAA?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPAA

Rich

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:14 • by James Schend (unregistered)
113216 in reply to 113196
Steamer2k:
ContractorInLivingHell:
Along with that and the high malprac. insurance rates, managed care B.S., understaffed wards and EDs, ...


I assume you mean ERs? Oh well--given the context of this story, I'll chalk it up as an understandable Freudian slip.


I've worked in hospitals. ED "Emergency Department" is the correct term. The ER is just a part of the ED.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:15 • by themagni
113217 in reply to 113193
nobody:
diaphanein:
One of the reasons I believe software developement should be a licensed profession.


At least, when my stuff fails, nobody dies.


Some jurisdictions are adding "Software" to the list of Engineering Designations. For example, the province of BC (Canada) allows for Software Engineers through a CCPE-accredited program. After graduation and four years of increasing software development responsibilities, you can apply to become a Professional Engineer. There are a few details here: (Lots of the links are PDFs)
http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/APEG?sa=Google+Search&q=software

This would make it illegal for anyone in these areas to practice software engineering without having a B.Eng. and being a registered member of the appropriate professional association. This is one of the reasons they don't use the MSCE / NSE / ACBDE designation anymore.

Violations of the APEG act (in BC) can lead to punishments up to $25,000 and a ban on practicing.

I've written code that could cause human death in the event of a failure.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:16 • by Rich (unregistered)
113218 in reply to 113214
CynicalTyler:


And I'll fight anyone who types it otherwise!!!


Whitesmith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_True_Brace_Style#Whitesmiths_style) all the way!!!

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:16 • by themagni
113219 in reply to 113214
CynicalTyler:
rmr:
For whatever reason, we see absolutely nothing wrong with arguing over the correct position of curly braces for hours.


You feeble-brained, grub-headed, chair-spinning nasal discharge! It's:

if(condition) {
...
}

not:

if(condition)
{
...
}

And I'll fight anyone who types it otherwise!!!


You know, not even K&R use K&R. ;)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:17 • by diaphanein (unregistered)
113220 in reply to 113215
Rich:
diaphanein:
Ever heard of HIPPA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPPA


No. Is it anything like HIPAA?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPAA

Rich


Thanks, didn't notice the redirect. ;)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:19 • by doc0tis (unregistered)
113221 in reply to 113188
whocares:
One of the reasons I believe software developement should be a licensed profession. i.e.


I know people with Bachelor/Master in IT who didn't know what a SQL injection is before i told them...


So? While I believe that all web developers should be following the latest in programing security (SQL injection, XSS etc...) if you are developer for a phone company where your input device is a telephone you probably don't need to know alot (if anything) about SQL injection.

Same as there are different types of doctors. See above examples of a Gynocologist and Endocrinologist.

If it was a licensed field people who are "Web Developers" could be required to take semi-annual web security courses where they'd learn the most up to date vulnerabilities and how to stop them. I think it's an interesting idea.

--doc0tis

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:21 • by SomeCoder (unregistered)
113222 in reply to 113209
Old and Cynical:
It could have been worse. It could have been the doctor's wife that made the software.

My mom used to work in the medical field and the wives were worse than any of the doctors there.



I hear that. I'm currently involved in creation some software for a dermatologist. The doctor himself is nice and seems to understand what is and isn't possible and what is going to be in the first release, second, etc.

The wife on the other hand (she's the office manager) seems to think that everything plus the kitchen sink be included in the FIRST release and if it's not, it's not worth using. I'm betting that when we deliver something, she'll tear it to pieces.

I find myself not caring though :)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:31 • by marvin_rabbit
113225 in reply to 113199
snoofle:
:
Yah, but any government exam will be fifteen years out of date and test for whatever's politically powerful.

Thus creating significant, prolonged and heated congressional debate on such topics as:

Can new code be created, or must it evolve?

Can data objects be morally cloned?

If it is not politically correct to point, then should all langauges containing pointers be banned?

Not to mention that we need to have an Object Inheritance Tax!

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:38 • by whocares (unregistered)

So? While I believe that all web developers should be following the latest in programing security (SQL injection, XSS etc...) if you are developer for a phone company where your input device is a telephone you probably don't need to know alot (if anything) about SQL injection.


ACK, but:
- It was a bad example ,-)
- In my case, these people ARE developing our Web App (and have have some 4-5 years of experience in web developing), which used fore some really big companies where data security is in some cases extremly important.
- These are the same people who don't know how to use a version control software / debugger / (insert whatever basic knowledge you like).
- The real wtf are the people hiring those "developers"...

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:47 • by akatherder
I think the entry barriers and training for endocrinology are slightly higher than programming. That's like saying you couldn't figure out how to be a garbageman by watching Roc.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:52 • by its me
113228 in reply to 113174
Chris Davis:
Alex, are you an Al Franken listener? If you're not I'd like to point out that kidding-on-the-square is a phrase Franken has been trying to spread.


Lies is a great book; something both Democrats and Republicans should read.... However Franken didn't invent the expression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidding_on_the_square

-Me

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 16:58 • by KattMan
113230 in reply to 113214
CynicalTyler:
rmr:
For whatever reason, we see absolutely nothing wrong with arguing over the correct position of curly braces for hours.


You feeble-brained, grub-headed, chair-spinning nasal discharge! It's:

if(condition) {
...
}

not:

if(condition)
{
...
}

And I'll fight anyone who types it otherwise!!!


Then fight me, because I always use the second form, if only to keep the conditional check and the block separated.
Personally I don't care in cases like this but in HTML editors it is almost a necessity to put ending tags on their own line.
Who wants to debug something like the following:
<table>
<TR>
<td>Mystuff</td></tr><tr>
<td>More stuff</td></tr></table>

Tell me fast how many rows and cells there are, then think about what happens when the ends are hidden because your editor isn't wide enough.
All I do is translate the same thinking to C and Java.
I like my blocks clean. If someone else writes it differently I won't touch it unless it causes confusion like the above.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:02 • by sf (unregistered)
113231 in reply to 113133
ContractorInLivingHell:
Yes, one of the things that steers people away from medical work is the arrogance of certain people in the profession. So much talent is wasted on "brightest kid in the room" competition and pettiness the likes of which is rarely seen in other lines of work (apart perhaps from the "World of Art"...) Along with that and the high malprac. insurance rates, managed care B.S., understaffed wards and EDs, insane hours and the constant threats of lawsuits, is it any wonder the world of medical care is growing ever-more critically-short of doctors and similar medical practitioners? No surprise at all.

Try working with physicists. It's much the same experience.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:32 • by Duston (unregistered)
113233 in reply to 113161
Is a tab 3 spaces or 4?

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:36 • by rmg66 (unregistered)
113234 in reply to 113233
Duston:
Is a tab 3 spaces or 4?


Four goddammit, Four!

And ALL tabs should be auto replaced with spaces!
And All Code should be written in non-variable width Fonts!

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:40 • by Marcus (unregistered)
113236 in reply to 113207
Derrick Pallas:
When I lectured for the undergraduate Software Engineering class, we spent the first week of class (two lectures) talking about software problems that killed people.


There's a book called Fatal Defect that talks about this.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:48 • by themagni
113237 in reply to 113233
Duston:
Is a tab 3 spaces or 4?


Unless you're using 7 spaces, you're coding like a caveman.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:48 • by _js_ (unregistered)
Sounds like noone remembers http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/It's_CAD-tastic!.aspx from a few weeks back. A regular professional created a great application, far better than any software engineer could have made.

Then a horde of software engineers makes the program "better", result: crap that is 10 times worse than the original.

Computer programming is not a science, it's simple work, like factory work, you make a model, generate basic code, fill in the blanks, sell, repeat.

Someone who knows the field he's working in and is a real scientist will obviously do far better than a factory drone.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:51 • by Its me (unregistered)
The doctor went somewhere else: to us (She was a breat cancer surgeon or something like that, right?). That was 2-3 years ago, and I was working at the company that this doctor turned to. Regretfully I worked on that project. I dont want to say more since that was a painful era of my career and reliving these moments that i worked with her sends shivers down my spine...

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:51 • by rgz (unregistered)
113240 in reply to 113184
Lookup table
Yes
No
File Not Found

lol


Why does that table has five records including a blank field?

captcha: riaa - Oh I see, yes, there are worse things than scrpit kiddie doctors.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:54 • by ElQuberto (unregistered)
113241 in reply to 113220
diaphanein:
Rich:
diaphanein:
Ever heard of HIPPA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPPA


No. Is it anything like HIPAA?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPAA

Rich


Thanks, didn't notice the redirect. ;)


I'm not sure how missing the redirectly would cause you to type it incorrectly twice. Let me guess: you're a "medical software specialist" :)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 17:59 • by cconroy
113242 in reply to 113182
diaphanein:
Patrick:
My mom's a Gynocologist...and I constantly get lectures about things that don't even pertain to me (a guy)...I just cease to listen.


Heh.

"Son, have you been in for your pap smear this year?"
"No, ma. Have you been in your prostate exam?"


At my first job, when I first registered for medical insurance, some data monkey must have mistyped and entered me as female instead of male. I found out when I started getting postcards telling me I was overdue for my pap smear.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:04 • by domukun367 (unregistered)
113249 in reply to 113234
rmg66:

And All Code should be written in non-variable width Fonts!


Now you're starting to scare me... my faith in basic human intelligence can't let me even imagine code written in variable width fonts.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:04 • by domukun367 (unregistered)
113250 in reply to 113234
rmg66:

And All Code should be written in non-variable width Fonts!


Now you're starting to scare me... my faith in basic human intelligence can't let me even imagine code written in variable width fonts.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:05 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
113251 in reply to 113138
Francois:
I don't work with Access, so here goes a "n00b question":
If you declare a boolean as the PK for a table, the DB should limit you to 2 entries, right? Does Access check constraints and FK's at insert time?


You can do a clustered index and get multiple values. I'm not sure if Access' DB engine allows this for PKeys, though.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:12 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
113253 in reply to 113169
Patrick:
My mom's a Gynocologist...and I constantly get lectures about things that don't even pertain to me (a guy)...I just cease to listen.


I'd probably take the opportunity to ask embarrassing questions. Lord knows I do anyway.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:13 • by Panagiotis Papadomitsos (unregistered)
I have only one thing to say: o kosmos den paei kala...

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:17 • by Shan (unregistered)
113256 in reply to 113242
cconroy:
At my first job, when I first registered for medical insurance, some data monkey must have mistyped and entered me as female instead of male. I found out when I started getting postcards telling me I was overdue for my pap smear.


Not exactly related, but I had a similar problem a few years ago, relating to my name and gender. I'd just started a new job and Christmas came around and everyone got their bonus's/gifts. In the office we had about 20-30 guys and two girls, so when the gifts went round there were 3 HUGE gift baskets and 20-30 envelopes containing gift certificates. As my name was Shannon, one of the lackys in accounts (another building) had assumed I was a girl and I'd recieved a rather large hamper complete with wine, chocolate, food, champagne and a gift voucher for a department store, where as all the "men" had recieved a low denomination voucher for a local hardware store. Talk about double standards.

I finally made the decision to correct the accounts department when I started to recive information on Maternity leave, and company sponsered pap smears, and mammogram notices in my in tray.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:23 • by Plonk (unregistered)
113257 in reply to 113155
Mr.<undefined>:
I had a CEO that was just like this. He used to say "programming is just a control+c control+v job". His formation? Publicity.

CAPTCHA: darwin. I hope this kind of people die soon.


Well at least he understood the concept of reuse at it's most primitive level.

I suppose what he was talking about was writing code. Developing software is more than writing code.

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:26 • by EnterUserNameHere
113258 in reply to 113199
snoofle:

Thus creating significant, prolonged and heated congressional debate on such topics as:

Can new code be created, or must it evolve?

Can data objects be morally cloned?

If it is not politically correct to point, then should all langauges containing pointers be banned?

...



VERY nice! I enjoyed that. :)

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:53 • by sjaveed (unregistered)
113259 in reply to 113188
whocares:
I know people with Bachelor/Master in IT who didn't know what a SQL injection is before i told them...


I don't find that odd. They might still have known the technique just not the name. I remember a few years ago when I was being interviewed for a web-related position I was asked what the DOM was. Despite the fact that I'd done extensive Javascript and DHTML development and was completely versed in it, I didn't know that's what it was called. Consider it ignorance but I told them I didn't know and went on to talk about documents, forms etc from a Javascript POV.

Don't judge a book by its cover I guess :)

captcha: dreadlocks

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:58 • by Samah
113260 in reply to 113144
your mom:
it's LED! LED!!!!! "lead" pronounced how you meant it is the name of an element. that's all. sorry for the intrusion. really, i am. it's a sickness...

Actually, either is correct.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=led

Re: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor

2007-01-24 19:58 • by singing pig (unregistered)
113261 in reply to 113135
Ilya:
Don't argue with a doctor.


It wastes your time and annoys the doctor.
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