When you're a developer like Joe, and your clients all have dedicated servers, and they all call at the same time to complain that their servers have gone down, you can't help but start hoping there was an earthquake. Unless the data center housing all that dedicated hardware was wiped off the face of the earth, the bug was going to be in your software. And sure enough, in the midst of the legacy C++ module responsible for processing the day's transactions, Joe found this:
Visual Basic’s error handling is its own special WTF in itself. For those that haven’t had to suffer through it, you can set the error-handling mode with a special On Error statement. For example, On Error Resume Next, is a delightful statement that tells Visual Basic to simply ignore errors, and continue execution. A good programmer will know to check errors with conditional statements.
At his day job, Peter writes code for the manufacturing industry and, in doing so, works a lot with PLCs from GE. As of late, he's been working on an application that processes XML configuration files exported from GE's main programming IDE "Machine Edition" to generate extremely complex diagnostic information that the IDE doesn't provide. You know, things like, "Has that variable that you are using in a calculation ever been initialized?"
Although we're professionals now, we all started out as humble students - wide-eyed and innocent of the ways of proper coding practices in the corporate world. Back then, everything was new, and we had no real way of knowing whether what we were looking at was wizardry or WTF.
Ugh...Address validation. Take some address strings, add to that a city, state, postal code, and country... make sure they are are all look syntatically 'valid' based on some business logic - it's not as easy as we'd hope to be able to handle EVERY possibility. But, no matter WHAT you come up with, I can guarantee that it's guaranteed to be much easier to digest than the block of validation code discovered by Mickey.
Matteo recently interviewed a candidate that was employed elsewhere as an “architect”. His responses to the standard soft-skills questions sounded a bit rehearsed, which made Matteo suspicious, so he started asking some more technical questions, like: “What’s the difference between an interface and an abstract class?”