Mark was upset. You didn't have to sit next to him to know it, either. Even though his cubicle was at the far end of the farm, his frequent tirades were always audible to the rest of the office. Mark wasn't the most skilled or the most careful developer on the team, but what he lacked in ability he made up for in volume: a lot of his poorer decisions stood simply because his colleagues wanted to avoid a barrage.

The installer for their main product was Mark's pride and joy, so Jonathan tried to stay as far from the code as possible. Mark had long ago added a timeout to the code that checked for a stuck installation, but it consistently went off too early, complaining about failure when the installation would eventually succeed. When Mark tired of the QA team complaining, Jonathan overheard him bellowing at the team lead.

"The code is fine! If your computers weren't so slow, there'd be plenty of time for the installer to finish before the timeout!

"No! It works on my machine!

"Fine! Be that way! I'll increase the timeout, stop emailing me!"

A few weeks went by, and Jonathan overheard one side of a very similar argument, with an identical result. When it happened for a third time soon afterwards, Jonathan just had to know what Mark was doing that was proving so ineffectual; the QA team's computers weren't that slow. He started scouring the changesets for the installer branch, and found this:

- _BootloaderWCF.WaitForInstaller(_Id, timeOut + 10 * 000);
+ _BootloaderWCF.WaitForInstaller(_Id, timeOut + 60 * 000);

Jonathan was tempted to point out that Mark's attempt to express the number of milliseconds in a second was off by an order of magnitude or two, but, not wanting to expose his eardrums to further damage, sent the code to us instead. We think he deserves a pair of TDWTF earplugs in return, don't you?

[Advertisement] BuildMaster allows you to create a self-service release management platform that allows different teams to manage their applications. Explore how!