Avoiding MUMPS & Arcadius

  • ParkinT 2008-03-18 09:02
    Don't you just hate those "know-it-all" bosses? Since I already know everything, people who profess to be experts really annoy me!

    I never liked the MUMPS [either kind]
  • jtl 2008-03-18 09:09
    This is the dawning of the age of Arcadius!

    Age of Arcadius!

    Arcadius!

    Ar-Ca-Di-Us!

    Arcadius!
  • my name is missing 2008-03-18 09:18
    staffing agencies are also known as spamming agencies
  • m 2008-03-18 09:23
    w00t
  • PhillS 2008-03-18 09:25
    <cliche>

    Staffing agencies are The Real WTF.

    </cliche>
  • Benanov 2008-03-18 09:32
    According to the FAQ I found linked to from the Wikipedia article on M(UMPS), M was designed to be interpreted, but most implementations store some intermediate bytecode format for speed.

    There is apparently one compiler out there that's close to equivalent C output.

    --BK
  • Ray 2008-03-18 09:32
    Oh, man. I just accepted a job at a hospital that uses MUMPS :) It's not that bad though. Just one of the core back-end systems uses it and a whole bunch of other projects integrate with it and one other core system.
  • jcoehoorn 2008-03-18 09:34
    I'm guessing the name of the company you interviewed with starts with 'E' and ended with 'pic'. You should have given it another chance- it's really a very nice place to work (I don't work there, but a friend of mine did for a year and a half). They do have a lot of MUMPS work, but if you're good you can move to teams that do other stuff, as well.

    And this can't have been that long ago- they haven't even finished building the Epic 'campus' yet.
  • akatherder 2008-03-18 09:38
    I'm pretty sure my buddy works for that company. He took a job around Madison and they trained him full-time (3 months with pay) to learn MUMPS. He's told me that MUMPS is primitive but data storage and access work well.

    It's his first job out college (MIS not CS) and MUMPS seems to work fine for him.
  • Alan 2008-03-18 09:39
    2 similiar experiences to this. First was an interview in which they kept going on about how great the "XAL" programming language was. So asked the same question - compiled vs interpreted, and the thing they kept on saying was " no, it's a fourth generation language".

    Second was when I was holding interviews, and a polish guy showed up in jeans and a t-shirt. Maybe it is a cultural thing?
  • absurddoctor 2008-03-18 09:44
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.
  • vman 2008-03-18 09:45
    oooh, I know what company that is. Yeah, they used to be in Madison, WI and now they're in Verona, WI.

    Supposedly they *are* a good place to work for.
  • J 2008-03-18 09:46
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript. The staffing agency sent three people who were all terrible in their own way. One was clearly on his first job interview ever and couldn't name a single website that he liked (aside from ours). Another started discussing religion during the interview. The third appeared to be high, dropped the f-bomb a few times, and answered every specific technology question with "yeah sure, I can do that."

    My manager ended up going around the agency and hiring someone off a job board. She's working out great so far.
  • Arcadius 2008-03-18 09:48
    spierdalaj
  • Bob 2008-03-18 09:51
    J:
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript.


    This is the real WTF. Low-level == assembly.
  • Massive Block 2008-03-18 09:53
    absurddoctor:
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.


    I've worked with a company that hires foreign workers and they have an accent, but a masterful control of the native language. It's one thing to be able to write it, but what are you going to do, pass notes back and forth all day? Not being able to speak the native language for a company pretty much guarantees you aren't getting the job for a good reason.
  • dpm 2008-03-18 09:56
    > "Ummmm," the team lead stumbled, looking quite confused.

    To be fair, MUMPS would leave most people confused. I've had to deal with it and was quite irritated by how unnecessarily obfuscated it seemed to be. Perhaps if it was my life's work, I would have a more optimistic point of view about it, but DAMN it is a nasty thing to open up and poke around in.
  • shadowman 2008-03-18 09:57
    Bob:
    J:
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript.


    This is the real WTF. Low-level == assembly.


    I think he meant low as in entry-level/peon/low man on the totem-pole
  • shadowman 2008-03-18 10:00
    I'm digging Wikipedia's entry on MUMPS, which includes an example of "traditional" M coding style, from the Fileman system written for the US Government Veterans' Administration:


    %DTC
    %DTC ; SF/XAK - DATE/TIME OPERATIONS ;1/16/92 11:36 AM
    ;;19.0;VA FileMan;;Jul 14, 1992
    D I 'X1!'X2 S X="" Q
    S X=X1 D H S X1=%H,X=X2,X2=%Y+1 D H S X=X1-%H,%Y=%Y+1&X2
    K %H,X1,X2 Q
    ;
    C S X=X1 Q:'X D H S %H=%H+X2 D YMD S:$P(X1,".",2) X=X_"."_$P(X1,".",2) K X1,X2 Q
    S S %=%#60/100+(%#3600\60)/100+(%\3600)/100 Q
    ;
    H I X<1410000 S %H=0,%Y=-1 Q
    S %Y=$E(X,1,3),%M=$E(X,4,5),%D=$E(X,6,7)
    S %T=$E(X_0,9,10)*60+$E(X_"000",11,12)*60+$E(X_"00000",13,14)
    TOH S %H=%M>2&'(%Y#4)+$P("^31^59^90^120^151^181^212^243^273^304^334","^",%M)+%D
    S %='%M!'%D,%Y=%Y-141,%H=%H+(%Y*365)+(%Y\4)-(%Y>59)+%,%Y=$S(%:-1,1:%H+4#7)
    K %M,%D,% Q
    ;
    DOW D H S Y=%Y K %H,%Y Q
    DW D H S Y=%Y,X=$P("SUN^MON^TUES^WEDNES^THURS^FRI^SATUR","^",Y+1)_"DAY"
    S:Y<0 X="" Q
    7 S %=%H>21608+%H-.1,%Y=%\365.25+141,%=%#365.25\1
    S %D=%+306#(%Y#4=0+365)#153#61#31+1,%M=%-%D\29+1
    S X=%Y_"00"+%M_"00"+%D Q
    ;

    And it goes on like that. Must be fun for maintenance.
  • Matt 2008-03-18 10:00
    I would like to object to the mumps story. I worked, as a software developer, at that mystery company for 2 years. They had some of the finest people I have seen. I have trouble believing any of thier team leaders would say that. Even though I left, I can say they are a fine company.
  • dpm 2008-03-18 10:05
    Matt:
    I would like to object to the mumps story. I worked, as a software developer, at that mystery company for 2 years. They had some of the finest people I have seen. I have trouble believing any of thier team leaders would say that. Even though I left, I can say they are a fine company.

    Well, *I* have trouble believing that any company is good enough to make it worth having to work in MUMPS full-time. The above sample is not an exaggeration, it makes APL look readable.
  • Schnapple 2008-03-18 10:17
    vman:
    oooh, I know what company that is...

    Supposedly they *are* a good place to work for.


    Well the way I interpreted the story is that he didn't turn down the place because of MUMPS, but rather because the interviewer stumbled and made it sound like he wasn't really being hired for a development position and that's what the interviewer wanted. It's like when you're interviewing for a job in Technology X and they tell you in the interview that it's really a job in Technology (X-1) but don't worry, they're upgrading to Technology X "soon". Thanks but no thanks, all things being equal you go with the job that's doing what you want right now.

    So bottom line is yes, it sounds like he passed on an excellent company but given the information he had to work with (having to work with MUMPS and a team lead that said they don't really do that much development) I don't fault him for it.
  • Zor 2008-03-18 10:24
    jcoehoorn:

    And this can't have been that long ago- they haven't even finished building the Epic 'campus' yet.

    I interviewed with them in 2003, and they said they were working on the campus then. They went out of their way to describe it to me: private offices for all developers, a meeting room under a waterfall... They even had a big model to show me. Sounded like they were blowing smoke then, but I needed a job so I didnt care.

    I was pissed when they didnt hire me. Sent my resume in May, got a call a few weeks later, did the written test a month or two after that, had the on-site interview in November. 6 months of being strung along only to be brushed off with a postcard that said "Sorry, but no". I landed a better job closer to home in 2004, so I got over it.

    After seeing them on here a few times, I'm glad I didnt get hired. I would be miserable writing VB6 and MUMPS code all day
  • Wiggam 2008-03-18 10:27
    When you interview there you will interview with numerous people. When they hire you, you are not typically hired to do X. You go through 3+ months of training and then you are given a project (or a choice from a few -- depending on need) to work on. So if he was interviewing as a developer, they would hire him as a developer, but the language being used would be defined by the project he works on. Knowing a few developers who work there, the common thread is that it is a good place to work, pay is good, and benefits are good -- even if the work isn't the most challenging.
  • Staszek 2008-03-18 10:30
    After all... did Arcadius make it to avoid MUMPS?
  • Jiima 2008-03-18 10:30
    Cool, but what importance have the fact that Arcadius was Polish? I can imagine such a "great PHP" idiot in any other nationality. For example, we have some Israelian "Arcadiuses" in our project as subcontractors, problem is that a guy who dodn't know what a wait / notify is (and thus synchronized threads with spin-lock) has job title "Senior Java Engineer", curiously, the same as me...
  • Epic Fail 2008-03-18 10:31
    I did the whole 4 hour test and whatnot; didn't get hired; something for which I'm extremely grateful. If they're such a good company, why do they need a constant supply of new grads?
  • Mate 2008-03-18 10:31
    Come over the sea, from Sicily and from Arcady!
  • RayMarron 2008-03-18 10:35
    shadowman:
    Bob:
    J:
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript.


    This is the real WTF. Low-level == assembly.


    I think he meant low as in entry-level/peon/low man on the totem-pole
    Whoosh!
  • Tei 2008-03-18 10:43
    I can't speak english, but I can have not problem reading it. I may write something that look like english, but my english writing skills are awnfull.

    I can use a spellchecker, to produce perfect spellchecked engrish.
  • Galelasa 2008-03-18 10:52
    On the other side of the interview process, interviewers can be crack pots, too. A few years ago I was interviewing for a internship to complete my diploma and the school sent me to some company in downtown Montreal.

    I met with the CTO/owner and they liked my (very) limited portfolio and set me up at a workstation to test out my newly acquired Java skills. So far, so good.

    He opens a browser to show me something or other, the homepage defaults to MSN.com and the lead story is about Bush and the 911 attacks.

    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)
  • Outlaw Programmer 2008-03-18 10:57
    Galelasa:
    ...I met with the CTO/owner and...


    Now THAT'S the real WTF. If I ever interview at another company where the CTO is also the owner/founder, I know to run for the hills immediately. The last guy had heated arguments with the DBA about changing the database so it's just 1 column filled with XML...and because he was the owner, the DBA pretty much had to do what he said. Good thing he had a bad memory and a short attention span.
  • Paul W. Homer 2008-03-18 11:01
    Is MUMPS really any different from any other not-too-popular or esoteric technology? I remember one interview, where the they were trying to sell me on the concept of maintaining a 'hobby' system in C. They weren't talking about a system that tracks hobbies, or anything like that. It was one that was so badly written, you'd go nuts if you had to fix it all of the time, so it's only a 'part' of your job. Just a little hobby to go along with the rest of the work. Imagine how great that would look on my resume :-)

    Paul.
    http://theprogrammersparadox.blogspot.com
  • vt_mruhlin 2008-03-18 11:02
    J:
    Another started discussing religion during the interview.


    Ha, I think I used to work with that guy. This Indian dude who had lived in America for like 12 years, but still had barely any knowledge of our culture. He used to ask me all sorts of questions about religion in attempts to learn about American culture. The first thing I said was, "if you want to learn about American culture, stop caring about religion. Just watch TV and stupid YouTube videos all day." That was a mistake because the next day he was telling me all about how the Illuminati and the Jews were working together to dominate the media and the moon landing was fake.
  • phrawzty 2008-03-18 11:06
    He opens a browser to show me something or other, the homepage defaults to MSN.com and the lead story is about Bush and the 911 attacks.


    Hah, i know exactly who you're referring to - i worked as a consultant for a company that had him as a client. Every time we'd get a workorder come in for his office, the on-call crew would play rock-paper-scissors to see who had to go. That dude was a crackpot.
  • alexgieg 2008-03-18 11:12
    absurddoctor:
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.

    My case exactly. I read and write English fluently, but I have a hard time with speaking and listening to it. Not because I cannot "construct" or "decode" the sentences in my head in real time, in fact I don't think in my native language (Portuguese) anymore when either writing or reading English anymore. But simply because spoken English is an ENTIRELY different language.

    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system. 60% of the time I'm absolutely sure a certain word is pronounced in such a way, but alas, no, the actual pronounce has no resemblance whatsoever to the way it's written. It's maddening.

    So what happens when I have to speak English is this: first I construct the sentence the way it's written, then I "translate" it to the spoken version (what's usually mediated by a long "uh..."), and only then actually let it out. The same goes in the reverse: listening is a process of hearing a sentence, asking the speaker to slow down, trying to figure out which words were actually spoken, and only then understanding.

    Now, sure, this all evidently means I should take some speaking classes. But, my, things would be so incredible easier if there was a single version of the language, rather than two with similar grammars but different vocabularies...
  • Xsaero00 2008-03-18 11:18
    They should have hired that Polish guy. He would have learned to speak English better and they would have a star developer.
  • Hans 2008-03-18 11:22
    jcoehoorn:
    I'm guessing the name of the company you interviewed with starts with 'E' and ended with 'pic'. You should have given it another chance- it's really a very nice place to work (I don't work there, but a friend of mine did for a year and a half). They do have a lot of MUMPS work, but if you're good you can move to teams that do other stuff, as well.

    And this can't have been that long ago- they haven't even finished building the Epic 'campus' yet.


    Yes, but this is how it works, isn't it? You come in, make *one* incorrect statement or have your shoes tied crossways instead of the corporate standard (straight), and it's over for you.

    Similarly, if the company manages to give the impression that you will be surrounded and managed by imbeciles, people don't want to work there.

    I wouldn't want to work for a company where my team leader is utterly clueless. Not knowing if the language you work in is interpreted or compiled, is more than enough to mark you as such. Why would I willingly subject myself to such pain and horror? There is no shortage of jobs...

  • miles 2008-03-18 11:22
    I would like to know who that team lead was because I would agree with some of the other commenters that the quality of people at the company in question is amazing, they are some of the best developers I have ever worked with. I worked for that company for almost 4 years and then have worked with MSSQL and MySQL for 3 years since then and from a performance standpoint, the DBMS that they have created using Cache (the name of the language now that it is an ANSI standard language) kills SQL on performance and is a lot more flexible than the traditional relational model of databases.
  • kavyboy 2008-03-18 11:26
    shadowman:
    I'm digging Wikipedia's entry on MUMPS, which includes an example of "traditional" M coding style, from the Fileman system written for the US Government Veterans' Administration:
    ...
    And it goes on like that. Must be fun for maintenance.


    I maintain a little MUMPS code, and work with FileMan daily. That sample is actually pretty tame. It can get much worse. I do like the variable called '%' and the routine named '7', though. And naming a routine 'S', which is one of the most common commands, is a nice touch, too. Oh, and all the variables are global scope - sweet!

    I personally find MUMPS to be unmaintainable. I've written some horrendous perl, but MUMPS is always, unavoidable worse. It's the only language where I can look at code I wrote 10 minutes ago and think "WTF does that do?'
  • m 2008-03-18 11:49
    If it's any consolation, you're a lot more coherent than most of the native English speakers I know.
  • brazzy 2008-03-18 11:49
    alexgieg:
    absurddoctor:
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.

    My case exactly. I read and write English fluently, but I have a hard time with speaking and listening to it.

    People who can write a language well but not speak it either have problems with pronounciation (like you) or they're too afraid of making mistakes to even try (often because their language lessons did not train/encourage free speaking). This Arcadius guy doesn't seem to have those problems; he seems to lack basic grammar skills and vocabulary.


    Not because I cannot "construct" or "decode" the sentences in my head in real time, in fact I don't think in my native language (Portuguese) anymore when either writing or reading English anymore. But simply because spoken English is an ENTIRELY different language.

    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system. 60% of the time I'm absolutely sure a certain word is pronounced in such a way, but alas, no, the actual pronounce has no resemblance whatsoever to the way it's written. It's maddening.


    I suspect that there's some deep-seated hunger for language complexity in the human brain. Of the 4 languages I know, each features major WTFs in at least one field, set off by simplicity in the others:
    * Grammar - French and German
    * Script - Japanese
    * Spelling - English
  • wheee 2008-03-18 12:23
    Anyone that writes code like the MUMPS example on the wiki should be shot. I work in MUMPS on a daily basis and I can assure you that no one in their right mind codes like that anymore. Sure, you'll find legacy code from 25 years ago that looks like that, and it's fun to debug... but you can say that about a good number of other venerable programming languages.

    Well written MUMPS is straightforward and easy to work with - like any other non-OO language. Poorly written MUMPS is a horrible nightmare - like any other non-OO language.

    (For the record, the often-mentioned company is a wonderful place to work. But maybe we should switch to Ruby-on-Rails-on-Speed-on-Lightning Bolt-on-Robot Dinosaurs or whatever the hell they're calling the latest and greatest programming framework-of-the-minute these days, so we can attract some of these whiz-bang all-star CS grads! I guess if there's one flaw with my job, it's that it's not EXXXXTREME enough.)
  • Kevin 2008-03-18 12:23
    I spake de guwd englosh for de wtf, I hab job wit you tomorow yes? Gud!!!
  • M L 2008-03-18 12:24
    I think he meant Low-level == junior/entry-level.
  • operagost 2008-03-18 12:27
    Jiima:
    Cool, but what importance have the fact that Arcadius was Polish?

    It's not relevant. However, his poor command of spoken English and (to a lesser extent) attire suggested that he would be ineffective in a corporate environment.
  • Kevin 2008-03-18 12:28
    I'd hire the Irish girl!
    </oblig>
  • Not Team Lead... 2008-03-18 12:30
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...
  • shadowman 2008-03-18 12:43
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...

    He was most likely more put off by, "...we just don't do as much development here as you think we do."
  • TheDev 2008-03-18 12:45
    M L:
    I think he meant Low-level == junior/entry-level.


    Whoosh! again :)

    RayMarron:
    shadowman:
    Bob:
    J:
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript.


    This is the real WTF. Low-level == assembly.


    I think he meant low as in entry-level/peon/low man on the totem-pole
    Whoosh!
  • Truther 2008-03-18 12:46
    Galelasa:
    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)


    While I agree it's dumb to talk about this during an interview, this is pretty much the truth to anyone who doesn't buy into the biases American media.
  • ChiefCrazyTalk 2008-03-18 13:05
    The real WTF (tm) is that they didnt give the Polish fellow a chance. Sure, his English was spotty but he could have been the greatest programmer ever!
  • Some Atheist 2008-03-18 13:06
    Galelasa:
    He opens a browser to show me something or other, the homepage defaults to MSN.com and the lead story is about Bush and the 911 attacks.

    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.


    Shortly after 9/11, USA Today published an editorial stating no Atheists had been killed in the attacks on 9/11. Religious bigotry is a very sad thing. :-(
  • Alex G. 2008-03-18 13:09
    Galelasa:
    On the other side of the interview process, interviewers can be crack pots, too. A few years ago I was interviewing for a internship to complete my diploma and the school sent me to some company in downtown Montreal.


    Was the school actually Herzing College, by any chance?
    I was actually scared of most of the companies where we were sent in Montreal.

    One of them was a company that developped a payment gateway system, a la paypal, but but not really. Their name contains parts of the previously mentionned words.

    Anyways, so the school sets up the interview, i'm given an address via e-mail in downtown Montreal, near the Eidos building. I get in, ride the elevator, and reach the floor written on my paper.

    The floor is empty. Turns out they moved their offices to a different floor, but no mention of which anywhere, as the directory doesn't mention this.

    So I wander aimlessly around, until I run into a guy climbing the stairs, who points me in the right direction.

    They have no reception, just a door that leads to some cubicles. I'm told to wait here while the guy who's supposed to interview me comes in. In the meantime, the lady at the closest cubicle offers me a pen with the company's logo.

    I take it, and politely thank her. Then she asks if I want more. I politely decline. She insists that I take another pen, I could give it to friends. I politely decline again.

    Finally the guy who's set to interview me comes in just as she's about to ask if I want the entire goddamn box of pens or something.

    Then, I sit down at a small desk. Standard interview questions, no small talk. I'm applying for a Junior Network Administrator position.

    The conversation is going on in French for a while, and then suddendly, he bursts into English mode and quickly asks me how's my command of the language. While he did, he had a weird look on his face that looked like HA! CAUGHT YOU THERE! HA!.

    I answered in english and he looked deceived. I'm not sure what he was trying to achieve there.

    Then he starts telling me how I won't have administrative access to servers during the first year... and probably not the second, if I'm hired. I might get to create inboxes on exchange 2003 once in a while though.

    Then he tells me i'll have to move desks around, and reinstall windows on computers.

    Then he asks me how I feel about doing unpaid overtime? He then stresses that nobody leaves until all the work is done here.

    He then proceeds to tell me why I shouldn't really take this job, and then thanks me for me time. And asks me to leave.

    Really not in a subtle way, like "Thank you, we'll call you" or something, just "I think we're done here. You may now leave."

    As I'm leaving the lady near the door gives me another pen.

    I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, or maybe I was a bit too young for them. Or perhaps I had offended the guy in a subtle way? Or maybe I didn't put my technical abilities on display enough. I mean, I had three years of Unix in a mixed environnement experience, I should have something to show for it.

    Turns out they just sucked. One of my friends who was in the same class worked there. He got in five minutes late on his first day because the metro broke down on the orange line.
    He was met with stern, concerned faces and told "We can't allow this to happen ever again. Understood?".

    The work he had to do consisted of reinstalling windows on a bunch of machines, moving them around only to find they'd be re-imaged the next day by the other techie. And his office was a metal beam with a table on an empty floor. With no computer.

    I'm really glad I didn't work there in the end.
  • brazzy 2008-03-18 13:15
    Truther:
    While I agree it's dumb to talk about this during an interview, this is pretty much the truth to anyone who doesn't buy into the biases American media.

    ...and instead buys into easily disproven Muslim propaganda.
  • pscs 2008-03-18 13:15
    Some Atheist:
    Shortly after 9/11, USA Today published an editorial stating no Atheists had been killed in the attacks on 9/11. Religious bigotry is a very sad thing. :-(


    No Grues were killed either, so it was obviously part of their plan to take over the world.
  • Ed 2008-03-18 13:18
    shadowman:
    I'm digging Wikipedia's entry on MUMPS, which includes an example of "traditional" M coding style, from the Fileman system written for the US Government Veterans' Administration:


    %DTC
    %DTC ; SF/XAK - DATE/TIME OPERATIONS ;1/16/92 11:36 AM
    ;;19.0;VA FileMan;;Jul 14, 1992
    D I 'X1!'X2 S X="" Q
    S X=X1 D H S X1=%H,X=X2,X2=%Y+1 D H S X=X1-%H,%Y=%Y+1&X2
    K %H,X1,X2 Q
    ;
    C S X=X1 Q:'X D H S %H=%H+X2 D YMD S:$P(X1,".",2) X=X_"."_$P(X1,".",2) K X1,X2 Q
    S S %=%#60/100+(%#3600\60)/100+(%\3600)/100 Q
    ;
    H I X<1410000 S %H=0,%Y=-1 Q
    S %Y=$E(X,1,3),%M=$E(X,4,5),%D=$E(X,6,7)
    S %T=$E(X_0,9,10)*60+$E(X_"000",11,12)*60+$E(X_"00000",13,14)
    TOH S %H=%M>2&'(%Y#4)+$P("^31^59^90^120^151^181^212^243^273^304^334","^",%M)+%D
    S %='%M!'%D,%Y=%Y-141,%H=%H+(%Y*365)+(%Y\4)-(%Y>59)+%,%Y=$S(%:-1,1:%H+4#7)
    K %M,%D,% Q
    ;
    DOW D H S Y=%Y K %H,%Y Q
    DW D H S Y=%Y,X=$P("SUN^MON^TUES^WEDNES^THURS^FRI^SATUR","^",Y+1)_"DAY"
    S:Y<0 X="" Q
    7 S %=%H>21608+%H-.1,%Y=%\365.25+141,%=%#365.25\1
    S %D=%+306#(%Y#4=0+365)#153#61#31+1,%M=%-%D\29+1
    S X=%Y_"00"+%M_"00"+%D Q
    ;

    And it goes on like that. Must be fun for maintenance.


    I do some Mumps programming, and while yes, there is code like this, most of the code I deal with is much more readable. I have had to work with a lot of spaghetti code though and didn't much like it.
  • Wiggam 2008-03-18 13:20
    Epic Fail:
    I did the whole 4 hour test and whatnot; didn't get hired; something for which I'm extremely grateful. If they're such a good company, why do they need a constant supply of new grads?


    Actually, I think this is why people flame Epic so much... They actually look for very talented coders, but they are not Google or MS, so numerous people who are good apply there and get turned down. Many of these people hold a sort of resentment, and post how glad they are that they are not there because of how awful it must be. Really, it smells much like sour grapes.

    I know a few people who have been hired there and others that did not receive an offer. Even people who are good were turned down -- these are not B.S undergrads, but M.S and Ph.D students with coding backgrounds.

    The reason they hire so much, is because they have rapid growth. They actually have a very high retention rate, and from what I have heard the majority that leave are doing so because they want to pursue/finish a higher level degree. It isn't because of pay, treatment of employees or any such thing.
  • CynicalTyler 2008-03-18 13:23
    Galelasa:
    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)

    I am shocked an appalled by the interviewer's behavior. Everyone knows that Java is an Israel/KGB/NEA plot to conquer the US of A's financial institutions! That's why our banks are still using COBOL!
  • Spectre 2008-03-18 13:25
    Alex G.:
    In the meantime, the lady at the closest cubicle offers me a pen with the company's logo.

    I take it, and politely thank her. Then she asks if I want more.


    At least, now you know where to get free pens.
  • Ed 2008-03-18 13:29
    CynicalTyler:
    Galelasa:
    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)

    I am shocked an appalled by the interviewer's behavior. Everyone knows that Java is an Israel/KGB/NEA plot to conquer the US of A's financial institutions! That's why our banks are still using COBOL!


    Funny you say that, our banks also use MUMPS.
  • KG 2008-03-18 13:30
    I thought Epic was the company that made the Unreal games?
  • SomeCoder 2008-03-18 13:34
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...


    For me personally, I don't want to work with a team lead that isn't technical. In my opinion, that job belongs to a project manager or whoever is one level up from the team lead. The team lead needs to be technical.

    At my last job, I had a team lead that was supposedly technical. He had previously worked for some big companies and was a genius.

    The day that he called PHP "PSP" (and still does to this day) was the day that I realized his true genius. It also doesn't hurt that he spends all day trying to write "SELECT * FROM table". The other team lead for the other group is technical and can write code, no problem.

    Bottom line: I want to work with team leads who are technical. If I'm more intelligent than the team lead, then I should be the team lead (and get his salary).

    On a side note, I remember when the last MUMPS article came through here. We had a lot of MUMPS programmers coming out of the woodwork to say how great it was. Just an observation.
  • Tp 2008-03-18 13:36
    Galelasa:
    On the other side of the interview process, interviewers can be crack pots, too. A few years ago I was interviewing for a internship to complete my diploma and the school sent me to some company in downtown Montreal.

    I met with the CTO/owner and they liked my (very) limited portfolio and set me up at a workstation to test out my newly acquired Java skills. So far, so good.

    He opens a browser to show me something or other, the homepage defaults to MSN.com and the lead story is about Bush and the 911 attacks.

    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)


    Didn't the CTO know that Java was invented by the jews in order to control the Internet, the universe and everything?

  • MariusCC 2008-03-18 13:40
    My bet is that is way easier to write some kind of high level language compiler to Mumps then to maintain such monstruosity.

    (Even perl obfuscated syntax is easier to understand than MUMPS).
  • pierre 2008-03-18 13:54
    It's great that MUMPS programmers don't bother about their language -- that is a sign that everything just works. How much do you need to know and worry in order to develop you Java or .Net software?
  • jmroth 2008-03-18 14:06
    shadowman:
    I'm digging Wikipedia's entry on MUMPS, which includes an example of "traditional" M coding style, from the Fileman system written for the US Government Veterans' Administration:


    Uh yeah and there is also MUMPS2k, actually called M21:
    http://www.m21.uk.com/
    :-O
  • Patrick 2008-03-18 14:06
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...


    A team leader ought to know the answer to that, especially if s/he is conducting a technical interview.
  • sweavo 2008-03-18 14:07
    alexgieg:
    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system. 60% of the time I'm absolutely sure a certain word is pronounced in such a way, but alas, no, the actual pronounce has no resemblance whatsoever to the way it's written. It's maddening.


    It's that way to fool Hitler, you know

  • Lafcadio 2008-03-18 14:12
    You must not actually be from Madison; that company has a very, very poor reputation in the development community here as a "hire 'em cheap and burn 'em out" sweatshop. I know a lot of people who used to work there, and every single one of them hated it.
  • Lafcadio 2008-03-18 14:13
    vman:
    oooh, I know what company that is. Yeah, they used to be in Madison, WI and now they're in Verona, WI.

    Supposedly they *are* a good place to work for.


    Duh, I forgot to actually quote what I was responding to.
  • Anonymous 2008-03-18 14:21
    I live near Madison, WI. I have some friends that work at Epic. They do indeed agree that it is a great place to work, the only complaint is that they really work you hard. 10+ hour days, 6 days a week, are the norm.

    Regarding the Polish guy. Better off to avoid hiring someone if your gut feeling is that they won't work out. I made a couple of hires years ago that I regretted. Our paranoid HR dep't wouldn't let me do anything about these people because they were in a "protected class". (One was a post-op transsexual, the other was over 45. For what it's worth, the transsexual was actually a really good programmer, until she got tired of the job [which happened rather quickly].)
  • Franz Kafka 2008-03-18 14:23
    Jiima:
    Cool, but what importance have the fact that Arcadius was Polish? I can imagine such a "great PHP" idiot in any other nationality. For example, we have some Israelian "Arcadiuses" in our project as subcontractors, problem is that a guy who dodn't know what a wait / notify is (and thus synchronized threads with spin-lock) has job title "Senior Java Engineer", curiously, the same as me...


    It adds flavor. Just saying that the guy couldn't speak english or really communicate is boring; saying that he's a polish dude that dresses like a refugee and talks half in Polish is entertaining.
  • kavyboy 2008-03-18 14:25
    Wow, you other MUMPS guys are lucky. Or I guess I'm just unlucky. The stuff I deal with makes the wiki example look tame. Virtually everything I see is 1-character routine names and variables, all global. Each functional area is spread across dozen of files. Each line has half dozen instructions. Comments do not exist. Indirection is used everywhere, and the variables being dereferenced are never set in the same file.

    If anybody can post some "good" MUMPS code, I would love to see it. I have yet to see anything more maintainable than bad perl.
  • real_aardvark 2008-03-18 14:28
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...
    I'd jump straight past Team Lead and into Willy Waggler at the board level, if I were you.

    Team leads typically have to understand exactly what the team is supposed to do at a technical level. Now, whether or not the team is actually doing that is a different matter. That would be more a matter for rubber-clad dominatrices with whips and too much make-up ... well, I can always dream.

    Let's take a step back from your proposition, shall we?

    Candidate: Is Mumps interpreted, or compiled?
    Team Goat: Gawrsh, I just dunno... It's something to do with development, I think. We don't do that much, round here.
    Candidate: Well, OK. Is Mumps a language, or a disease?
    Team Goat: It's quite common in hospitals. Might be either - I get confused sometimes. Can I check with our suppliers and get back to you?
  • Ben4jammin 2008-03-18 14:30
    Truther:
    Galelasa:
    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)


    While I agree it's dumb to talk about this during an interview, this is pretty much the truth to anyone who doesn't buy into the biases American media.


    I like to talk about different conspiracy theories, too. As long as it is with people that understand the theory part. Between the people in the planes, the people in the buildings, people on the street, people that were exposed to fumes, smoke, etc. I find it truly frightening that anyone would believe that it is even POSSIBLE to know how many Jews (or any other group) died on 9/11.
    And as for biases go, I hope you don't think there is such a thing as an unbiased news source...anywhere. You can easily trade one set of biases for another if it suits you, but if the news is compiled by humans you can be sure there are biases.
  • Shteve 2008-03-18 14:32
    Patrick:
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...


    A team leader ought to know the answer to that, especially if s/he is conducting a technical interview.


    A few years ago I interviewed with the newly-formed mobile division of a Huge Game Company (rhymes with RubySoft) in New York City. Not only was their office a huge, wide-open space with computers sitting on desks made out of planks of wood and sawhorses, but the interview proper was conducted by Ted, from Accounting. I only found this out after a half-dozen technical questions I asked were responded to with "umm, you should really talk to one of our lead programmers about that". When asked if I could, in fact, talk to the lead programmer, I was told he was busy.

    And yet, somehow they're now in the top three.
  • vman 2008-03-18 14:33
    Lafcadio:
    You must not actually be from Madison; that company has a very, very poor reputation in the development community here as a "hire 'em cheap and burn 'em out" sweatshop. I know a lot of people who used to work there, and every single one of them hated it.


    Oh, I live (and work) in Madison. Have a friend that last I heard still worked there (last time I heard was a while ago, but he'd been there for 8 years at that point. He *did* say that a lot of the people that worked there stayed long hours, but that he just chose not to. Didn't seem to affect his bonuses or anything.

    He liked it just fine. I have some other friends that work there, and seem to think it's ok. I dunno. Maybe different word of mouth?
  • Franz Kafka 2008-03-18 14:39
    Ben4jammin:

    I like to talk about different conspiracy theories, too. As long as it is with people that understand the theory part. Between the people in the planes, the people in the buildings, people on the street, people that were exposed to fumes, smoke, etc. I find it truly frightening that anyone would believe that it is even POSSIBLE to know how many Jews (or any other group) died on 9/11.


    Doesn't matter. You just have to say it with authority and people will accept it uncritically. Helps if it aligns with their prejudices.
  • VAemployee 2008-03-18 14:39
    Wacovia uses MUMPS as well. VistA is the system based on MUMPS at the VA. I took my first job out of college doing IT work for the VA. I was really confused when they told me they have a VistA systems manager...because windows vista had just come out. I was surprised when i found it was developed in 1970 or so. It is a monster.
  • Izzy 2008-03-18 14:43
    shadowman:
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...

    He was most likely more put off by, "...we just don't do as much development here as you think we do."

    Team leaders ideally should know more about the programming language than their subordinates. Otherwise how can they give good advice, suggestions and direction to their team? Maybe they don't code, but they manage coders.

    I know that doesn't always happen, but it's a WTF waiting to happen if there's no hierarchical review.
  • Myrmidon 2008-03-18 14:49
    alexgieg:
    absurddoctor:
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.

    My case exactly. I read and write English fluently, but I have a hard time with speaking and listening to it. Not because I cannot "construct" or "decode" the sentences in my head in real time, in fact I don't think in my native language (Portuguese) anymore when either writing or reading English anymore. But simply because spoken English is an ENTIRELY different language.

    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system. 60% of the time I'm absolutely sure a certain word is pronounced in such a way, but alas, no, the actual pronounce has no resemblance whatsoever to the way it's written. It's maddening.


    Well, stop and realize where 'Merkin' English comes from. We 'borrowed' - in other words we stole (usually at gun point) - from half a dozen or more base languages (that we couldn't speak correctly to begin with). As if that wasn't enough, we've then gone on to torture it in various fashions (waterboarding works well) over the decades to ensure that it's neigh impossible for non-native speakers to actually comprehend the pronunciation rules.

    In the words of our leader "Mission Accomplished".


    CAPTCHA 'PLAGA' Plump Ladies Amature Golf Association?
  • Ozymandias 2008-03-18 14:59
    The O'Kane version of mumps is compiled, and this is the major (possibly the only) version of MUMPS undergoing current development. O'Kane is using MUMPS to do DNA searching and analysis, and has written a quasi-compiler for MUMPS. It translates MUMPS into C++ and then compiles the C++ with optimization flags.

    MUMPS is a fun language to do classwork in and play with, but I would hate to use it in a career.
  • Izzy 2008-03-18 15:00
    So the guy is a bigot, and one not afraid to be known as such. Can you ignore that to do the job? Will it interfere with your work? You're not going to change anything, and you don't need to change your beliefs. The only real question here is:

    HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THE PAYCHECK?

    Yeah, we're all whores. Some of us write code.


  • Ozymandias 2008-03-18 15:02
    Given that some versions of MUMPS (typically the older strains) are interpreted, and this history is a massive determinant in the design of the language, but that newer MUMPS is compiled, it's not a real simple question to answer.
  • Jon W 2008-03-18 15:04
    There must be some money in creating a compiler that translates MUMPS to Java or something. Writing parsers just isn't that hard. Maybe a business opportunity...
  • Ozymandias 2008-03-18 15:04
    That example code is out-dated, interpreted MUMPS and nothing like the modern versions of MUMPS where line length and variable length has less of an impact on runtime speed.

    I wrote some very readable MUMPS code that I can still look at 3 years later and understand exactly what it does and how to modify it.
  • Jon W 2008-03-18 15:08
    Izzy:
    Team leaders ideally should know more about the programming language than their subordinates. Otherwise how can they give good advice, suggestions and direction to their team? Maybe they don't code, but they manage coders.


    Technical expertise and management expertise are two very different skills, and very seldom found in the same person. Let the good people leaders do people leadership, and let the good technologists do tech leadership. Insisting on one person doing both is a recipe for organizational WTFery.
  • RR 2008-03-18 15:45
    Anonymous:
    I live near Madison, WI. I have some friends that work at Epic. They do indeed agree that it is a great place to work, the only complaint is that they really work you hard. 10+ hour days, 6 days a week, are the norm.


    Heh, those two statements are pretty much contradict themselves... 60 hour weeks, great place to work.

    Hope those morons aren't working on a salary. Amazing how dumb "smart" people can be.
  • ex epic 2008-03-18 15:49
    I guess I was one of the bright ones that got hired there, and kinda regret that I did.

    I truly believe it is an awful place to work, but it does employ some incredibly bright people. When I worked there one thing was fairly clear, those that had never worked anywhere else loved it and those who had worked elsewhere hated it.

    I was in a similar position as the person in the story, I thought I was being hired for a technical\development position, but it turned out I would spend about 90% of my time doing account management, which I didn't enjoy and was not very good at.

    One of the things I hated most about the place was what was demanded of my time. I remember having to go to a client site in Denver, United flies from Madison to Denver and it's about a 2.5 hour flight. But Epic flies all employees via another airline, they gave employees travel laptops when they were available, but none were available for me that trip. So I had to fly from Madison to Minneapolis, sit around in Minneapolis for 3 hours, then fly from Minneapolis to Denver for a total time of about 9 hours, when I should have been able to do it in 4 or so. Same on the return flight.

    Now when it came to logging my time I had only about 40 hours that week because my 18 hours (10 of which I considered waste) of travel time isn't loggable. In my weekly team meeting to discuss this it was brought up that I hadn't worked enough hours that week (mandatory), when I pointed out that I spent 18 hours travelling I was told that I was supposed to make that time up.

    Rumor has it that Epic was about as sad that I left as I was.
  • Mr Polish Guy There Yonder 2008-03-18 15:58
    Franz Kafka:

    Jiima:

    Cool, but what importance have the fact that Arcadius was Polish? I can imagine such a "great PHP" idiot in any other nationality. For example, we have some Israelian "Arcadiuses" in our project as subcontractors, problem is that a guy who dodn't know what a wait / notify is (and thus synchronized threads with spin-lock) has job title "Senior Java Engineer", curiously, the same as me...


    It adds flavor. Just saying that the guy couldn't speak english or really communicate is boring; saying that he's a polish dude that dresses like a refugee and talks half in Polish is entertaining.



    It's also funny how lately two thirds of nationalities called out are Polish. It's only fair, though, since - truth to be told - there's a lot of Poles that, oddly enough, decide to try and find a job across the border without any knowledge of the language of the land. And the "hey, everybody does that in Poland" excuse is as untrue for the vacuum-assisted, er, personal cleaning as it is for wearing jeans and trying to look bum-esque.
  • Anonymous 2008-03-18 16:01
    Depends. Some people don't mind putting in lots of extra hours if they like the job enough. My friends must like their jobs enough.
  • Alonzo Meatman 2008-03-18 16:05
    I can't believe this one wasn't titled "Avoiding MUMPS like the plague"

    Such an opportunity squandered.
  • Yazeran 2008-03-18 16:07
    kavyboy:

    If anybody can post some "good" MUMPS code, I would love to see it. I have yet to see anything more maintainable than bad perl.


    At least it isn't Black Perl

    Yazeran

    Plan: To go to Mars one day with a hammer.
  • KG 2008-03-18 16:13
    Why do people work more than 40 hours / week? Are there no other jobs available? Or do some people really have a psychotic passion for spending every waking minute of their lives absorbed in their work? I hate work - always have and always will.
  • geek 2008-03-18 16:18
    I've been told they hire so often because their solutions don't scale well. There solutions may be great, but the lack of scalability will limit their growth.
  • RR 2008-03-18 16:34
    Anonymous:
    Depends. Some people don't mind putting in lots of extra hours if they like the job enough. My friends must like their jobs enough.


    Your friends are young and stupid and naive... They WILL look back at this time and think "Man I was stupid to work all those hours"

    Guarenteed.

    "10 hours every Saturday.... and they weren't even PAYING me for those hours... Holy crap I wish someone had slapped some sense into me back then"
  • anon 2008-03-18 16:37
    RR:
    10 hours every Saturday.... and they weren't even PAYING me for those hours... Holy crap I wish someone had slapped some sense into me back then"


    Exactly. No one looks back at their lives and says "Man, I wish I could have worked more Saturdays without pay"
  • anon 2008-03-18 16:50
    KG:
    Why do people work more than 40 hours / week? Are there no other jobs available? Or do some people really have a psychotic passion for spending every waking minute of their lives absorbed in their work? I hate work - always have and always will.


    I actually enjoy my work and I wouldn't take a job that I didn't enjoy unless it was truly necessary. I do interesting work, get paid to learn new subjects, have influence on the project, have freedom in what parts of the project I work on and so on.
  • Henry Miller 2008-03-18 16:54
    KG:
    Why do people work more than 40 hours / week? Are there no other jobs available? Or do some people really have a psychotic passion for spending every waking minute of their lives absorbed in their work? I hate work - always have and always will.


    I will do it once in a while, when something needs to be done. It looks good, and so long as it doesn't happen often it isn't a big deal.

    I'm more willing to work extra hours now that I'm paid by the hour, but strangely they don't want that as much anymore.

    When the downturn hit a few years back I took a construction job to make ends meet - I had to work saturdays just to make my house payment. I didn't like it though.
  • Kevin 2008-03-18 16:54

    imagine you are programming in a special language with only a limited set of operators, how would you code the solution to this problem?


    Umm, pull out a tooth and sit on it until the code-fairy came to sprinkle magical dust in my keyboard that created new special shortcut keys that instantly wrote entire blocks of perfect code in a single keystroke.

    Really... my reply would be wtf kinda question is that?
  • lantastik 2008-03-18 17:29
    SomeCoder:
    Not Team Lead...:
    Why would anyone get upset about a team leader (read: management) not knowing about how their language works? Team leaders don't code; it isn't their job. If a developer didn't know, I could understand the problem. If the team leader didn't know what employee X's job was, I could understand the problem. But that seems like an odd thing to get upset about...


    For me personally, I don't want to work with a team lead that isn't technical. In my opinion, that job belongs to a project manager or whoever is one level up from the team lead. The team lead needs to be technical.

    At my last job, I had a team lead that was supposedly technical. He had previously worked for some big companies and was a genius.

    The day that he called PHP "PSP" (and still does to this day) was the day that I realized his true genius. It also doesn't hurt that he spends all day trying to write "SELECT * FROM table". The other team lead for the other group is technical and can write code, no problem.

    Bottom line: I want to work with team leads who are technical. If I'm more intelligent than the team lead, then I should be the team lead (and get his salary).

    On a side note, I remember when the last MUMPS article came through here. We had a lot of MUMPS programmers coming out of the woodwork to say how great it was. Just an observation.


    My team lead is very technical, but he doesn't really understand what I do. My group is a highly specialized group. Specialized, in that each of us is highly technical, but we are adept at a certain function related to the core business. My lead could give you an overall idea of what most of us do, but definitely couldn't go into any level of detail for all of us. He is one of the better leads I have worked for.

    To your other point, I am pretty sure I make more than him. Team leads aren't always the highest paid in the bunch.
  • S 2008-03-18 17:35
    KG:
    I hate work - always have and always will.


    And this is why you will be a miserable person and a failure in life. This quote either demonstrates how you are not in a field you like, or you have zero work ethic.
  • Schnapple 2008-03-18 17:40
    Kevin:

    imagine you are programming in a special language with only a limited set of operators, how would you code the solution to this problem?


    Umm, pull out a tooth and sit on it until the code-fairy came to sprinkle magical dust in my keyboard that created new special shortcut keys that instantly wrote entire blocks of perfect code in a single keystroke.

    Really... my reply would be wtf kinda question is that?


    Actually when I've had this question posed to me, in written form, they hand you the operators. The first time I saw something like this I was very close to saying "I don't know Assembly" and leaving it at that but then it hit me that this is just a logic puzzle to see if you can, given a limited set of operators, figure out how to perform the given function. For example, they might say that you need to subtract A from B only you're only allowed to use an addition operation.

    And yes, it's more of a "can you program in anything, including a language we just made up" than a "this has something to do with Java" type question
  • Anonymous1 2008-03-18 17:51
    RR:

    Your friends are young and stupid and naive... They WILL look back at this time and think "Man I was stupid to work all those hours"

    Guarenteed.

    "10 hours every Saturday.... and they weren't even PAYING me for those hours... Holy crap I wish someone had slapped some sense into me back then"


    Oh I agree. I used to put in tons of hours when I was a noob. Part of it was because my boss automatically equated lots of hours with doing a good job. That meant a bigger paycheck (and I was rewarded well).

    But now, I've done my time and I don't come in on the weekends unless something's on fire and I'm the only one who can put it out.
  • SomeCoder 2008-03-18 17:56
    Anonymous1:
    RR:

    Your friends are young and stupid and naive... They WILL look back at this time and think "Man I was stupid to work all those hours"

    Guarenteed.

    "10 hours every Saturday.... and they weren't even PAYING me for those hours... Holy crap I wish someone had slapped some sense into me back then"


    Oh I agree. I used to put in tons of hours when I was a noob. Part of it was because my boss automatically equated lots of hours with doing a good job. That meant a bigger paycheck (and I was rewarded well).

    But now, I've done my time and I don't come in on the weekends unless something's on fire and I'm the only one who can put it out.


    Agreed. I don't want a job that requires 60 hour weeks. If I have to put in a couple of 60 hour weeks in a row because we're releasing or something is on fire, fine, I'll do it and I'll be ok with it. If I have to put in 60 hour weeks, 52 weeks a year, I'm off looking for another job.

    I enjoy my work, I really do. But I still don't live to work - I work to live. If I was independently wealthy, I'd probably still program (but it would be specific things that interest me) but I wouldn't work 60 hour weeks.
  • Lafcadio 2008-03-18 17:58
    vman:
    Lafcadio:
    You must not actually be from Madison; that company has a very, very poor reputation in the development community here as a "hire 'em cheap and burn 'em out" sweatshop. I know a lot of people who used to work there, and every single one of them hated it.


    Oh, I live (and work) in Madison. Have a friend that last I heard still worked there (last time I heard was a while ago, but he'd been there for 8 years at that point. He *did* say that a lot of the people that worked there stayed long hours, but that he just chose not to. Didn't seem to affect his bonuses or anything.

    He liked it just fine. I have some other friends that work there, and seem to think it's ok. I dunno. Maybe different word of mouth?


    Probably. I guess all I can say for sure is that this is the first time in seventeen years that I've ever heard that anyone has anything positive to say about working there. Whenever the subject has come up, both at work and with friends (and their friends, and their friends), response has been universally negative.

    Oh well...different things for different people, I suppose.
  • SomeCoder 2008-03-18 18:00
    lantastik:

    My team lead is very technical, but he doesn't really understand what I do. My group is a highly specialized group. Specialized, in that each of us is highly technical, but we are adept at a certain function related to the core business. My lead could give you an overall idea of what most of us do, but definitely couldn't go into any level of detail for all of us. He is one of the better leads I have worked for.

    To your other point, I am pretty sure I make more than him. Team leads aren't always the highest paid in the bunch.


    Well, that's a different situation than I was in. I wouldn't mind being in your situation one bit. Sounds like your team lead is probably pretty well suited to his job. Mine was not. I wondered daily how my team lead managed to dress himself in the morning.

    Anyway, that experience has made me wary of working under someone who doesn't have some technical skills (generally) and I would have done the same thing as the interviewee in the MUMPS article.
  • Polish programmer 2008-03-18 18:03
    Me be sorry for Polish programmer, me be better...
    No, really there are many people who misunderstands therms of understand how to develop an application and how to "do homesites". Im very sorry about that fellow becouse Im Polish programmer too (as for the cliche i thought all PHP programmers looks like you described :-P). Anyway if foreign programmer is so good, ask yourself a question, why didnt he stayed at home? There is always a good pay for a good job.
    The other thing is staffing agencies are total misunderstanding. Last time I went to one of those the interview ended in about 15 minutes. They didnt know anything about the job and couldnt examine my skills as well. I just said pretty much what was in my CV, and got home earlier (Ill promised myself not to do this mistake again).
    Best regards
    Polish programmer
  • Jimbo 2008-03-18 18:23
    I am a developer at Epic, so I believe I can fill everyone in with more accurate information than what has been posted thus far.

    Note that I'm not saying Epic is the perfect place for everyone to work. Each person can make their own choice as to why they would or would not want to work there. I enjoy the job, but I can certainly understand why others may not.

    1. 60 hours per week including Saturdays: This is a very common misconception that is being spread. In fact, we just learned (at a recent Staff Meeting) that the average developer works approximately 44 hours per week. The only times I have been expected to work more hours is close to a deadline, which is usually 3-4 times per year.

    2. Epic's Software doesn't scale: We have installs that range from the single provider clinic to Kaiser Permanente (approx 9 million patients http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Permanente). I think that speaks for itself.

    3. Travel time cannot be logged: This is just wrong. Travel time cannot OVERLAP work time. So, if you work for 1 hour on a development project while traveling a total of 8 hours, you log you time as follows: 1 hour development, 7 hours travel. You cannot log more than 24 hours in a day just because you are doing two things at once.

    4. Reputation of a sweat shop around Madison: From what I have gathered from many people in and around Madison, this is certainly NOT the overall vibe. In fact, just the opposite. Epic seems to be a very coveted place to work.

    5. If Epic is such a great company, why hire so many college grads: We have been growing at a rate of 30%/year for the last 10 years, and college graduates comprise of the largest pool of job seekers. If you do the simple math, this means a lot of college grads are hired.

    6. Turnover is high: Actually, the statistics show that we have one of the lowest turnover rates in our industry. On my team (of 12), the average tenure is about 7 years.

    7. The campus isn't finished: Part 1 of the campus is finished, and 1800 employees are there (almost all with individual offices). Part 2 is currently under construction.

    8. Not challenging: This is completely up to the individual, but I found that after the first few starter projects, the complexity quickly rose to a level that has kept me challenged on a daily basis.
  • Schnapple 2008-03-18 18:43
    SomeCoder:
    Agreed. I don't want a job that requires 60 hour weeks. If I have to put in a couple of 60 hour weeks in a row because we're releasing or something is on fire, fine, I'll do it and I'll be ok with it. If I have to put in 60 hour weeks, 52 weeks a year, I'm off looking for another job.


    A local recruiter called me up and pitched me a gig with a company that sounded fun (that's another thing - every job is pitched to you as a "fun place to work". Every single one) until it came out that they required a 50-hour work week. Thanks but no thanks, all other things being equal, I'll take the job that only requires 40 hours per week.

    But they weren't done yet - you got paid in some sort of sliding scale overtime sort of deal. So like, if your salary was $X that was what you got paid for your typical 40-hour work week. Divide the salary by the number of weeks/hours in a year and that was the amount per-hour you'd be paid for those extra 10 hours a week.

    So... why not just pay me 125% of $X? As in, if the job paid $10,000 a year for a 40-hour week (an unrealistic but simple number) why not just say "oh the job pays $12,500 per year but you have to work 50 hours a week". Why in the hell are you making me do the math on this one? Is it because the 50-hour-a-week thing is such a turnoff for everyone that you're trying to make it sound like I get a bonus for it? Or are you trying to trick me into thinking I'll get paid more than I will?

    I think they were targeting the desperate-to-get-a-job types. That or they were just handed a shitty job to pitch. Like the one local firm I kept getting pitched that had a suit-and-tie policy. Sorry, all other things being equal I'm taking the job that lets me wear something normal to work.
  • Anonymous (so the Eskimos can't get me) 2008-03-18 18:50
    Truther:
    Galelasa:
    The conversation then went something along these lines:

    Him: "Don't you think its interesting that not one Jew was killed in 911?"
    Me: "Uh....What? You don't think any jewish people died on 911?"
    Him: "Not a one! It was all a US/Isreali plot to make Muslims look bad."
    Me: "Um...really?" (as I start looking for an exit)
    Him: "Of course! Don't you know the US does whatever the Jews tell them to!?

    At this point, I managed to excuse myself and fled forever.

    On a side note, I took a job with a BI firm and haven't touched Java since... ;-)


    While I agree it's dumb to talk about this during an interview, this is pretty much the truth to anyone who doesn't buy into the biases American media.


    No eskimos died in 9/11 either, so perhaps they're in on it with the Israelis?
  • joe eskimo 2008-03-18 21:04
    Anonymous (so the Eskimos can't get me):

    No eskimos died in 9/11 either, so perhaps they're in on it with the Israelis?


    Dammit!

    With all this snow and the major misdirection we've been pulling with global warming we almost had our igloos to the border completely unnoticed!

  • Unanimous Cowherd 2008-03-18 22:09
    You have no idea how much fun it is to maintain that code (granted, I'm a VA programmer, but I don't maintain THAT code: That code is not maintainable by mere mortals: the FileMan team (cue Superman fanfare) maintains ^%DTC).

    For everyone's enlightenment, the code you're looking at there deals with generating "FileMan format" date/time values. You see the code. The code is obfuscated by its very nature (single letter keywords, anyone?) Then, you get to remember other tasty little tidbits like there is no such thing as enforced variable scope. That's right, friends. Unless a specific variable is "N"EW'ed (in which case it is in scope until it hits the next "Q"UIT), that variable is visible across the entire process space.

    Then you get to enjoy the fact that the "E"LSE keyword is, by both design and specification, completely borked. Instead of having an "I"F work the same way it does in any other language under the sun, a Mumps "I"F only sets a special system variable. Now, remembering point 1 above, does anyone in the class have any idea what happens if you hit a second "I"F inside the true case of the first "I"F? You, there, in the back.. Yep, you're absolutely right. If the second "I"F evaluates to false, BOTH the true and the false case of the original "I"F get executed.

    The thing that amuses me is the comment about a limited operator set in Mumps. That is the one shortcoming the language DOESN'T have.

    No. I'm not bitter. Nor angry.

    Now, where's my Glenlivet??
  • Anonymous 2008-03-18 22:12
    Jimbo:
    I am a developer at Epic, so I believe I can fill everyone in with more accurate information than what has been posted thus far.

    <snip>

    2. Epic's Software doesn't scale: We have installs that range from the single provider clinic to Kaiser Permanente (approx 9 million patients http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Permanente). I think that speaks for itself.

    <snip>


    Yeah, Kaiser's an example you want to be throwing around:

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9005004

    (Not trying to trash your software, because honestly this is probably a Citrix problem, but find a different example, will ya?)
  • Edward Royce 2008-03-18 22:38
    alexgieg:

    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system.


    Very true.

    I learned English by spending hours repeating what I heard on radio stations, to get the proper pronunciation. I also spent hours reading dictionaries and memorizing words rather than depending on any specific set of rules.

    Frankly that seemed to work better and faster.
  • captain obvious 2008-03-19 00:59
    Bob:
    J:
    We recently had a low-level position open up - XHTML/CSS/MOSS with maybe a little Javascript.


    This is the real WTF. Low-level == assembly.

    shut up... first, enough of this "real wtf" or "trwtf" crap, second, when referring to job positions, it is a management definition of low level so there is nothing wrong
  • filthyPierre 2008-03-19 01:33
    Being the lucky fella that I am, I had mumps twice as a kid. Once when I was about 5 and I don't remember a thing about it. Second time I was 14 and it racked me up for 2 weeks off school in bed, and I missed the big dance and my chance to be with Michelle what's-her-name that I'd invited as my date :-(

    I've never programmed in MUMPS but looking at those examples and people's comments it seems to me that mumps the disease and MUMPS the language are very much the same - a major pain in the nuts.

    :-)
  • ex epic 2008-03-19 02:02
    Jimbo:
    I am a developer at Epic, so I believe I can fill everyone in with more accurate information than what has been posted thus far.

    Note that I'm not saying Epic is the perfect place for everyone to work. Each person can make their own choice as to why they would or would not want to work there. I enjoy the job, but I can certainly understand why others may not.

    3. Travel time cannot be logged: This is just wrong. Travel time cannot OVERLAP work time. So, if you work for 1 hour on a development project while traveling a total of 8 hours, you log you time as follows: 1 hour development, 7 hours travel. You cannot log more than 24 hours in a day just because you are doing two things at once.

    7. The campus isn't finished: Part 1 of the campus is finished, and 1800 employees are there (almost all with individual offices). Part 2 is currently under construction.


    3 - Maybe this has changed, but when I worked there (2003) I was explicitly told travel time was not considered work time and while it could be logged it didn't count toward my 45 hour week. I was supposed to make up the time spent travelling with actual working time.

    7 - I was given a tour of the campus by an employee I have remained friends with. It is very impressive.
  • 28% Genius 2008-03-19 05:35
    shadowman:

    7 S %=%H>21608+%H-.1,%Y=%\365.25+141,%=%#365.25\1
    S %D=%+306#(%Y#4=0+365)#153#61#31+1,%M=%-%D\29+1
    S X=%Y_"00"+%M_"00"+%D Q
    ;
    [/code]
    And it goes on like that. Must be fun for maintenance.


    I like the 365 and a quarter day years. A leap year algorithm is probably too hard in MUMPS.
  • KenW 2008-03-19 09:51
    Ozymandias:
    Given that some versions of MUMPS (typically the older strains) are interpreted, and this history is a massive determinant in the design of the language, but that newer MUMPS is compiled, it's not a real simple question to answer.


    It's a simple question to answer. Since presumably you're only using one version (an "older strain" or a "newer MUMPS"), you only have to know about one version.

    If you're not technical enough to know basic information about something on which you base your livelihood, you're in the wrong line of work.
  • poochner 2008-03-19 09:53
    Just as an aside, if you just don't like wearing a suit, that's one thing. If you're uncomfortable, then try getting one that fits properly. Especially with shirt collars, that can be a problem. Honestly, it did wonders for my comfort during interviews when I went up a collar size, and anything that helps you think about the interview instead of being choked is good.
  • Someone You Know 2008-03-19 10:43
    S:
    KG:
    I hate work - always have and always will.


    And this is why you will be a miserable person and a failure in life. This quote either demonstrates how you are not in a field you like, or you have zero work ethic.


    As a wise man once said, progress isn't made by people waking up early; it's made by lazy people trying to find easier ways to do things. If everyone loved work as much as you do, nothing would ever get faster or easier to use.
  • Physics Phil 2008-03-19 11:43
    Myrmidon:
    alexgieg:
    absurddoctor:
    It is not that uncommon for someone to be able to write in a second language very well, but not be able to speak it well, and vice versa.

    My case exactly. I read and write English fluently, but I have a hard time with speaking and listening to it. Not because I cannot "construct" or "decode" the sentences in my head in real time, in fact I don't think in my native language (Portuguese) anymore when either writing or reading English anymore. But simply because spoken English is an ENTIRELY different language.

    No, seriously. You English speakers have an absolutely horrible, completely unintuitive spelling system. 60% of the time I'm absolutely sure a certain word is pronounced in such a way, but alas, no, the actual pronounce has no resemblance whatsoever to the way it's written. It's maddening.


    Well, stop and realize where 'Merkin' English comes from. We 'borrowed' - in other words we stole (usually at gun point) - from half a dozen or more base languages (that we couldn't speak correctly to begin with).
    <snip>
    Even British English is pretty mixed, with strong influences from Romance, Germanic, and Scandinavian languages, as well as plenty of words from Indian languages, Arabic, and pretty well everywhere else.
  • t-bone 2008-03-19 13:29
    Someone You Know:
    S:
    KG:
    I hate work - always have and always will.


    And this is why you will be a miserable person and a failure in life. This quote either demonstrates how you are not in a field you like, or you have zero work ethic.


    As a wise man once said, progress isn't made by people waking up early; it's made by lazy people trying to find easier ways to do things. If everyone loved work as much as you do, nothing would ever get faster or easier to use.


    """
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love
    US science fiction author (1907 - 1988)

    """
  • Someone You Know 2008-03-19 13:40
    t-bone:
    Someone You Know:
    S:
    KG:
    I hate work - always have and always will.


    And this is why you will be a miserable person and a failure in life. This quote either demonstrates how you are not in a field you like, or you have zero work ethic.


    As a wise man once said, progress isn't made by people waking up early; it's made by lazy people trying to find easier ways to do things. If everyone loved work as much as you do, nothing would ever get faster or easier to use.


    """
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love
    US science fiction author (1907 - 1988)

    """


    Thank you. It is a measure of my own laziness that the book is sitting here on my desk, within arm's reach, and yet I didn't bother flipping through it to find the exact wording.
  • KG 2008-03-19 14:32
    [quote user="t-bone
    """
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love
    US science fiction author (1907 - 1988)

    """
    [/quote]

    Now this is an encouraging quote. Thank you. :)
  • real_aardvark 2008-03-19 19:59
    Unanimous Cowherd:
    You have no idea how much fun it is to maintain that code
    </snip>
    No. I'm not bitter. Nor angry.

    Now, where's my Glenlivet??

    Someone whose sense of taste has truly been wrecked by an appalling job.

    May I recommend Laphroaig, or at the very least, Bunnabhain?

    Glenlivet, yuck. Leave it to the PRC plutocrats. With sparkly lemonade.
  • Unanimous Cowherd 2008-03-19 20:52
    Hmmm.. I may have to do some searching. The stores around here are decidedly light on single malts. Glenmorghanie, Glenlivet, and that's about it.

    I'll make a note, sir. Thanks for the suggestions!
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  • TakeASeatOverThere 2008-03-20 06:38
    That's typical of Polish people finding a job abroad to be sneaky cheating dolts. They think noone will notice their lack of competence just because other Poles can't notice it. I know because I am Polish.
  • Daniel Smedegaard Buus 2009-04-03 08:14
    shadowman:
    I'm digging Wikipedia's entry on MUMPS, which includes an example of "traditional" M coding style, from the Fileman system written for the US Government Veterans' Administration:


    %DTC
    %DTC ; SF/XAK - DATE/TIME OPERATIONS ;1/16/92 11:36 AM
    ;;19.0;VA FileMan;;Jul 14, 1992
    D I 'X1!'X2 S X="" Q
    S X=X1 D H S X1=%H,X=X2,X2=%Y+1 D H S X=X1-%H,%Y=%Y+1&X2
    K %H,X1,X2 Q
    ;
    C S X=X1 Q:'X D H S %H=%H+X2 D YMD S:$P(X1,".",2) X=X_"."_$P(X1,".",2) K X1,X2 Q
    S S %=%#60/100+(%#3600\60)/100+(%\3600)/100 Q
    ;
    H I X<1410000 S %H=0,%Y=-1 Q
    S %Y=$E(X,1,3),%M=$E(X,4,5),%D=$E(X,6,7)
    S %T=$E(X_0,9,10)*60+$E(X_"000",11,12)*60+$E(X_"00000",13,14)
    TOH S %H=%M>2&'(%Y#4)+$P("^31^59^90^120^151^181^212^243^273^304^334","^",%M)+%D
    S %='%M!'%D,%Y=%Y-141,%H=%H+(%Y*365)+(%Y\4)-(%Y>59)+%,%Y=$S(%:-1,1:%H+4#7)
    K %M,%D,% Q
    ;
    DOW D H S Y=%Y K %H,%Y Q
    DW D H S Y=%Y,X=$P("SUN^MON^TUES^WEDNES^THURS^FRI^SATUR","^",Y+1)_"DAY"
    S:Y<0 X="" Q
    7 S %=%H>21608+%H-.1,%Y=%\365.25+141,%=%#365.25\1
    S %D=%+306#(%Y#4=0+365)#153#61#31+1,%M=%-%D\29+1
    S X=%Y_"00"+%M_"00"+%D Q
    ;

    And it goes on like that. Must be fun for maintenance.

    What's the matter? Can't program in encrypted byte code? Pfff! Pussy.
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  • Michael 2010-04-15 18:48
    Yes, please do not take another step into the MUMPS world. It's great to have this world ALL to ourselves. Even though just about EVERY healthcare system uses it and will NEVER convert (hospitals, clinics, & your health insurance information too). Not too mention the government and financial applications are written in M (as we refer to it). The job security is GREAT!

    ps. If you guys get a chance, go to www.intersystems.com. MUMPS on steriods. Intersystems has upgraded M. The call it Cache ObjectScript. It' true Object Oriented Programming and can run alongside legacy M.
  • Kirby L. Wallace 2010-05-02 12:39
    It's like coding in regular expressions.
  • Charles Boyung 2010-10-25 14:22
    Jimbo:

    6. Turnover is high: Actually, the statistics show that we have one of the lowest turnover rates in our industry. On my team (of 12), the average tenure is about 7 years.


    You are forgetting a key point of Epic's management. People that quit that they "don't want to keep anyways" aren't considered turnover for those discussions. And oh, it just so happens that anyone that quits after 2 years or less are automatically considered people they "don't want to keep anyways". My wife worked there for a year and hated it. She saw half her team quit and get replaced with new college grads in that time.
  • Mike 2012-09-26 12:42
    Well it IS called code after all :)
  • Valerie 2013-05-02 22:49
    MUMPs is fun to program in. It ruins you for old fashioned languages like C and Java. I have been programming in MUMPS since 1981.

    Valerie
  • Sconnie 2014-05-16 12:11
    I used to work at the company in Wisconsin that used MUMPS and it was pretty awful for maintenance. Especially given the fact that the phrase "scope" doesn't really exist.
  • Deliberately misunderstanding is fun 2014-09-02 09:27
    Sconnie:
    I used to work at the company in Wisconsin that used MUMPS and it was pretty awful for maintenance.


    What, you mean the toilets didn't flush and the doors were all squeaky?