Persistence is Key and The Nightmare Dream Job

  • dgvid 2008-10-30 11:02
    You are not first, sorry.

    Addendum (2008-10-30 11:10):
    It seems to me that the TV station would have been in far less danger of sexual discrimination lawsuit (or age discrimination, or any other kind of discrimination) if they had not granted the interview. By granting an interview, they implied that her resume suggested she might be qualified for the job.
  • GCU Arbitrary 2008-10-30 11:15
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?
  • wv 2008-10-30 11:15
    I had to interview someone like this before... spent all day at home blah blah... I pointed out that our work relied heavily on use of a PC, what was their experience etc...?

    "a whatty-what BC?" came the response...



    CAPTCHA "uxor" like a suxor but on the ::-4th floor
  • GettinSadda 2008-10-30 11:17
    This is my comment for the second item
  • GettinSadda 2008-10-30 11:18
    This is my comment for the second item
  • GettinSadda 2008-10-30 11:19
    This is my comment for the second item
  • GettinSadda 2008-10-30 11:20
    This is my comment fo{Error:Upload Quota Exceeded}
  • OhDear 2008-10-30 11:22
    I had an few interviews with a company developing a complex product. They said the product was still in design. All was going well until I hit their PhD(Comp Sci) head of programming. He told me that the product was mostly done and was being done in Lotus Notes. I nearly gagged. This would nearly be like programming Quake III in Lotus Notes. In this last interview I bluntly stated that Lotus Notes could not be used to build this product. Not unless it had some hidden assembly language hack that I was unaware of. Interview ended and a year or so later so did the company with 10's of millions in investor money lost.
  • Troy 2008-10-30 11:22
    God forbid I should be stranded for 61 seconds without news of ... something ... related to ... magazines? I didn't even.
  • Anonymous 2008-10-30 11:37
    So that's why there are women in it... they were all hired to avoid sexual discrimination lawsuits! Oh wow, this explains so much!
  • shinobu 2008-10-30 11:41
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?


    Yes, but that goes with my experience. I always had one or another incompetent coworker around me. But most of the time, they couldn't produce any WTFs, because management screwed things up so badly before anybody else could.
  • xtremezone 2008-10-30 11:44
    @GettinSadda: ;D
  • snoofle 2008-10-30 11:48
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?
    Where management is competent, there are few(er) WTF's, and vice versa.
  • Mike D. 2008-10-30 11:52
    Kirk is lucky. They told him all these things before he took the job.
  • Steve 2008-10-30 11:53
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    There was often a whole lot of flailing, handwaving, and downright faking it over the first few weeks (or even months) but the process of learning and the point when all the disparate pieces of information suddenly clicked into place were undeniably exhilarating. There's that wonderful moment when you make the transition from asking a lot of questions to being the person folks go to for their answers that makes it all worth it.

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.
  • GCU Arbitrary 2008-10-30 11:54
    @shinobu & snoofle:

    True, but I thought this site was about IT WTFs; I already know that management are by and large incompetent, greedy bullies - and their shenanigans have long since ceased to make me smile. I want to read about dumb and hilarious things done in IT, by IT peeps - and not by the farkwits that employ us!
  • Tephlon 2008-10-30 11:54
    The second one is easy to explain. They (Management/Marketing) sold software with this feature set to their customers. Now they have to deliver.

    God forbid they would ship something that only sent an update about your subscription when it changed.
  • Ben4jammin 2008-10-30 12:00
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?


    I would respectfully submit that >50% of the WTFs in IT do in fact have their roots in incompetent management. That said, as a network guy I was amazed at the part where the guys didn't think about bandwidth when designing their application specs. Bandwidth is kinda important
  • mauhiz 2008-10-30 12:04
    I'm always amazed by the number of people who think we want to install their useless software on our computer.

    I think that some CEOs think too highly of their product, whereas it just gets sold somehow, and pushing it forwards too much is unwanted persistence.

    But it's no wonder they are misled...

    I once worked for a company which released a browser toolbar for their product updates. Needless to say, the toolbar spyed upon the customer and sent browsed URLs for profiling. Guess what? Almost half of the customers had it installed.

    I believe in a retarded parallel world, inside our very world, in which retarded companies sell retarded product and services to any customer retarded enough to buy it. That's the long tail for you. Long live the internets.
  • jaded contractor 2008-10-30 12:06
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    There was often a whole lot of flailing, handwaving, and downright faking it over the first few weeks (or even months) but the process of learning and the point when all the disparate pieces of information suddenly clicked into place were undeniably exhilarating. There's that wonderful moment when you make the transition from asking a lot of questions to being the person folks go to for their answers that makes it all worth it.

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.


    Yes - I've seen the stuff you leave behind that you produced while learning on the job - sheesh...
  • Dirk Diggler 2008-10-30 12:25
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?
    There's a difference? I thought all WTFs were due to management.
  • yah 2008-10-30 12:26
    Dirk Diggler:
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?
    There's a difference? I thought all WTFs were due to management.

    'incompetent management' is a tautology anyway
  • Tim 2008-10-30 12:29
    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments that try to replicate the WTF? It is stupid, obvious, and stale.
  • Dirk Diggler 2008-10-30 12:31
    jaded contractor:
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    There was often a whole lot of flailing, handwaving, and downright faking it over the first few weeks (or even months) but the process of learning and the point when all the disparate pieces of information suddenly clicked into place were undeniably exhilarating. There's that wonderful moment when you make the transition from asking a lot of questions to being the person folks go to for their answers that makes it all worth it.

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.


    Yes - I've seen the stuff you leave behind that you produced while learning on the job - sheesh...
    Well, it explains Bush and soon to be Obama.
  • GCU Arbitrary 2008-10-30 12:37
    yah:
    'incompetent management' is a tautology anyway

    I used to think that - and to a large extent still do - and then I was lucky enough to work for the one competent manager in the area. Sadly, he recently passed on, but I still cherish the nugget of hope that there is another manager like him lurking around here somewhere.

    Not holding my breath, though...
  • Lynn 2008-10-30 12:38
    "Also, we don't want a sexual discrimination lawsuit."

    Yay for progress!
  • amischiefr 2008-10-30 12:42
    Be careful, you might actually have a BIGGER sexual harassment lawsuit on your hands if you DO hire her (based on how she was dressed "like a sorority girl").
  • Schnapple 2008-10-30 12:42
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience...


    Well two things,

    First, this woman was not only unqualified for the job, she was woefully unqualified. It would be one thing if she had experience in the wrong area (i.e., she's an ASP.NET programmer and it needs someone who does PHP) but she had literally no experience in any area. And when going up against five others with plenty of experience so she was in no way going to get the gig.

    But second, and this supports your point in a way, the way we handle things like interviews and sexual discrimination is such that we try and avoid conflict and confrontation to the extent that we don't say what needs to be said.

    This woman clearly has an eagerness and willing to learn. She likely took herself out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom and now she wants back in. She wasn't insulting, egotistical, or even lying about her skills. She was just unqualified in the presence of other candidates and she didn't know how to dress properly.

    What would have been an awesome ending to the story was if Thomas B. had just said at the end "Hey, I'm going to be honest here. We can't hire you because you don't already have the skills we're looking for and you're up against five other people who do. However, I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own - PHP is free, there's tons of resources on the web for HTML and CSS, and so forth. Go make a website on your own, or make one for a friend's business or something. You'll find out really quick if this is the sort of thing for you or not. And if you're really serious about this you can get a job doing it - someone out there will take a chance on you and from there you're good. You clearly have the ambition, you just need the training. Sorry it didn't work out here."

    But we're so (rightfully) afraid of getting sued in this world that this would probably never happen but damn it would be nice.
  • sibtrag 2008-10-30 13:04
    Schnapple:


    What would have been an awesome ending to the story was if Thomas B. had just said at the end "...I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own ..."



    No, that is not really appropriate for an interview. But, that is why she, like any other rejected applicant who really wanted the job, should contact one of the technical people & ask for a frank appraisal. At that point, such advice can (and should) be given.

    Who knows, the person you hired may not work out and the company may be interviewing 6-12 months later. By then, she could be competent enough to hire.
  • DMala 2008-10-30 13:10
    A former boss once asked me and a few colleagues to help him with a new hire. He sent us a list of resumes and asked us to pick out any that looked interesting. There was one woman in the group. She just had no experience in anything even remotely related to what we did, so we all passed on her. The boss wrote back with a long spiel about how we should bring her in and talk to her because the office was too male dominated and we should try to improve diversity. I *almost* shot back, "Yeah, let's bring her in and see if she's hot." A co-worker saved me (and most likely my job) by beating me to the punch with a more reasonable list of the reasons why this was a bad idea.
  • AJ 2008-10-30 13:10
    When we opened up a position for a system administrator with heavy Unix experience, we got several resumes from office administrators, most of whom claimed to have "an eye for details." I always thought that phrase would include the ability to read the requirements of a job posting, but what do I know?
  • Carter 2008-10-30 13:15
    But she's a... woman. Everyone knows women can't write software! Geez
  • operagost 2008-10-30 13:15
    dgvid:
    You are not first, sorry.

    Addendum (2008-10-30 11:10):
    It seems to me that the TV station would have been in far less danger of sexual discrimination lawsuit (or age discrimination, or any other kind of discrimination) if they had not granted the interview. By granting an interview, they implied that her resume suggested she might be qualified for the job.

    No. Since her sex was apparent on her resume, not calling her in for an interview would have been much more "obvious" discrimination. As an example, the NFL has a rule that a "minority candidate" MUST be interviewed for every open coaching position.
  • Bob 2008-10-30 13:16
    Tim:
    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments that try to replicate the WTF? It is stupid, obvious, and stale.

  • KenW 2008-10-30 13:16
    Tim:
    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments that try to replicate the WTF? It is stupid, obvious, and stale.


    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments made only to whine about something? They are stupid, obvious, and stale. They're also very annoying.
  • pitchingchris 2008-10-30 13:23
    Schnapple:
    Thomas B. had just said at the end "Hey, I'm going to be honest here. We can't hire you because you don't already have the skills we're looking for and you're up against five other people who do. However, I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own - PHP is free, there's tons of resources on the web for HTML and CSS, and so forth. Go make a website on your own, or make one for a friend's business or something. You'll find out really quick if this is the sort of thing for you or not. And if you're really serious about this you can get a job doing it - someone out there will take a chance on you and from there you're good. You clearly have the ambition, you just need the training. Sorry it didn't work out here."


    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.
  • Kermos 2008-10-30 13:23
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    There was often a whole lot of flailing, handwaving, and downright faking it over the first few weeks (or even months) but the process of learning and the point when all the disparate pieces of information suddenly clicked into place were undeniably exhilarating. There's that wonderful moment when you make the transition from asking a lot of questions to being the person folks go to for their answers that makes it all worth it.

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.


    I personally don't think that particularly in the software world "qualified" really exist as it is generally defined. Just because someone has experience with certain languages or APIs doesn't make then qualified. However, usually that's primarily what is being looked at.

    One job I had a few years ago, was I "qualified"? From a API / Language acronym standpoint and experience standpoint definitely not. My resume was the weakest of them all I found out after they hired me and they almost didn't even call me. So then, what did end up qualifying me? Well, this was an automotive tuning company that creates automotive tuning software for OBDII vehicles and I personally live and breathe cars. I probably was the only one with the one major qualification that all others lacked: Lots of automotive experience with the scratches and scars from engine work on my hands to prove it. =)

    In the end, it worked out absolutely wonderful.

    Ultimately what I'm just trying to get to from personal experience is, is that "qualified" means a lot more than just simply matching up a list of acronyms. It doesn't matter how good someone is in a certain language or with a certain API if they don't understand the software they are supposed to develop.

  • T 2008-10-30 13:41
    I must protest a bit that staying at home taking care of a child makes you a bad hire. It is certainly possible to keep your programming skills fresh while taking care of the home. Also, there is nothing saying you can't be a good programmer while looking like a sorority girl. Most programmers don't, but you don't have to look like the typical programmer to be a good one.

    Now Joyce was clearly not qualified, but not for those reasons. She was probably so underqualified that she simply didn't know that website development requires skill and more than a few weeks of on-the-job training. Somebody should have told her that the first time she called so she didn't have to waste her time with more calls and an interview.
  • Marvin The Martian 2008-10-30 14:01
    To all readers:

    I decry the ongoing whining about whiny demands to stop commenting in the vein of the articles.

    Furthermore, taking effect immediately, no more flailing and handwaving and improvising at the job will be allowed. You will be expected to have the skills you claim in your CV, and legal redress will be sought for disruption to the office. The "exhilaration" of this bullshitting aproach as described by our most recent ex-employee is no justification for the grief caused to schedules and colleagues.

    The General
    DICTATED BUT NOT READ.
  • Chi1x0r 2008-10-30 14:04
    You "can't blame a gal for trying"? What I suggest is this gal actually becoming qualified in the field in which she wants to find a job. And that goes for everyone out there trying to switch fields. You can teach yourself how to program. Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old, so many of these folks didn't have the same opportunities as recent grads. Should we discriminate against people with this kind of background? Not if they can do their jobs well.

    But back to this interview candidate: Do your homework, do your due diligence before an interview. Part of this would be knowing that you need to dress like a geek in your geek interview. You can snigger at her fur-lined boots if you wish, but I bet you'd be just as biased against a guy dressed like a lawyer.

    Overall, this story is just sad.

    As a software engineer, I've interviewed a good number of absolutely unqualified idiots before, and some of them were women, but most of them were men (simply because statistically there are more men in software than women). I think the ultimate problem here is setting people up to fail for superficial reasons: managers- don't do this, it makes everyone look bad.

    As a competent female software engineer, I think this whole conversation is stupid. Yes, I want to kick these idiot poser women out of the gender. But as an engineer, I want to kick the idiot posers of any gender out of the interview pool. And the idiot managers as well. What I'm wondering is, why is this story any more interesting than the slew of idiots or jargon-spewing corporate clones who have failed your technical interview before? Is this a novelty just because a woman failed? I quote XKCD on this one: http://xkcd.com/385/
  • Mark 2008-10-30 14:06
    amischiefr:
    Be careful, you might actually have a BIGGER sexual harassment lawsuit on your hands if you DO hire her (based on how she was dressed "like a sorority girl").


    Thank you government intervention and the law of unintended consequences!

    Captcha: nisl - how Snoop Dogg talks, ex. "Fo' nisl ma' disl".
  • SomeCoder 2008-10-30 14:22
    Chi1x0r:
    You "can't blame a gal for trying"? What I suggest is this gal actually becoming qualified in the field in which she wants to find a job. And that goes for everyone out there trying to switch fields. You can teach yourself how to program. Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old, so many of these folks didn't have the same opportunities as recent grads. Should we discriminate against people with this kind of background? Not if they can do their jobs well.

    But back to this interview candidate: Do your homework, do your due diligence before an interview. Part of this would be knowing that you need to dress like a geek in your geek interview. You can snigger at her fur-lined boots if you wish, but I bet you'd be just as biased against a guy dressed like a lawyer.

    Overall, this story is just sad.

    As a software engineer, I've interviewed a good number of absolutely unqualified idiots before, and some of them were women, but most of them were men (simply because statistically there are more men in software than women). I think the ultimate problem here is setting people up to fail for superficial reasons: managers- don't do this, it makes everyone look bad.

    As a competent female software engineer, I think this whole conversation is stupid. Yes, I want to kick these idiot poser women out of the gender. But as an engineer, I want to kick the idiot posers of any gender out of the interview pool. And the idiot managers as well. What I'm wondering is, why is this story any more interesting than the slew of idiots or jargon-spewing corporate clones who have failed your technical interview before? Is this a novelty just because a woman failed? I quote XKCD on this one: http://xkcd.com/385/


    Ok I think a lot of people are missing the point of the story here. The point isn't about the fact that she's a woman and therefore unqualified, or even that she's a stay at home mother and therefore unqualified. The point is that she (and feel free to substitute "he" in here) was insanely unqualified but got called in because of her persistance.

    The last part about "sexual discrimination" specifically applies to her gender but the Real WTF that I got out of the story was that the candidate applied to a job that she obviously wasn't qualified for. Hilarity ensues.
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-30 14:23
    GCU Arbitrary:
    @shinobu & snoofle:

    True, but I thought this site was about IT WTFs; I already know that management are by and large incompetent, greedy bullies - and their shenanigans have long since ceased to make me smile. I want to read about dumb and hilarious things done in IT, by IT peeps - and not by the farkwits that employ us!


    Well, in this case I was being interviewed by IT. They were the ones who hadn't noticed that their bandwidth was less than 10% of their requirements.
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-30 14:25
    Tephlon:
    The second one is easy to explain. They (Management/Marketing) sold software with this feature set to their customers. Now they have to deliver.


    It was an internal application that would be a free service to their customers. You subscribe to a magazine, you get a login.

    God forbid they would ship something that only sent an update about your subscription when it changed.


    Well, that was pretty much my take on it.
  • Code Dependent 2008-10-30 14:27
    Chi1x0r:
    Is this a novelty just because a woman failed? I quote XKCD on this one: http://xkcd.com/385/
    Read more TDWTF. In the meanwhile, until you get the fuller picture: sorry, can't resist.

  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-30 14:33
    Mike D.:
    Kirk is lucky. They told him all these things before he took the job.


    He just wishes they'd told him before asking him to drive 2 hours to an interview.
  • Robert S. Robbins 2008-10-30 14:34
    "white, fur-lined boots matching her white, fur-lined coat, which she wore over a leopard-print blouse"

    This sounds like a very creative outfit and web development requires a lot of creativity. Probably a Mac user.
  • Franz_Kafka 2008-10-30 15:12
    T:
    I must protest a bit that staying at home taking care of a child makes you a bad hire. It is certainly possible to keep your programming skills fresh while taking care of the home. Also, there is nothing saying you can't be a good programmer while looking like a sorority girl. Most programmers don't, but you don't have to look like the typical programmer to be a good one.

    Now Joyce was clearly not qualified, but not for those reasons. She was probably so underqualified that she simply didn't know that website development requires skill and more than a few weeks of on-the-job training. Somebody should have told her that the first time she called so she didn't have to waste her time with more calls and an interview.


    What programming skills? she was a stay at home mother with no background in programming, and she didn't spend any of her 7-8 hours/day learning those skills.

    Sure, you can be a good programmer and look like a sorostitute, but then you'd be able to list some sort of experience in the field, wouldn't you?
  • Mark 2008-10-30 15:12
    Robert S. Robbins:
    "white, fur-lined boots matching her white, fur-lined coat, which she wore over a leopard-print blouse"

    This sounds like a very creative outfit and web development requires a lot of creativity. Probably a Mac user.


    Probably a whore.
  • David W 2008-10-30 15:14
    1) The software is unlikely to globally synchronise all its clients (seeing how extremely difficult this is to accomplish), sending updates at exactly minute-intervals. So it's more likely to be spread out, i.e. 0.28m/sec.

    2) How did he come up with his message size solely from the interview info? Seems he thinks the update message would be about 17 bytes. Which is 23 bytes smaller than a minimal IP+TCP header.

  • Schnapple 2008-10-30 15:25
    pitchingchris:
    Schnapple:
    Thomas B. had just said at the end "Hey, I'm going to be honest here. We can't hire you because you don't already have the skills we're looking for and you're up against five other people who do. However, I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own - PHP is free, there's tons of resources on the web for HTML and CSS, and so forth. Go make a website on your own, or make one for a friend's business or something. You'll find out really quick if this is the sort of thing for you or not. And if you're really serious about this you can get a job doing it - someone out there will take a chance on you and from there you're good. You clearly have the ambition, you just need the training. Sorry it didn't work out here."


    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.


    Well obviously being self taught is usually less desirable than someone with guidance and education, but this person sounded like she might actually have what it takes to learn this sort of thing, especially for such a low-requirement position.

    And yeah there's a good chance that this person would probably go "oh fuck this stuff is hard nevermind" and move on. But she didn't seem to me to be one of those people to scam their way through jobs they're not cut out for.
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-30 15:31
    David W:
    1) The software is unlikely to globally synchronise all its clients (seeing how extremely difficult this is to accomplish), sending updates at exactly minute-intervals. So it's more likely to be spread out, i.e. 0.28m/sec.


    Correct. I assumed 1,000,000 messages averaged over a minute (~17K messages per second).

    2) How did he come up with his message size solely from the interview info? Seems he thinks the update message would be about 17 bytes. Which is 23 bytes smaller than a minimal IP+TCP header.


    Assuming a 1KB payload, 1,000,000*1024/60 gives you about 17 MB/s (I'm pretty sure I said MB and not Mb in the submission, but maybe I mistyped that).
  • Not Wtf 2008-10-30 15:55
    So what? These stories are stupid, and the comments are even worse.
  • anon 2008-10-30 16:18
    As an aside - the original comment (from the gal who hand flailed and faked) was hilarious. I'm assuming TopCod3r - right? Very nicely done - people took it seriously and responded, despite the subtle innuendo. Very nice
  • Beldar the Phantom Replier 2008-10-30 16:30
    Now, if only there were a Cod3r around here that could inject some humor into this thread, I might not think that my time reading the article and comments weren't wasted.
  • some guy 2008-10-30 16:35
    Franz_Kafka:

    Sure, you can be a good programmer and look like a sorostitute, but then you'd be able to list some sort of experience in the field, wouldn't you?


    You know, I'm getting real tired of that word. Surely as an "intelligent" person, you don't have to resort to petty stereotypical insults.

    People like you really do make me ashamed of my gender.
  • Franz_Kafka 2008-10-30 16:38
    Schnapple:

    Well obviously being self taught is usually less desirable than someone with guidance and education, but this person sounded like she might actually have what it takes to learn this sort of thing, especially for such a low-requirement position.

    And yeah there's a good chance that this person would probably go "oh fuck this stuff is hard nevermind" and move on. But she didn't seem to me to be one of those people to scam their way through jobs they're not cut out for.


    So what? There are 5 other candidates more qualified - why pick the unqualified go getter?

    some guy:
    Franz_Kafka:

    Sure, you can be a good programmer and look like a sorostitute, but then you'd be able to list some sort of experience in the field, wouldn't you?


    You know, I'm getting real tired of that word. Surely as an "intelligent" person, you don't have to resort to petty stereotypical insults.

    People like you really do make me ashamed of my gender.


    What stereotypical insults? I said that if she was qualified, she'd be able to list some experience regardless of how she looked.
  • Dennis 2008-10-30 16:45
    Chi1x0r:
    because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old


    When you change your clocks this weekend as daylight saving time ends, assuming you're in the U.S., don't forget to reset your calendar since yours seems to be waaaaay off.

  • Trevor D'Arcy-Evans 2008-10-30 17:18
    I heard about a person who used to send in two identical resumes for a job. One was in a foreign name and the other was an English name. If he was only interviewed under the English name, he used to sue for discrimination. Most companies used to settle out of court.
  • PublicLurker 2008-10-30 17:19
    Chi1x0r:
    ... because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old...


    Funny, I received my degree in 87, and I'm fairly certain that the program existed before I started.
  • Steve 2008-10-30 17:26
    jaded contractor:
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    . . .

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.


    Yes - I've seen the stuff you leave behind that you produced while learning on the job - sheesh...
    I doubt it.

    For me, learning is part of the job and I'm grateful for the tolerance and understanding of all my employers as I learned to make a contribution.

    Perhaps I'm something of a "corner case" or outlier, since I've worked in an academic research lab setting since the first time I was invited by the chief engineer (a moonlighting EE professor) of a radio station I was working at to apply for a programmers job in his lab because, he said, I was the only dj he knew who was "capable of reading a meter".

    Fortunately, working in research, nobody else knows exactly what they're doing either. . . otherwise it wouldn't be research.

    Other than that rather dubious talent and some decade old college programming courses, I was unskilled, untrained, and initially totally out of my depth.

    Eventually, after some rocky moments where, to be honest, I probably should have been let go, it managed to click for me.

    Every job since then I can say that I've been under-qualified but my enthusiasm and willingness to learn have carried me through, I believe successfully.

    It's odd but in my experience, some of the most "qualified" people we've hired in the 18 some years I've been in my current position have turned out to be total duds, incapable of adapting to the research life and some of the least (on paper) qualified but enthusiastic and intellectually curious folks have turned out to be the greatest contributors. Some have gone on to make significant contributions in the field.
  • Steve 2008-10-30 17:38
    By the way, the line about "you can't blame a gal for trying" was somewhat tongue in cheek. I guess in these days of LOLs and :-)s mild exaggeration for humorous intent is lost.

    . . . and, oh, yeah, I'm not a gal. Last I looked, anyhow.
  • Yanman.be 2008-10-30 18:03
    Trevor D'Arcy-Evans:
    I heard about a person who used to send in two identical resumes for a job. One was in a foreign name and the other was an English name. If he was only interviewed under the English name, he used to sue for discrimination. Most companies used to settle out of court.



    Oh man, that's a great idea...Can't wait to use that trick on my own!
  • Steve 2008-10-30 18:35
    Steve:
    . . .and some of the least (on paper) qualified but enthusiastic and intellectually curious folks have turned out to be the greatest contributors. . . .
    Oops.

    That should read "unqualified but enthusiastic. . ."
  • Ilya Ehrenburg 2008-10-30 19:02
    But if "some of the least unqualified but enthusiastic and intellectually curious folks have turned out to be the greatest contributors", that's hardly worth a mention, is it?
  • OhDear 2008-10-30 19:22
    I shiver to think about some of the code that I left behind while learning on the job.
  • Bob 2008-10-30 19:37
    I never learn on the job. And I never write code until I know how to write it. I expect I'll be writing code any moment now, just as soon as I've finished learning. But until I've learned enough that I won't make mistakes and leave bad code behind, I don't know enough.
  • :) 2008-10-30 20:03
    pitchingchris:
    Schnapple:
    Thomas B. had just said at the end "Hey, I'm going to be honest here. We can't hire you because you don't already have the skills we're looking for and you're up against five other people who do. However, I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own - PHP is free, there's tons of resources on the web for HTML and CSS, and so forth. Go make a website on your own, or make one for a friend's business or something. You'll find out really quick if this is the sort of thing for you or not. And if you're really serious about this you can get a job doing it - someone out there will take a chance on you and from there you're good. You clearly have the ambition, you just need the training. Sorry it didn't work out here."


    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.


    I am a self taught programmer, have been coding since the age of 12. Since when do you need someone to teach you in order to be good, there are these wonderful things out there called books. And strangely they are mostly written by people who know what they are talking about. I also run rings around most programmers that I have met who have some sort of degree, both in quality, and quantity of work done.

    Besides, how do you think these "best practise" programming techniques came to be, heaven forbid someone sat down and thought of them, instead of being told them by another person.
  • Steve 2008-10-30 20:08
    Ilya Ehrenburg:
    But if "some of the least unqualified but enthusiastic and intellectually curious folks have turned out to be the greatest contributors", that's hardly worth a mention, is it?
    I'm going to have to stop posting until I get my eyes examined.

    Not to mention getting my whole head examined.

    Good night!
  • Engywuck 2008-10-30 20:10
    Well, you ass-u-me a 1KB packet every minute....

    For "updates" that just say "nothing changed, just update screen" I think a 1 byte of payload is sufficient, say a 64 Byte packet "on wire" (minimum ethernet packet size, minimum UDP packet size would be 30 bytes or so), so you get a minimum of

    1000000*64*8/60=ca. 8.5 MBit/s

    Since a T-1 is 24 ISDN lines or 1.544 MBit/s that's still way above the line... at least a T-3 would now be enough :)

    But an even bigger WTF would be to use TCP connections there: either you'd need to have a million "connections" open an your computer/router (good luck with the TCP stack) or you'd need to reopen the connection every minute, upping you bandwidth needs even more...
  • lolwtf 2008-10-30 20:32
    Ah, equality. You're only allowed to dislike white males. Otherwise you're racist and/or sexist. Brillant!
  • SomeCoder 2008-10-30 20:36
    lolwtf:
    Ah, equality. You're only allowed to dislike white males. Otherwise you're racist and/or sexist. Brillant!


    This is very, very true. I am 100% for equality but can we also have equality for hatred? :P
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-30 20:48
    Engywuck:
    Well, you ass-u-me a 1KB packet every minute....

    For "updates" that just say "nothing changed, just update screen" I think a 1 byte of payload is sufficient, say a 64 Byte packet "on wire" (minimum ethernet packet size, minimum UDP packet size would be 30 bytes or so), so you get a minimum of

    1000000*64*8/60=ca. 8.5 MBit/s

    Since a T-1 is 24 ISDN lines or 1.544 MBit/s that's still way above the line... at least a T-3 would now be enough :)

    But an even bigger WTF would be to use TCP connections there: either you'd need to have a million "connections" open an your computer/router (good luck with the TCP stack) or you'd need to reopen the connection every minute, upping you bandwidth needs even more...


    The interview was probably about 6 years ago and I don't remember all the details, but the packets were stateless (as in, each packet communicated the whole state and not a delta from the previous packet). That was to ease load on the database. I'm about 90% sure it was TCP, too.

    Really, it was this bad. When I dropped some back-of-envelope numbers, the engineering team members gave each other a bunch of panicked looks and left the interview. My wife asked that I please not spend my next interview telling the employer how their plan will never work, but I figured they're theoretically hiring me to be skeptical enough to catch these details. If that's a turn-off, then I probably wouldn't be a good fit anyway.
  • Vincenzo 2008-10-30 21:27
    Magazine subscription updates are a great idea. I subscribe to a dozen magazines on various subjects, all started at different times of the year - so I really appreciate the annual email I get a month before expiration as a reminder....
  • ChiefCrazyTalk 2008-10-30 23:24
    PublicLurker:
    Chi1x0r:
    ... because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old...


    Funny, I received my degree in 87, and I'm fairly certain that the program existed before I started.

    My freshman roomate in 1982 was a CS Major - had to learn Lisp his first year, while us mechanical engineers learned APL.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-10-31 00:48
    Just Some Guy:

    Really, it was this bad. When I dropped some back-of-envelope numbers, the engineering team members gave each other a bunch of panicked looks and left the interview. My wife asked that I please not spend my next interview telling the employer how their plan will never work, but I figured they're theoretically hiring me to be skeptical enough to catch these details. If that's a turn-off, then I probably wouldn't be a good fit anyway.


    That's worth the price of admission right there - if I were in that position, I'd hope that I'd hire you on to make the project viable.

    Also, TCP with client init solves a raft of annoying NAT style problems. UDP is nice, but harder to deal with across a broad range of nontechnical users.
  • Tenseiga 2008-10-31 02:02
    I dont know how to write a comment yet but im a really fast learner! *Uncrosses legs* *Crosses legs*
  • Mr B 2008-10-31 04:28
    Trevor D'Arcy-Evans:
    I heard about a person who used to send in two identical resumes for a job. One was in a foreign name and the other was an English name. If he was only interviewed under the English name, he used to sue for discrimination. Most companies used to settle out of court.


    I call "made-up-story", unless you can provide a source better than "I heard about".

    1. If the CVs were *IDENTICAL* apart from the name, then even the worst HR department would be able to spot this (hopefully).

    2. If they weren't identical then the company would have claimed that it was something to do with the style/presentation/layout/whatever that made them make the decision.
  • Vollhorst 2008-10-31 04:36
    Mr B:
    Trevor D'Arcy-Evans:
    I heard about a person who used to send in two identical resumes for a job. One was in a foreign name and the other was an English name. If he was only interviewed under the English name, he used to sue for discrimination. Most companies used to settle out of court.


    I call "made-up-story", unless you can provide a source better than "I heard about".

    1. If the CVs were *IDENTICAL* apart from the name, then even the worst HR department would be able to spot this (hopefully).

    2. If they weren't identical then the company would have claimed that it was something to do with the style/presentation/layout/whatever that made them make the decision.
    More likely the company would sue him cause he forged(?) the documents of his fake resume.
    I bet no company would like to hire such an asshole/criminal.
  • yah 2008-10-31 05:35
    Franz_Kafka:
    Schnapple:

    Well obviously being self taught is usually less desirable than someone with guidance and education, but this person sounded like she might actually have what it takes to learn this sort of thing, especially for such a low-requirement position.

    And yeah there's a good chance that this person would probably go "oh fuck this stuff is hard nevermind" and move on. But she didn't seem to me to be one of those people to scam their way through jobs they're not cut out for.


    So what? There are 5 other candidates more qualified - why pick the unqualified go getter?

    some guy:
    Franz_Kafka:

    Sure, you can be a good programmer and look like a sorostitute, but then you'd be able to list some sort of experience in the field, wouldn't you?


    You know, I'm getting real tired of that word. Surely as an "intelligent" person, you don't have to resort to petty stereotypical insults.

    People like you really do make me ashamed of my gender.


    What stereotypical insults? I said that if she was qualified, she'd be able to list some experience regardless of how she looked.


    Yes - can we please have non-stereotypical insults. The more offensive the better.
  • dkf 2008-10-31 05:53
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
  • DOA 2008-10-31 06:23
    dkf:
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
    I wasn't around in 1965, but I'm pretty sure they weren't teaching C#, Java, PHP or any other language 90% of the industry will look for today.
  • Morfildur 2008-10-31 06:32
    You haven't heard of DateTime.Travel() yet?
  • Mr B 2008-10-31 06:38
    DOA:
    dkf:
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
    I wasn't around in 1965, but I'm pretty sure they weren't teaching C#, Java, PHP or any other language 90% of the industry will look for today.


    That's really interesting, but I don't see what language specifics has to do with a Comp Sci degree. The key to a GOOD Comp Sci degree is that it is largely language independent and gives the graduate the tools and skills necessary to learn new languages as they are created. If you did a Comp Sci degree and all you know is Java and you don't have the skills to pick up new languages, then it's not really a good degree to have is it?

    What language would you have been taught 2 years ago? C# 2.0? Guess what, that's out of date BEFORE YOU HAVE GRADUATED.

    Comp Sci degrees should NEVER focus on specifics of either hardware OR software, it's changing too rapidly, and chances are that it will have moved on WHILST YOU ARE STUDYING THEM.

    I was taught programming concepts using COBOL and Smalltalk (yes I'm old) and somehow amazingly I've been able to pick up both C# and Java, amazing huh!
  • derby 2008-10-31 06:40
    Franz_Kafka:

    What programming skills? she was a stay at home mother with no background in programming, and she didn't spend any of her 7-8 hours/day learning those skills.


    Wowzy ... spoken like a single guy or a married guy who one day is going to find himself laying on the floor with a big welt on his forehead while his wife, the mother of his children, stands over him with a blunt instrument in her hand muttering 'for the last time, just because I'm at home all day doesn't mean I don't work.'
  • Mr B 2008-10-31 06:48
    derby:
    Franz_Kafka:

    What programming skills? she was a stay at home mother with no background in programming, and she didn't spend any of her 7-8 hours/day learning those skills.


    Wowzy ... spoken like a single guy or a married guy who one day is going to find himself laying on the floor with a big welt on his forehead while his wife, the mother of his children, stands over him with a blunt instrument in her hand muttering 'for the last time, just because I'm at home all day doesn't mean I don't work.'


    ...spoken like a guy who doesn't actually read before replying.

    He didn't say that she didn't work, just that she didn't spend the time learning those skills. Presumably she spent the time doing other, more important things.

  • DOA 2008-10-31 07:02
    Mr B:
    DOA:
    dkf:
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
    I wasn't around in 1965, but I'm pretty sure they weren't teaching C#, Java, PHP or any other language 90% of the industry will look for today.


    That's really interesting, but I don't see what language specifics has to do with a Comp Sci degree. The key to a GOOD Comp Sci degree is that it is largely language independent and gives the graduate the tools and skills necessary to learn new languages as they are created. If you did a Comp Sci degree and all you know is Java and you don't have the skills to pick up new languages, then it's not really a good degree to have is it?

    What language would you have been taught 2 years ago? C# 2.0? Guess what, that's out of date BEFORE YOU HAVE GRADUATED.

    Comp Sci degrees should NEVER focus on specifics of either hardware OR software, it's changing too rapidly, and chances are that it will have moved on WHILST YOU ARE STUDYING THEM.

    I was taught programming concepts using COBOL and Smalltalk (yes I'm old) and somehow amazingly I've been able to pick up both C# and Java, amazing huh!
    Uhm... yeah, that's my point, you need to learn new stuff to keep up. A CS degree from the 60s means nothing by itself.
  • VP 2008-10-31 07:27
    pitchingchris:

    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.

    Plain and utter bs.

    What except algorithms and general programming concepts is taught in college and university today? Not much. Some of my closest mates and old classmates from compsci (which I dropped out of after a year) got bachelors or masters and work as programmers. Sufficient to say only one of them is actually any good and adapt at several languages.

    Except for senior positions today the only thing I can see required (for C#, java, php, asp.net etc) is usually understanding the concepts behind those kind of languages (generics/templates/oop blahblah) and a basic understanding of patterns.

    One of my closest mates did bachelor compsci, was mostly java and some C++. He's gotten two great paying jobs since he got his degree but I'm pretty sure he's not one I'd like to work with. Though his basics are sound and well-learned he is the least inventive problemsolver I've ever seen.
  • ClaudeSuck.de 2008-10-31 08:27
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?


    IT is competent, management isn't!
  • yah 2008-10-31 08:38
    VP:
    pitchingchris:

    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.

    Plain and utter bs.

    What except algorithms and general programming concepts is taught in college and university today? Not much. Some of my closest mates and old classmates from compsci (which I dropped out of after a year) got bachelors or masters and work as programmers. Sufficient to say only one of them is actually any good and adapt at several languages.

    Except for senior positions today the only thing I can see required (for C#, java, php, asp.net etc) is usually understanding the concepts behind those kind of languages (generics/templates/oop blahblah) and a basic understanding of patterns.

    One of my closest mates did bachelor compsci, was mostly java and some C++. He's gotten two great paying jobs since he got his degree but I'm pretty sure he's not one I'd like to work with. Though his basics are sound and well-learned he is the least inventive problemsolver I've ever seen.


    An interesting one - I did Programming Development Concepts at college and thought it was a great course that taught you what programming was all about (this was many moons ago and it was in C). I felt it really clicked (with me) re heuristics and how to problem-solve etc. Now recently I read something (an academic paper on the web, which I may well have found via DailyWTF) which basically says programming is a knack and that something like 60% of people cannot program and will never be able to program no matter what (or how) you teach them. This would not be of such significance if there were not so many of thse people working in f@cking IT.
  • Eric L 2008-10-31 08:43
    Look, we have based our entire political system around incompetent management. It has to work for private industry too
  • KenW 2008-10-31 08:50
    Robert S. Robbins:
    "white, fur-lined boots matching her white, fur-lined coat, which she wore over a leopard-print blouse"

    This sounds like a very creative outfit and web development requires a lot of creativity. Probably a Mac user.


    Well, duh! The leopard-print blouse gave that away, Mr. Obvious. <g>
  • KenW 2008-10-31 08:51
    Mark:
    Probably a Mac user.


    Probably a whore.


    Probably your sister.
  • KenW 2008-10-31 08:53
    Not Wtf:
    the comments are even worse.


    Yep. You just proved that. Again.

    Go away.
  • KenW 2008-10-31 09:09
    Vincenzo:
    Magazine subscription updates are a great idea.


    Yes, they are.

    Vincenzo:
    a month before expiration as a reminder....


    But not every minute, which was the point of the article.
  • KenW 2008-10-31 09:15
    DOA:
    dkf:
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
    I wasn't around in 1965, but I'm pretty sure they weren't teaching C#, Java, PHP or any other language 90% of the industry will look for today.


    Apparently whenever you went to school they weren't teaching reading comprehension or logic either. Things must really be going downhill in the education system these days.
  • Someone who cares 2008-10-31 11:10
    That was a very interesting story I liked iiiiiiiiiiiiitttt.
    Global warming is very important also.So is the ring of fire.
  • furnstein 2008-10-31 11:25
    some guy:
    Franz_Kafka:

    Sure, you can be a good programmer and look like a sorostitute, but then you'd be able to list some sort of experience in the field, wouldn't you?


    You know, I'm getting real tired of that word. Surely as an "intelligent" person, you don't have to resort to petty stereotypical insults.

    People like you really do make me ashamed of my gender.


    Because you Really haven't figured it out yet, have you?
  • carl sagan 2008-10-31 12:08
    The first CS program in the US launched at Purdue University in 1962.

    captcha=appellatio

    (I don't want to know what that is)
  • David W 2008-10-31 13:15
    The real wtf here is my math :D

    Thanks for answering
  • Robert S. Robbins 2008-10-31 15:01
    KenW:
    Robert S. Robbins:
    "white, fur-lined boots matching her white, fur-lined coat, which she wore over a leopard-print blouse"

    This sounds like a very creative outfit and web development requires a lot of creativity. Probably a Mac user.


    Well, duh! The leopard-print blouse gave that away, Mr. Obvious. <g>


    If she had got the job they could have had a fancy web site with a leopard-print tiling background and white, fur-lined borders. There are Photoshop brushes she could use for the fur. That would have been kick ass!
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-31 15:13
    Well, I had to triple-check my own because I usually forget to convert bits to bytes or something like that.

    I'm a regular guy. No need for the thanks (but you're welcome). :-)
  • Mark 2008-10-31 16:07
    KenW:
    Mark:
    Probably a Mac user.


    Probably a whore.


    Probably your sister.


    You've met Debbie too?

    Captcha: duis - what happens when you keep getting caught driving drunk.
  • simg 2008-11-01 03:54

    I believe in a retarded parallel world, inside our very world, in which retarded companies sell retarded product and services to any customer retarded enough to buy it. That's the long tail for you. Long live the internets.


    So very true. The expression I like about it is ... "never underestimate how far the blind can get leading the blind" :)
  • Stainless Stanley 2008-11-01 04:49
    Mr B:
    I call "made-up-story", unless you can provide a source better than "I heard about".


    Not necessarily a made up one, in some circumstances people got more than one identity, such as myself.

    Now, when I thought it would be great idea to live in the UK some years ago - I applied for some jobs in there sending two CVs, one under my european name and one under my asian one.

    I got exactly two (2) calls with my asian name based CV, neither of which lead to a job - whereas my european name based ones were way more popular, landing me eventually to a job.

    Interestingly enough, some places where I had sent both CVs to, called me up later, using the details in my european name based one.

    As for the court case part, never did that, but wish someone else wouldn't mind doing, something is seriously wrong, when having the wrong /name/ alone screws your chances at getting a job.
  • unknownbinaryzero 2008-11-01 07:47
    lol indeed
  • flaggy 2008-11-02 17:48
    sibtrag:
    Schnapple:


    What would have been an awesome ending to the story was if Thomas B. had just said at the end "...I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own ..."



    No, that is not really appropriate for an interview. But, that is why she, like any other rejected applicant who really wanted the job, should contact one of the technical people & ask for a frank appraisal. At that point, such advice can (and should) be given.

    Who knows, the person you hired may not work out and the company may be interviewing 6-12 months later. By then, she could be competent enough to hire.


    Why isn't it appropriate?
  • lrucker 2008-11-02 23:13
    Franz_Kafka:

    What programming skills? she was a stay at home mother with no background in programming, and she didn't spend any of her 7-8 hours/day learning those skills.


    Seriously. Last time I was laid off, I took two weeks and learned the language that was most popular in the area I wanted to work by porting an open-source app to it. Got the job I wanted, too. (Granted that, when you know 16 languages already, adding a new one isn't that hard - but I wouldn't have got in the door without it.)

    She'd have been better off applying some of that persistence to skill-building.
  • I am a robot 2008-11-03 03:55
    And who will then have her sorry ass arrested for assault and domestic violence? Sounds like a plan.
  • I am a robot 2008-11-03 03:57
    derby:
    Franz_Kafka:

    What programming skills? she was a stay at home mother with no background in programming, and she didn't spend any of her 7-8 hours/day learning those skills.


    Wowzy ... spoken like a single guy or a married guy who one day is going to find himself laying on the floor with a big welt on his forehead while his wife, the mother of his children, stands over him with a blunt instrument in her hand muttering 'for the last time, just because I'm at home all day doesn't mean I don't work.'


    And who will then have her sorry ass arrested for assault and domestic violence? Sounds like a plan.
  • bjolling 2008-11-03 05:27
    flaggy:
    sibtrag:
    Schnapple:


    What would have been an awesome ending to the story was if Thomas B. had just said at the end "...I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own ..."



    No, that is not really appropriate for an interview. But, that is why she, like any other rejected applicant who really wanted the job, should contact one of the technical people & ask for a frank appraisal. At that point, such advice can (and should) be given.

    Who knows, the person you hired may not work out and the company may be interviewing 6-12 months later. By then, she could be competent enough to hire.


    Why isn't it appropriate?
    Indeed why?

    When I interviewed at one company 3 years ago, they specifically told me why I wasn't hired and what I would have to do to qualify for a position with them. I took their advice to heart and started working on these points. One year I ago, I applied again with them and I got hired.

    I was very happy with their detailed feedback because it rescued me from a dead-end job and gave me the push I needed to relaunch my career.
  • Technical Thug 2008-11-03 11:58
    I am a robot:
    derby:
    Wowzy ... spoken like a single guy or a married guy who one day is going to find himself laying on the floor with a big welt on his forehead while his wife, the mother of his children, stands over him with a blunt instrument in her hand muttering 'for the last time, just because I'm at home all day doesn't mean I don't work.'


    And who will then have her sorry ass arrested for assault and domestic violence? Sounds like a plan.
    Not in this country, bucko. Murder isn't a crime if a women does it on a man.
  • T1 2008-11-03 14:02
    I would have assumed that once production started, the update machinery would be in a hosted environment with lots of bandwidth.

    Completely unrelated to the bandwidth available at the office during the startup phase.

    WTF = interviewee assumed too much.
  • Just Some Guy 2008-11-03 15:39
    T1:
    I would have assumed that once production started, the update machinery would be in a hosted environment with lots of bandwidth.

    Completely unrelated to the bandwidth available at the office during the startup phase.

    WTF = interviewee assumed too much.


    Or you could have done as I did: asked them if they were going to upgrade and gone from there. You assume too much. :-)

    There's no way you can look at a 17MB/s (or about 137Mbps) sustained network to monitor magazine subscriptions that need to be renewed once a year and not call it a WTF. Sure, maybe they were going to upgrade to an OC-3, but that doesn't make a lot of sense either.
  • aksale 2008-11-03 22:04
  • tbrown 2008-11-04 18:20
    KenW:
    Tim:
    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments that try to replicate the WTF? It is stupid, obvious, and stale.


    PLEASE can we stop all the lame comments made only to whine about something? They are stupid, obvious, and stale. They're also very annoying.


    PLEASE stop all the complaints about comments complaining about comments! Doh, damn, I guess I'd better stop.
  • Strider 2008-11-11 11:44
    yah:
    Dirk Diggler:
    GCU Arbitrary:
    Is it me, or are the WTFs getting to be less about IT, and more about incompetent management?
    There's a difference? I thought all WTFs were due to management.

    'incompetent management' is a tautology anyway

    No, it's not.
    A redundancy maybe.
    A tautology would have to be a boolean like statement that's always true.
    like....management == incompetent or management is incompetent...or white != black.

    but 'incompetent management' is just redundant and cannot be a tautology by itself
  • WTF 2009-01-12 19:52
    Dumbass.
  • sfsad 2009-01-21 23:46
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  • wm 2009-07-06 05:19
  • I just spit on myself 2010-07-29 00:35
    Like, real spit when I read that.
  • Prism 2011-07-12 04:14
    jaded contractor:
    Steve:
    I guess you can't blame a gal for trying.

    Sometimes enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will make up for a whole lot of experience and qualifications.

    I can say that for the last several jobs I've had, on paper I probably was not "qualified", not having the proper letters following my name or even a whole lot of domain experience.

    There was often a whole lot of flailing, handwaving, and downright faking it over the first few weeks (or even months) but the process of learning and the point when all the disparate pieces of information suddenly clicked into place were undeniably exhilarating. There's that wonderful moment when you make the transition from asking a lot of questions to being the person folks go to for their answers that makes it all worth it.

    I wouldn't want a job that I was qualified for. That would be boring.


    Yes - I've seen the stuff you leave behind that you produced while learning on the job - sheesh...


    Meh. Everything is a calculated risk. Did I get the experience I paid for? Does the CS degree mean anything? Can I get away with employing this relative novice at a lower rate?

    Either way, the company pays but the question is the quality per dollar, technical debt, and turnover.

    I feel sorry for Joyce, but sorry doesn't apply in the business world. The thing is, its a shame that circumstances overall don't allow more apprentice/intern type of relationships. I believe the govt has mucked up the meaning and worth and cost of a sheepskin, which has grave consequences for business.

    "There is no substitute for enthusiasm" -- I think this applies to far more things than oral sex.

  • Prism 2011-07-12 04:54
    pitchingchris:
    Schnapple:
    Thomas B. had just said at the end "Hey, I'm going to be honest here. We can't hire you because you don't already have the skills we're looking for and you're up against five other people who do. However, I can tell you're eager to learn. I would recommend that you learn on your own - PHP is free, there's tons of resources on the web for HTML and CSS, and so forth. Go make a website on your own, or make one for a friend's business or something. You'll find out really quick if this is the sort of thing for you or not. And if you're really serious about this you can get a job doing it - someone out there will take a chance on you and from there you're good. You clearly have the ambition, you just need the training. Sorry it didn't work out here."


    This almost made me laugh. Because you can bet your bottom dollar if this really happened, we'd have a lot more stuff on TDWTF. I'm not saying that people can't be self-taught programmers, but without enough guidance and education behind it, it would take much longer to hone certain skills required.


    In full disclosure, I will tell you I am self-taught. That being said, I do try to readjust my prejudices when it comes to the 'formal education' debate.

    Its not that I don't recognize that the world is filled with hacks who have no practical utility, its that I feel that there are a comparable number of CS people who lack the same.

    So, comments like yours are sure to raise my personal hackles up, and I realize this isn't personal.

    I am about to make a similar comment, so don't you take it personal either...

    "The best way to convince someone of the importance of a formal degree is to give them one"

    This is what I call, Ivory-tower-blindness and it leads to certain misconceptions, for instance:

    "I was taught the right way, and I do things the right way the first time. People who weren't taught the right way, probably do things the wrong way, every time. Those people suck"

    The first part of that thought is fine, but the second sentence is not well thought out.

    Remember, I'm not talking about you personally, but making a generalization.

    Its not well thought out because it overlooks what I would consider to be an asset in someone who has struggled due to doing things wrong.

    An analogy would be a field surgeon in a war vs a civilian surgeon in a nice clean hospital.

    You see, as an 'incompetent' you are exposed to, well, bugs you have inflicted on yourself. Weirder bugs. And you get to puzzle-out WHY a certain thing should be done differently, rather than having all the answers handed to you by the book.

    I think things like this are undervalued.

    If I have two people whom I know have the same skill level generally, I am going to pick the person who brought themselves to that level on their own, every single time.

    Why? Because they have thicker skulls from beating their heads against a problem until it gives. They have a more interesting bag of tricks.

    Now, if you are writing "factory code" doing mundane stuff, granted, you probably want the person who doesn't mind pounding nails all day. You want the CS guy who will do whats he's told and be happy about it.

    But, if your working with new tech, you need the other guy. The mountain climber who thinks learning new platforms is fun.

    And lets face it, the IT world changes fast, and depending on where your sitting in that world, you don't have the luxury of getting an expert in X that was released 6 months ago. Ain't gunna happen on your budget.

    I just like to think that there is room for most all types in our industry. And its bad form to condemn type X because he is not practical for your sector.





  • Prism 2011-07-12 05:23
    Mr B:
    DOA:
    dkf:
    Chi1x0r:
    Many of my older peers did just this, because computer science as a college major is only about 15 years old
    In the UK, Computer Science as a separate discipline really took off in 1964, making it 45 years old next year, with the first undergraduate courses starting in the following year. But maybe it took 30 years for computers to be shipped by mule-train into your neck of the woods…
    I wasn't around in 1965, but I'm pretty sure they weren't teaching C#, Java, PHP or any other language 90% of the industry will look for today.


    That's really interesting, but I don't see what language specifics has to do with a Comp Sci degree. The key to a GOOD Comp Sci degree is that it is largely language independent and gives the graduate the tools and skills necessary to learn new languages as they are created. If you did a Comp Sci degree and all you know is Java and you don't have the skills to pick up new languages, then it's not really a good degree to have is it?

    What language would you have been taught 2 years ago? C# 2.0? Guess what, that's out of date BEFORE YOU HAVE GRADUATED.

    Comp Sci degrees should NEVER focus on specifics of either hardware OR software, it's changing too rapidly, and chances are that it will have moved on WHILST YOU ARE STUDYING THEM.

    I was taught programming concepts using COBOL and Smalltalk (yes I'm old) and somehow amazingly I've been able to pick up both C# and Java, amazing huh!


    "...and gives the graduate the tools and skills necessary to learn new languages as they are created"

    I feel sorry for the school given this mandate. Given that CS covers the *underlying* techniques of 'what happens' behind program, I really don't see how they can do a good job of inferring what is the tricky part of new languages... the means of expression, and things like that.

    Or even whole new platform paradigms like droid.

    I really think IT has gotten to the point where, no matter how many years you spent dumping things into peoples heads, in the end most of it will not matter simply because it becomes unretainable for all practical purposes.

    I am much more aligned with a JIT education process. How far does CS go before YAGNI starts playing a big role?