• Trev (unregistered)

    just gapes

  • ItsAllGeekToMe (cs)

    .......not sure I believe this one.....a bit too far-fetched.

  • Roger Daltry (unregistered)

    If this is even true, this is a management WTF more than a coding one.  If they didn't notice this was all that was happening they deserve what they got.

  • Kenny (unregistered)

    That's brilliant!  =)

  • RayS (cs)

    OK.... I think I get this one...


    complete lack of error checking, right? WTF indeed. lol a highly paid contracter who doesn't even perform the most basic of checks.

  • Me (unregistered)

    I've been reading for a while and this is my first post.  I cannot fathom that this is a true story.  While some of the other WTFs are pretty far out there, most of them at least have a hint of believability.  There are simply too many resources available for this to be true.  Even a complete novice could search Google or read Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours and come up with more than this.  I'm sorry, but I just cannot make myself believe this.

  • carl (unregistered)

    she obviously wasn't get paid per line of code.

    the incorrect spelling of 'Brillant' is quite ironic.

  • bob the magic rabbit (unregistered) in reply to RayS

    Nah, its cos it does not follow JavaNamingConventions.

  • Mike R (cs)

    It amazes me when real developers get laid off, and have a hard time finding jobs, just because someone has enough bullshit skills to get past the screening, while the rest of us are sitting there going "I have more than five years software development and design, but don't have specific experience in 'insert niche field here', but am extremely adaptable and at home with just about any task" and getting blown over by someone who gives a complete BS resume, and manages to BS their way into a job.

    Sadly, I don't have one doubt that this is real. I've seen similar "brillance" before.

    [+o(]

  • Rob (unregistered) in reply to Me

    I have to agree.  Heidi and Michael really have to step in here and fill in this story a little.  Are they sure this is all there is -- no manager ever asked about checking in code while Paula was working on this?  I've heard of really incompetent people almost getting hired, but this is over the top -- especially with that test code, it's pretty rich.

  • Mike R (cs) in reply to Mike R
    Mike R:
    Sadly, I don't have one doubt that this is real. I've seen similar "brillance" before.

    [+o(]

    And one of these days, it would be nice to edit posts. One = no,.

  • Fregas (unregistered) in reply to Roger Daltry

    Anonymous:
    If this is even true, this is a management WTF more than a coding one.  If they didn't notice this was all that was happening they deserve what they got.

    Actually this is quite common I think.  When I started a job at a small dotcom in Dallas, and they had this horror story of how they hired a contractor who claimed to be an ASP3/SQL expert. He was hired by management that had no technical knowledge at all.  The contractor couldn't even do a simple inner join and had hardly written any code at all when the project deadline came close.  They replaced him with a coworker of mine, who had to throw it all away because it was so bad and start over. 

    Shortly after me and my associate left, I heard from another friend there who said they actually hired another guy who knew nothing.  They did a demo for the client and the contractor clicked thru it and everything seemed fine.  Then my buddy took a look at the "code" some time later: No database, no business logic, just a bunch of HTML and hard coded vaporware.  The app couldn't really do anything, he just set up screens to make it look like it did.  So they had to fire this contractor too, who had been hired by yet ANOTHER manager with minimal technology background.

    He who fails to learn from history is doomed to repeat it.

  • JohnO (cs) in reply to Me

    Anonymous:
    I've been reading for a while and this is my first post.  I cannot fathom that this is a true story.  While some of the other WTFs are pretty far out there, most of them at least have a hint of believability.  There are simply too many resources available for this to be true.  Even a complete novice could search Google or read Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours and come up with more than this.  I'm sorry, but I just cannot make myself believe this.

    You haven't been around very long in the industry if you can't believe this.  I had something very similar happen to me on a project. We had a team of 7, 5 contractors (including myself) and 2 perm guys with a perm manager.  This was 6 years ago so it was harder to find people then.  Two of the people on the team recomended a guy that had actually worked at the place before.  He was brought on as a contractor.  we assigned him some work.  We had weekly status meetings.  Every week we asked if everyone was on target and if anyone needed any help.  Every week this guys said things were going great.  Since he had worked there before  (and apparently done a good job)and was coming in as a contractor (no hand-holding expected), no one made an effort to verify he was really getting anything done.  Literally two days before code complete, he finally says he needs help.  All he's done is create a form and a class or two.  Empty shells.  He had been sitting around doing nothing but surfing most of the time.  Sometimes people just go crazy and pull $hit like that.  I heard he was having drinking and marital problems at the time.

    Another possibility -- Paula could have been banging the project manager or is related to him/her.

  • rbriem (cs) in reply to Mike R
    Mike R:
    Mike R:
    Sadly, I don't have one doubt that this is real. I've seen similar "brillance" before.

    [+o(]

    And one of these days, it would be nice to edit posts. One = no,.

    "I don't have one doubt" = I believe this absolutely

    "I don't have no doubt" = I believe this, but not absolutely

    So which is it, Mike? Get off the fence, willya?

    (Gawd I hate it when people like me post!)

  • sozin (cs)

    this is why you need two week iterations with well defined deliverables on projects.  at least then you know after two weeks that Paula hasn't done squat.

  • wisew (cs) in reply to Me

    I’m glad you have had the fortunate luck of not getting blindsided by skill lacking co-workers. In a previous company I worked at they had a large pharmaceutical company project with a tight deadline. The main project programmer had designed a system using C++ and VB COM for the project. The design and interfaces were all communicated to the Senior VB programmer. This guy was supposed to be the go to guy on VB and programming concepts in general. He was paid more then any developer including the project programmer who designed the whole system. His part was small and monitored by the section boss. Early one week the project programmer as the senior what his progress was. The senior claimed he was 95% done. It came crunch time and the team was forced to work the weekend. The senior refused saying he was almost done and did not need to work the weekend. That weekend the project programmer attempted to use is 95% complete object to finish it up and include it in the project when low and behold it was more like 15% done and didn’t even work for the 15% it had implemented. This stuff happens every where I have about 6 more similar stories I could tell you. The on thing they all have in common is the Pointy Haired Boss figure. DILBERT IS NOT IMAGINATION IT IS LIFE! That is why it’s not always funny because it is true.

  • Daruku (unregistered) in reply to Mike R

    It was brillant of you to use one.  The grammer is still correct....

  • "Grammer" Nazi (unregistered) in reply to Daruku
    Anonymous:
    It was brillant of you to use one.  The grammer is still correct....

    grammar*

  • E Renken (unregistered) in reply to Me

    Oh, I believe this is true. I had a developer working on a side project for a larger project we were doing in house and at status meetings he would say things are fine and it is like 80% done (increasing each meeting) and then when we looked at the code it was more like 15% done and I had a lot of work to do.

  • wisew (cs)

    In my experience the reason this stuff happens is because it is all too common in the industry to give responsibility without any authority. The pointy haired bosses of the world are afraid to give authority to the lead over their co-workers in fear it will cause strife or actual work for them. With out that authority the project is a mess to manage and accomplish because everyone does what they want to.

  • th0mas (unregistered)

    That is my new sig

     <font>private String</font> paula = <font>"Brillant"</font>;

    too freaking funny.  Wow.

  • scheky (cs) in reply to th0mas

    I've seen this too often for it to be funny.

    However, she must have managed to get paid for quite some time with no actual skill or effort.  Paula was indeed Brilliant.  Now somebody hunt her down and club her to death like a baby seal.

     

  • res2 (cs)

    Lets hope she was at least easy on the eyes...

  • Laz (unregistered)

    Well it could just be that Paula was being lazy and just not coding (or wanting to learn).  I, to, believe that this is a bit far-fetched to be an "I don't know what I'm doing" kind of WTF ... but it makes perfect sense if it's someone who was looking for a job, found one, and was too lazy to do anything*.

    • I get that way myself, at times.
  • John Bigboote (cs) in reply to JohnO
    JohnO:

    Another possibility -- Paula could have been banging the project manager



    That two-timing bitch!

    public boolean isSlut()
    {
        return true;
    }
  • Bustaz Kool (cs) in reply to Roger Daltry

    Anonymous:
    If this is even true, this is a management WTF more than a coding one.  If they didn't notice this was all that was happening they deserve what they got.

    Amen, brother.  Trust but verify; especially with outside help.  If you're not getting the source code on a regular basis and reviewing it for content and readability, you're just asking for this to happen. 

    Once everyone realizes that there is no hiding place, people tend to put up or get out.

  • whojoedaddy (cs)

    No set method? She should have at least made paula a constant variable.

  • ferrengi (cs)

    I've been reading the WTFs on this site for about 2 months but never felt the urge to post until now...

    If this type of thing happens all the time where people get paid without doing any real work, isn't there something the company can do to get back the money that was stolen? Can't the company sue the employee for lying about their skills and not doing their work? Or is it just not worth the time and effort for the company to go after the crook?

    Sounds like companies almost have to review the employee's work every couple of weeks and look at what they did instead of just getting a status or risk getting screwed. It's probably also a good idea to do this because this way you catch problems early on before they are much tougher to fix.

    Have a good weekend everyone,
    Dan

  • JohnO (cs) in reply to ferrengi

    ferrengi:
    If this type of thing happens all the time where people get paid without doing any real work, isn't there something the company can do to get back the money that was stolen? Can't the company sue the employee for lying about their skills and not doing their work? Or is it just not worth the time and effort for the company to go after the crook?

    If they did that, the manager that hired them/oversaw them would have to admit they screwed up.  I posted before about $120M project that flushed.  They didn't even bother to do a post mortem.  In a Dilbertesque corporate environement, no one wants to linger on failures -- not even long enough to figure out how to avoid the next one.

    My theory is that you can go into any large organization and find that half the people are actually working and the other half are just pretending to work and taking credit for what the other half did.

  • A Wizard A True Star (cs) in reply to ferrengi

    To be honest, I've done similar things in the past.

    At a previous job, I was handed a set of lengthy, incomprehensible stored procedures. No documentation, no requirements, maybe 5% of the code was commented. They only gave me one deliverable: "Make it work."

    Man, I surfed the web so hard that month. Finally someone came around to check on my status, and I had to admit I couldn't make heads or tails of the code. They told me to get help from the original developer, who basically took one look at the procedures and said, WTF was I thinking when I wrote this?!?

    Sometimes it's not a lack of technical knowledge, and it's not laziness. It's just a lack of anything resembling what we call motivation. Like Ron Livingston said in Office Space, "It's not that I'm lazy... I just don't care!"

     

  • Cowardly Dragon (unregistered)

    No seriously, this is dead true.

    Well, she did draw some pwetty HTML screens, but that wasn't her job. She was supposed to do a bunch of Oracle mumbo-jumbo.

    Even more sad, we just found out that she somehow got rehired as a contractor here.

  • x-sol(lazy) (unregistered)

    I just want to say that if you don't think this happens maybe you should read up on welfare and how many slobs are on it, even better find an estimate of the number of children per slob.....

    I worked at a place once and you could goto the can at any given point and find someone sleeping in there, there was this one guy who never apeared to work but was always out front flirting with the female security guard. It's great I wish I had no integrity and could sleep in the can, flirt and call it a job well done. As far as I know these people still work there......

    As someone else said unfortunatly it's usually the very talented and knowledegable person with no degree who doesn't get hired and the degree sporting can sleeper whith plenty of BS for all that does. You should have to take a test..... a hard test; like here is a noteback write all the code needed to create a calcualtor in _______ language you have 4 hours, go! You take your existing working calculator code for _____ language and compare. I supose though the boss would need to know his head from his ass to do that.

    Thankfully where I'm at now the boos does know code.

  • brian j. parker (unregistered) in reply to scheky

    Shecky, I run into you in the oddest places.

    Anyway, my $.02, I can't believe they didn't sue her for breach of contract.

  • zephc (cs) in reply to JohnO

    "My theory is that you can go into any large organization and find that half the people are actually working and the other half are just pretending to work and taking credit for what the other half did."

    Yes! It's been a few years since I've worked in the tech industry, but I remember it seemed like a lot of people, mostly non-techs, were simply faking their way through things. This applies mostly to marketing droids.

  • Michael Casadevall (cs) in reply to zephc

    O_O; I'm not sure what to say on this one. I've seen some lazyness when I worked IT, but this was seriously a WTF of epic proporations. What the hell is the company thinking if they let this person go on scott-free. Amazing ... still, even if she does get sued, I don't see the worse possible

  • Michael Casadevall (cs) in reply to Michael Casadevall

    Crud, half my post didnt show up, I was saying that it's unlikely to solve anything because the possible earning far outstrip the risk ...

  • Ken Nipper (cs) in reply to Michael Casadevall

    Has anyone considered the fact that most likely she did her "coworkers" a favor by writing this farce?  Seems to me is saved them a lot of trouble if they had to go back and "fix" whatever screwed up mess she came up with.

    Sometimes its just faster to write it from scratch.

  • kdd (cs)

    This could be mostly true.

    WTF:

    1. Management who hire these idiots
    2. Team/tech leads who do not perform regular code reviews or check source code repository (lack of evaluation/monitoring processes during a project)
    3. "Weekly status meetings" that only evaluate progress by %

    I came across contractors who asked "What is SQL?" or could not understand basic software engineering concepts, but who were "Java Programmers" with MS degrees that got hired by Fortune 50 companies. (I also worked as a contractor for the same companies).

    In my experience if you do not monitor contractors they will almost always waste time and company money and bring down the project.

    Also, I have never met any female programmers who produce good maintainable code although it is certainly fun to have them around.

    But 'guy' programmers should not produce any WTFs while coding because of their 'influence' :)

    Have a WTFless weekend!

  • dubwai (cs) in reply to Ken Nipper

    This reminds me of the 'DBA' at my previous employer that kept asking for help fom the developers with basic SQL.  Turns out she used her friend's resume and called her all day for assistance in addition to bugging all the developers.

  • JimNtexas (cs)

    I'm having trouble buying this one.  I admit, except for a few short contracting gigs I've always worked in companies that made and sold products that were mostly software, not for companies that made lint rollers or something and just have an IT department.

    But even in the IT department at the Lint Roller company, do they not use source control?  Can a developer work for weeks and months without checking code that needs to work as part of a larger project? 

    Do they not build the whole project from time to time?  You guys sound like your shops have 10 people working for months on different parts of the solution, and then you just expect all the parts to work together the day before the delivery? 

    Does not the typical lead at least glace at the source control checkins a couple of times a month, just to make sure everyone is singing from the same book?

    If this happened, there has to be a Monica type sitution involved, otherwise it's just impossible to imagine.

  • MWTJ (cs)

    That is brilliant.

    The right way to organize a project is to break it into small enough bits that can be demoed individually.  If you can't do any demos until everything is in place the architecture needs to be re-thought.

  • zephc (cs) in reply to dubwai

    "This reminds me of the 'DBA' at my previous employer that kept asking for help fom the developers with basic SQL. Turns out she used her friend's resume and called her all day for assistance in addition to bugging all the developers."

    I had once declared that a tech company totem pole looks something like:

    CEO > Managers > Developers > QA > Tech Docs > Interns > Janitors > DBAs

    ducks :-D

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Ken Nipper
    Ken Nipper:

    Has anyone considered the fact that most likely she did her "coworkers" a favor by writing this farce?  Seems to me is saved them a lot of trouble if they had to go back and "fix" whatever screwed up mess she came up with.

    Sometimes its just faster to write it from scratch.



    I see you're going under a different name these days, Paula.  ;)
  • Russ (unregistered)

    There's something indefinably cute about this code. I think it's the ditzy habit of naming things after herself, like she's putting herself into her code. Aww, look at the little paulaBean, isn't it sweet? With the ickle String paula, too. Would you getPaula?

    Of course, if I was dev lead on this project I would have bit Paula's face off and burned down her house, but secretly I think it's cute.

  • MxSkweeb (unregistered) in reply to JohnO
    JohnO:
    He had been sitting around doing nothing but surfing most of the time.  Sometimes people just go crazy and pull $hit like that.  I heard he was having drinking and marital problems at the time.


    When I was going through my divorce I basically came in to work and just surfed or stared at my monitor for eight hours every day.
  • Chris F (cs)

    I have a very similar story.  My company was tasked with replacing a simple DOS-based application.  It wasn't anything real complex, so we estimated about three weeks of work to get the whole thing out the door.

    The programmer assigned to the project regularly edited his tasks with increasing percentage of work completed.  In the end, the task sat at 90% complete when he suddenly quit.  He billed about 80 hours of work so far, giving us 40 hours to do the remaining work.  I got the low-down on the project before he left, and had him upload the complete project files to our file server.  He hadn't been using source control.

    When some time opened up and I finally got to dive into the project, I opened his codebase.  I swear to god a virtual tumbleweed blew across my screen.  There were a grand total of three forms: Two were completely empty, and the third had a single button whose default properties were unchanged.  No non-designer code had been written at all.

  • x-sol(lazy) (unregistered) in reply to MxSkweeb

    Anonymous:
    JohnO:
    He had been sitting around doing nothing but surfing most of the time.  Sometimes people just go crazy and pull $hit like that.  I heard he was having drinking and marital problems at the time.


    When I was going through my divorce I basically came in to work and just surfed or stared at my monitor for eight hours every day.

     

    ditto

  • Sumit (unregistered)

    To play the devil's advocate, Paula could be more accomplished than this excerpt would suggest. She could have done some implementation outside of version control on her own PC.
    This code snippet might be an initial see-if-the-environment-is-set-up kind of Hello World test - I do that often enough.

    But yes, in my experience, this does not ring all that untrue at all. At one previous workplace, there was this big project of which one small part was presenting web-based reports. One guy was hired to do them in ColdFusion (then new). He had a presentation on what ColdFusion is and how it was to be used - some code snippets, lots of diagrams etc. Every time there was a need to show progress, he inevitably got things around to making his presentation again. When he was finally forced to leave - afetr 2 years or so, he had hardly done 15% of what he was supposed to.

    (More tidbits about that project - it was basically a payment-processing application with a customer front end. The server + database got written in 3 months. The client GUI took 1.5 years. The reports, as you might have guessed, were not done after 2 years. Miraculously the project survived).

  • aksteele (cs) in reply to kdd
    kdd:


    Also, I have never met any female programmers who produce good maintainable code although it is certainly fun to have them around.



    How many male programmers have you met who produce good, maintainable code?  I would guess that the proportion of female programmers capable of producing maintainable code is fairly similar to the proportion of male programmers capable of the same thing.  The difference is probably that you haven't met many female programmers...
  • phelyan (cs)

    grins Our product is actually for removers, including shipping and warehouse handling. Oddly enough, I've never seen a bean like that used in our code... well, it wouldn't surprise me, though.

    The main WTF to me is the fact that there are hardly any good Java developers out there. Let me tell you what 'good' means by running down the list of developers our company has chewed up and spat out since I started.

    • One couldn't work with other people. Ego the size of Berkshire, not possible to work in a team.
    • Next was a young guy who was supposed to learn from the guy above. That never happened.
    • CS student, brilliant marks. High ideals about what 'good code' is, great technically. No idea what it means working in a business environment and delivering code that does what the customer wants. Smoked dope 24/7 including during work
    • Sun Certified Developer. Simply cracked under pressure and started putting abusive comments into the code.
    • Another Sun Certified one, very similar to our brillant Paula. Takes four to five reminders before something happens.

    So that's five people in about two years. I don't know whether this is typical of programmers in general or just the Java guys...

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