Dan J.

Full-stack VC and Big Picture Thinker. Certified MUMPS Guru. Better than Lyle. The fact is, from an editing standpoint, we really need a supergenius ability level of editor for this project.

Best of 2015: Once You Eliminate the Impossible…

by in Best of… on

This article, from April had a problem, so they decided to use XML. Now they have An error occurred while parsing EntityName. Line 7, position 32. -- Remy

Once you eliminate the impossible…


No Changes Please

by in Feature Articles on

A new codebase at a new job is a lot like a new relationship: everything’s great until you really get to know each other. Just ask Bradley, who joined Javatechsoft Industries a few months ago. He was brought on to lend a hand with an overdue project. The pay was good, the job came with life insurance, and he had plenty of experience with Enterprise Java. It seemed like the perfect fit.

E-II-R-soap


Save Yourselves!

by in CodeSOD on

Scott K was cleaning up a configuration utility used by his team when he dredged up this sanity-threatening artifact:

void Save(string path)
{  
    XmlTextWriter write = null;  
    try
    {  
        write = new XmlTextWriter(path, null);
    }  
    catch (IOException)
    {  
        write.WriteEndDocument();  
        write.Close();  
        try
        {
            write = new XmlTextWriter(path, null);
        }  
        catch (IOException)
        {
            return;
        }
    }  
 // Write stuff to the file
}  

Brillance is in the Eye of the Beholder

by in Feature Articles on

“E-commerce” just doesn’t have the ring it once did. The best-qualified hackers in the world used to fall all over themselves to work on the next Amazon or eBay, but now? A job maintaining the back-end of an online store isn’t likely to lure this generation’s rockstar ninja coderz, which explains why Inicart ended up hiring Jay.

As far as Colleen could tell, her boss had been trying to add a developer to their team for at least a year. Scott was always on his way to interviews, second interviews, phone screens, and follow-up Skype calls… but summer turned to autumn turned to Christmas, and Inicart’s dev team returned from the holidays to find only their waistbands had increased in size. But then came the day Colleen walked in to find the long-empty cubicle next to hers brimming with a brand-new task chair and workstation. She ran down the hall.


We All Float Down Here…

by in CodeSOD on

When Maarten first saw the utility function below, he couldn’t imagine why converting a number from float to double required a string intermediate. Fortunately, whoever wrote this code followed best practices: their comment not only explained what the code is doing, it also explained why.

Pennywise in the sewer


Paying Cache for Insurance

by in Feature Articles on

If you asked the web developers at XYZ Insurance, a mere network engineer like Billy had no business snooping around in their code. “He probably doesn’t even know what HTML stands for,” they’d sneer, and they kept sneering until a routine change to fulfill an audit requirement brought their internal website grinding to a halt.


Green Gecko gobeirne
This article is actually about a health insurance company, but they don’t generally have cute CGI mascots


The Bureaucracy is Expanding…

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Government Department prided itself on the precision of its process and procedures. Every function in the organization had its functionary, at least in theory. Joe had only been on the job a month when he discovered that figuring out which functionary would actually function wasn’t as easy as it looked. The Department used a database known as CAS to track all its financial data, including wages and work orders. Since Joe intended to earn wages in return for coordinating those work orders, he was going to need access to CAS. His first inkling that there might be a problem with the pervasive process was that, despite all employees needing at least basic CAS access for the payroll system, it wasn’t until his fourth week with the department that Terry, his team lead, gave him the good news.


Once You Eliminate the Impossible…

by in CodeSOD on

…Whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be XML.

William Hogarth - Absurd perspectives.png


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