TJ Mott

I've been a developer for the past seven years. Currently I'm in the aerospace industry and work with a variety of programming languages and operating systems.

A Font of Misery

by in Feature Articles on

After his chilling encounter in the company’s IT Cave, new hire George spent some time getting his development workstation set up. Sadly, his earlier hope that the PC in his office was a short-term placeholder until something better comes in was dashed to pieces. This PC was a small-form-factor budget system, relying on an old dual-core processor, 2 GB RAM, a 5400 RPM “green” disk drive, and integrated graphics with a single output port, to which was connected an aging 17" LCD monitor with a failing backlight.

A preview of a glitchy font


Best of 2016: The Inner JSON Effect

by in Best of… on
As we review this year's greatest hits, let's revisit the latest incarnation of the dreaded "Inner Platform Effect". --Remy

Jake eagerly stepped into his new job, grateful for more experience and new challenges, craving to learn new software stacks and see what his new company had to teach him about the world of software.

They told him he’d be working on some websites, dealing with JavaScript, Node.js, JSON, and the like. It sounded pretty reasonable for web development, except for the non-technical interviewer’s comment that it was all “built on top of Subversion” which he assumed was a simple misunderstanding.


The Infrastructure

by in Feature Articles on

George had just escaped from his job, a WTF-laden hellhole where asking for a test database to reproduce an issue resulted in the boss spending hours and hours hand-typing and debugging a fresh SQL script based on an old half-remembered schema.

Initech promised to be a fantastic improvement. “We do things right around here,” his new boss, Harvey, told him after hiring him. “We do clean coding. Our development systems and libraries are fabulous! And each of our programmers get a private office with its own window!” Yay, no more cubicle!


Deep Fried Offshore

by in Feature Articles on

Stephen worked for an Initech that sold specialized hardware: high-performance, high-throughput systems for complex data processing tasks in the enterprise world, sold at exorbitant enterprise prices. Once deployed, these systems were configured via a management app that exposed an HTTP interface, just like any consumer-grade router or Wi-Fi access point that is configurable through a website (e.g. 192.168.0.1).

Stephen worked with a diverse team of American engineers who were finishing up the management application for a new model. The product was basically done but needed a little bit of testing and polish before the official release. They expected several months of post-release work and then the project would go into maintenance mode.


Learning to Share

by in Feature Articles on

Maintenance programming is an important job in nearly any software shop. As developers move on to other positions or companies, the projects they leave behind still need someone to take care of them, to fix bugs or implement customer requests. Often, these products have been cobbled together by a variety of programmers who no longer work for the company, many of whom had only a loose understanding of the product (or even programming in general).

Martin was one such maintenance programmer. After being hired, management quickly realized he had a knack for digging into old systems and figuring them out well enough to update them, which often meant a full rewrite to make everything consistent and sane.


The Inner JSON Effect

by in Feature Articles on

Jake eagerly stepped into his new job, grateful for more experience and new challenges, craving to learn new software stacks and see what his new company had to teach him about the world of software.

They told him he’d be working on some websites, dealing with JavaScript, Node.js, JSON, and the like. It sounded pretty reasonable for web development, except for the non-technical interviewer’s comment that it was all “built on top of Subversion” which he assumed was a simple misunderstanding.


Say "Y" to Indexes

by in Feature Articles on

Henry was a hotshot developer working on a team that specialized in performance tuning. When other teams in his company had performance problems they couldn’t solve, Henry’s team was called in. Through profiling, analysis of algorithms, and database tuning, his team excelled at turning inefficient, slow, bug-ridden software into applications that actually did real work in a timely manner.

Usually.


Unprocessed Payments

by in Feature Articles on

Ivan worked for a mobile games company that mass-produced “freemium” games. These are the kinds of games you download and play for free, but you can pay for in-game items or perks to make the game easier–or in some cases, possible to beat once you get about halfway through the game.

Since that entire genre is dependent upon microtransactions, you’d think developers would have rock-solid payment code that rarely failed. Code that worked almost all the time, that was nearly unhackable, and would provide a steady stream of microtransactions to pay everybody’s salary. But who am I kidding? This is The Daily WTF! Of course reliable in-app payment code for a company completely dependent on microtransactions isn’t going to happen!


Archives