• sagaciter (unregistered)

    My stones!

  • Noob (unregistered)

    Oh, For Fook Sake not another VBA WTF.

    Captcha: iusto. I used to think VBA was a programming language

  • Doozerboy (unregistered)

    The real WTF is Tom. He should have discussed what he was planning to do with his boss, before he started doing it, especially since he was a new hire.

  • (cs)

    Open source tools then?

  • dayneo (unregistered)

    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

  • Pippo (unregistered)

    Dunno why, but this reminds me of my last job. It was an engineering firm, but, god forbid, you actually had to do some engineering work, your choice was word, excel, and, for some obscure and possibly devil reason, mathcad. Nothing else. The helpdesk didn't even know what a compiler was. You should have seen the face of my boss when I asked if we could afford a matlab license (yeah, I know, matlab...).

  • CleanCode (unregistered)

    Perhaps Tom should show Karen the myriad horror stories associated with having 12 (OMG!) Access db's linked together! I don't ever recall having more than 2 or 3 linked together before!

  • LART (unregistered)

    Who noticed the "Click Me"?

    CAPTCHA: ratis

  • (cs) in reply to Doozerboy
    Doozerboy:
    The real WTF is Tom. He should have discussed what he was planning to do with his boss, before he started doing it, especially since he was a new hire.

    In most sane dev shops, developers have free reign to install any tools they need that help them do their job, and only need to approve it if it's going to cost money. He did what any sane developer would do, the WTF is that he's listed as an accountant because the team he's on can't hire developers due to corporate nonsense.

    The other WTF is that he seemingly took a developer job that he thought was .NET and it turned out to be 100% Access. I smell a bait-and-switch.

  • DQ (unregistered)

    I must admit that when starting at my current job, I also created such a monstrosity simply because I had no other option (well, actually the first thing I created was a 100MB Excel file). Luckily I now know how to use SQL Server and have a single, clean database.

  • Dan F (unregistered) in reply to Doozerboy
    Doozerboy:
    The real WTF is Tom. He should have discussed what he was planning to do with his boss, before he started doing it, especially since he was a new hire.

    But that would take all the romance out of it? "I'm going to rationalise all your data... ready baby?"

    captcha suscipere, nothing sus ip here gov (say it with a jordy accent)

  • (cs) in reply to dayneo
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

    Yes, at The Daily Bloody Well Works Like It Should Dot Com, everything is great and nobody ever updates their resumes because why would they.

  • Will (unregistered)

    Would not blame the guy, he could of been looking for a job and any port in the storm he took it.

    That he got visual studio installed and got space on a database for a while, after all he had migrated the data and had delivered a version to the users already does not speak good for the processes the place had.

  • LIS (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi

    No, most sane dev shops stick with a bunch of well understood, well supported tools. There is no point in developing a system that relys on 10000 third party tools/libraries/whatever from various fly-by-night "vendors" with no promise of support or integration/compatibility with your environment. Libraries should generally be chosen by architects and tools by development managers (to evaluate the long term implications) with input from the development team. If you give developers free rein then you end up with a pile of crap developed with tech-de-jour they never even understood before they started.

    That aside, Oracle and VS sounds like a reasonable step forward in this case.

  • Gomer Pyle (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Doozerboy:
    The real WTF is Tom. He should have discussed what he was planning to do with his boss, before he started doing it, especially since he was a new hire.

    In most sane dev shops, developers have free reign to install any tools they need that help them do their job, and only need to approve it if it's going to cost money. He did what any sane developer would do, the WTF is that he's listed as an accountant because the team he's on can't hire developers due to corporate nonsense.

    The other WTF is that he seemingly took a developer job that he thought was .NET and it turned out to be 100% Access. I smell a bait-and-switch.

    A sane dev shop would use a standard set of tools that should be somewhat modern... and open to upgrades. Letting everyone use their favorite usually results in interoperability problems, especially on a shared codebase. But this misses the point...

    If Tom jumped at a job and signed the contract without reading it (how else could a dev end up an accountant?), then the blame falls squarely on him. If it was a bait and switch, as mentioned above, then that would be a serious breach of contract!

    captcha: acsi - endian neutral ascii

  • DeliriousHippie (unregistered) in reply to Pippo
    Pippo:
    Dunno why, but this reminds me of my last job. It was an engineering firm, but, god forbid, you actually had to do some engineering work, your choice was word, excel, and, for some obscure and possibly devil reason, mathcad. Nothing else. The helpdesk didn't even know what a compiler was. You should have seen the face of my boss when I asked if we could afford a matlab license (yeah, I know, matlab...).

    I don't see reason for MathCad being bad for engineering. Meanings of these two programs are different.

  • GCoder (unregistered)

    Wow, I'm guessing if their budget is that tight, maybe they shouldn't hire anybody and just go belly up like the other companies that operate this way.

    Frankly, Oracle licenses are expensive, but if you have a company infrastructure with support for it, then it's money in the bank by using existing resources.

    If they were on a tight budget, he probably could have installed mysql instead. That being said, it's short sided to consider Visual Studio as not within budget. The program costs like $500 on amazon. How much do you pay your developer an hour? Even at $18/hour, you've paid the cost of the program in 3 days on the developer's cost alone. So if it takes your developer 15 days to unravel the rats nest, or maybe have him rewrite it and then maybe not need a developer on hand in the future (coding ourselves out of a job), it's still pound foolish to not have it done right where it can be maintained a lot easier.

  • eric (unregistered) in reply to LART

    You have encountered a "Remy Portal" Be carefull with them, next thing you know you'll be seeing hidden comments in the text....

  • Alan (unregistered)

    Oh, so we call it an Access factor. I guess I have a 92 factor Access "app"

  • Alan (unregistered) in reply to GCoder
    GCoder:
    So if it takes your developer 15 days to unravel the rats nest, or maybe have him rewrite it and then maybe not need a developer on hand in the future (coding ourselves out of a job), it's still pound foolish to not have it done right where it can be maintained a lot easier.

    Heh, maybe you've never seen a special Access setup but typically untangling anything in 15 days is unrealistic. There is a tendency that nothing works like you think it might. The reason Access is regularly used is because a non-programmer/non-designer/non-technical/non-logic/non-planning person can make something happen with it.

    My boss (a GREAT person and boss) has developed stuff in the past in Access and usually its a "oh, I can change that real quick" thing that ends up with 20 gotos leaping around each other. He's a pharmacist so I give him a pass but when I get pulled in to help "tweak" something(his words, not mine), I regularly end up totally rebuilding it from the ground up over in our SQL Server instance.

  • Eric (unregistered) in reply to LART
    Who noticed the "Click Me"?

    By now we've all been trained to read the page source.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi

    Agreed. A bait-and-switch for a job like this is probably illegal. I'd probably, walk out, talk to a lawyer and then resign the next day.

  • ich bn deerj mar,kuis toirpoch (unregistered)

    mein bild wurde nicht akzeptiert

  • Smug Unix User (unregistered)

    Most sane developers ask about the code base, version control, supported OS's, unit testing, tech writers, and everything on the programmer's bill of rights.

  • Smug Unix User (unregistered)

    Most sane developers ask about the code base, version control, supported OS's, unit testing, tech writers, and everything on the programmer's bill of rights.

  • Matt (unregistered) in reply to Doozerboy
    Doozerboy:
    The real WTF is Tom. He should have discussed what he was planning to do with his boss, before he started doing it, especially since he was a new hire.

    The article reads like the actual job description came as a surprise to him. Sounds like he forgot/didn't know that the job interview is as much the applicant interviewing the company as it is the company interviewing the applicant.

  • Pippo (unregistered) in reply to DeliriousHippie
    DeliriousHippie:
    Pippo:
    Dunno why, but this reminds me of my last job. It was an engineering firm, but, god forbid, you actually had to do some engineering work, your choice was word, excel, and, for some obscure and possibly devil reason, mathcad. Nothing else. The helpdesk didn't even know what a compiler was. You should have seen the face of my boss when I asked if we could afford a matlab license (yeah, I know, matlab...).

    I don't see reason for MathCad being bad for engineering. Meanings of these two programs are different.

    Ah, you almost got me there, your sarcasm on my sarcasm is just brilliant!!

  • Chad (unregistered)

    Oh this brings back memories from almost every company Ive ever worked for. The ingenious end users think that because they can write a formula in Excel then they are developers. Access/VBA end-user apps all tend to fail after a short period of time, and even worse are the pseudo-apps created using excel, random connections a backend databases, and manual updates to tables using some DB tool. People who clodge these monstrosities together should be strung up.

  • (cs) in reply to dayneo
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

    Tom's resume:

    FFS Corp, Accountant, 2013-03-19 9:00am - 10:37am

    • Familiarized self with legacy Access application
    • Took initiative to install developer tools Technologies Used: VB, Access, .Net (C#), Visual Studios, Oracle, Microsoft Office Suite

    Inedo Corp, Programmer, 2013-02-14 9:00am - 9:15am

    • Applied interpersonal communication skills with team lead
    • Made risk/reward assessment of usability of legacy reporting system Technologies Used: Crystal Reports, PCs, multi-line phone systems

    WTF Inc, Programmer, 2013-02-01 9:00am - 12:22pm

    • Championed adoption of ticketing/bug tracking system
    • Championed adoption of version control system
    • Championed adoption of integrated development environment Technologies Used: BugTrac, JIRA, Bugzilla, a shared Word document, Hg, SVN, CSV, Source Safe, a shared network drive, Visual Studios 2012, Visual Studios 2008, Visual Studios 2005, Notepad

    Education (in progress) Computer Science, UoP - 26 December 2012 - 01 Jan 2013 Computer Science, UoW - 5 Sept, 2012 - 8 Sept, 2012 Computer Science, UoNY - 16 June 2012 - 18 June 2012 Accounting Diploma, G College - 10 Jan 2012 - 17 Jan 2012

  • faoileag (unregistered) in reply to GCoder
    GCoder:
    That being said, it's short sided to consider Visual Studio as not within budget. The program costs like $500 on amazon. How much do you pay your developer an hour?
    You must be new to corporate logic.

    First: yes, there is logic in corporate logic. It just doesn't make sense to you and me. Second: division budgets are created by corporate logic. In this case, we have a division A (accountants) that uses a homegrown financial application (FiAp). And we have a division B (IT), whose job is to support FiAp. It is not unusual to operate both as cost centers, so B is billing A. A's budget for IT is limited to a degree that they can't afford to hire B to support FiAp. But the budget allows for another accountant. No, you can not just transfer funds from one budget sub item to another! Not in corporate world! So the newly hired "accountant"'s task is to maintain FiAp. Visual Studio comes out of A's IT budget, the developer, sorry: accountant, from A's HR budget. It simply doesn't matter how productive the developer is - you just can't offset the productivity gained from budget sub item HR against the costs involved in budget sub item IT!

    If you think that's weird logic - welcome to corporate world. And I've been told that working for government is worse :-)

  • Geoff (unregistered) in reply to Doozerboy

    no the WTF here is that Karen hired someone without the authority and/or by falsely representing the position the correct HR authorities. She then plainly misrepresented the position to applicant(s) and her eventual hire Tom.

    The WTF here is Tom is just taking it and updating his resume; which he may want to do but might as well do at home. He might not get anywhere but he should go strait to HR and explain exactly what happened. Karen should get perp-walked out the door and if he is really really lucky and there is an open developer position maybe they use him to fill it.

  • Pippo (unregistered) in reply to faoileag

    If you think government is worse, just imagine what it would be in a pan-government (think European Agency as an example). Boggles the mind, eh?

  • (cs) in reply to Geoff
    Geoff:
    no the WTF here is that Karen hired someone without the authority and/or by falsely representing the position the correct HR authorities. She then plainly misrepresented the position to applicant(s) and her eventual hire Tom.

    The WTF here is Tom is just taking it and updating his resume; which he may want to do but might as well do at home. He might not get anywhere but he should go strait to HR and explain exactly what happened. Karen should get perp-walked out the door and if he is really really lucky and there is an open developer position maybe they use him to fill it.

    The day Tom is that lucky is the day the porcine ones take to the air above the frozen wastes of Hell.

    That is, never.

  • faoileag (unregistered) in reply to Matt
    Matt:
    The article reads like the actual job description came as a surprise to him. Sounds like he forgot/didn't know that the job interview is as much the applicant interviewing the company as it is the company interviewing the applicant.
    Even if you do, there's no guarantee that what they tell you is actually the truth as you would understand it.

    Happened to me a few years ago, where I understood "inhouse" as "by the same sub division in the same building" and not as "by some other subsidiary of the company 500 mls away". They also didn't tell me that development was organized into "framework" (where all the interesting things happened I wanted to do) and "customizing the framework to suit the customers needs" (where I ended up).

    I've become even warier after that but I know there's no guarantee it will not happen again.

  • faoileag (unregistered) in reply to Pippo
    Pippo:
    If you think government is worse, just imagine what it would be in a pan-government (think European Agency as an example). Boggles the mind, eh?
    Yes, but Euracrats are at least mind boggingly well paid! :-)
  • (cs) in reply to Lorne Kates
    Lorne Kates:
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

    Tom's resume:

    FFS Corp, Accountant, 2013-03-19 9:00am - 10:37am

    • Familiarized self with legacy Access application
    • Took initiative to install developer tools Technologies used: VB, Access, .Net (C#), Visual Studios, Oracle, Microsoft Office Suite

    Inedo Corp, Programmer, 2013-02-14 9:00am - 9:15am

    • Applied interpersonal communication skills with team lead
    • Made risk/reward assessment of usability of legacy reporting system Technologies Used: Crystal Reports, PCs, multi-line phone systems

    WTF Inc, Programmer, 2013-02-01 9:00am - 12:22pm

    • Championed adoption of ticketing/bug tracking system
    • Championed adoption of version control system
    • Championed adoption of integrated development environment Technologies User: BugTrac, JIRA, Bugzilla, a shared Word document, Hg, SVN, CSV, Source Safe, a shared network drive, Visual Studios 2012, Visual Studios 2008, Visual Studios 2005, Notepad

    Education (in progress) Computer Science, UoP - 26 December 2012 - 01 Jan 2013 Computer Science, UoW - 5 Sept, 2012 - 8 Sept, 2012 Computer Science, UoNY - 16 June 2012 - 18 June 2012 Accounting Diploma, G College - 10 Jan 2012 - 17 Jan 2012

    As someone who actually works at WTF Inc, I can tell you - with certainty - that nobody named "Tom" works here!
  • WittyRepliesInc (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Lorne Kates:
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

    Tom's resume:

    FFS Corp, Accountant, 2013-03-19 9:00am - 10:37am

    • Familiarized self with legacy Access application
    • Took initiative to install developer tools Technologies used: VB, Access, .Net (C#), Visual Studios, Oracle, Microsoft Office Suite

    Inedo Corp, Programmer, 2013-02-14 9:00am - 9:15am

    • Applied interpersonal communication skills with team lead
    • Made risk/reward assessment of usability of legacy reporting system Technologies Used: Crystal Reports, PCs, multi-line phone systems

    WTF Inc, Programmer, 2013-02-01 9:00am - 12:22pm

    • Championed adoption of ticketing/bug tracking system
    • Championed adoption of version control system
    • Championed adoption of integrated development environment Technologies User: BugTrac, JIRA, Bugzilla, a shared Word document, Hg, SVN, CSV, Source Safe, a shared network drive, Visual Studios 2012, Visual Studios 2008, Visual Studios 2005, Notepad

    Education (in progress) Computer Science, UoP - 26 December 2012 - 01 Jan 2013 Computer Science, UoW - 5 Sept, 2012 - 8 Sept, 2012 Computer Science, UoNY - 16 June 2012 - 18 June 2012 Accounting Diploma, G College - 10 Jan 2012 - 17 Jan 2012

    As someone who actually works at WTF Inc, I can tell you - with certainty - that nobody named "Tom" works here!

    Not anymore.

  • ian (unregistered)

    The WTF is with him this time. Most Developers would ask what is it that i will be working on at the interview. And i would think that most would have walked away.

    And why didnt he just download a copy of visual studio express (or sharpdevelop if you want more toys) download sql server express. And build the software using free and open source technologies. I doubt there is anything that access can do that cant be built quickly with those tools. And once it is built and has been running for a few weeks and all the staff are overjoyed at the speed and additional functionality, then its time to discuss his pay rise for improving the whole department without spending a penny. Which would make a better end to this story.

  • xMort (unregistered) in reply to ian

    Access Express could not be used for commercial purposes.

  • (cs) in reply to Smug Unix User
    Smug Unix User:
    Most sane developers ask about the code base, version control, supported OS's, unit testing, tech writers, and everything on the programmer's bill of rights.

    This bears mentioning as well. There's one of two things here:

    1. He did ask and was lied to (e.g. told he'd be on the dev team and instead got put into Financial), in which case the company is at fault.

    2. He didn't ask in which case the fault is his for not asking whoever interviewed him, and raising the alarm if they didn't answer satisfactorily.

    This outfit is clearly not a "sane" shop if a developer gets reprimanded for installing developer tools.

  • luptatum (unregistered)
    While that chugged away, he fired up one of the approved developer tools- Microsoft Word- and started to update his resume.
    I hope the next thing he wrote was a document titled "Why your decisions are stupid and this company sucks", in which he explained in detail why all those decisions by management were wrong, and any other WTFs he might find in the company, which he sent to every person in management immediately after finding a new job.

    No really, they aren't gonna learn if we don't teach them.

  • (cs)

    About the budget thing: my understanding (of the account given here) is that getting Visual Studio/Oracle access is not out of the (IT or other) budget of the financial team, but is straight up forbidden for non-developers, presumably (when combined with that team being forbidden to hire official developers) in order to centralize development in one team/division: corporate IT.

    What is outside the financial team budget (as far as I can tell) is the quote from said corporate IT to convert (as a necessary first step to support) the app to what I guess is the proper corporate architecture, quote which may not even be exagerated given the monstrosity FFS is like; I bet Visual Studio and even the developaccountant salary is peanuts compared to that.

    So the real WTF (besides the bureaucracy) is that corporate IT seems to be run as some sort of internal IT services firm, quoting the other teams for the effort required to support their applications. But the real job of corporate IT is to be a corporate-wide service that ensures computing services (whichever they are) are available to everyone. FFS clearly is mission-critical software, what happens the day it breaks down? Now I'm not saying corporate IT should just mop up anything that comes up in the company and have to support every piece of macro concieved by any half-witted end user in the company, and clearly there has to be ways to make other teams responsible for the costs they incur in IT so that IT can be budgeted, but leaving an application like FFS in a state of unbeing, both mission-critical and not under corporate IT radar, is not the way to do it. Ties a bit into my assessment of "Poke a Dot".

    Addendum (2013-03-20 10:37): Indeed, as I said there: "in my opinion the problem is an organization that lets such organically grown software become mission critical before it's taken over by actual IT programmers."

  • B (unregistered) in reply to Smug Unix User
    Smug Unix User:
    Most sane developers ask about the code base, version control, supported OS's, unit testing, tech writers, and everything on the programmer's bill of rights.

    I'm sure he tried to ask, but the response he got was the interviewer scanning the job description document on the desk in front of him and saying "I'm in HR, so I don't know the specifics. I've been assured you will be able to do what you need to do in order to do the job, however. Our staff is very professional, so I'm sure they follow standards."

  • eVil (unregistered) in reply to xMort
    xMort:
    Access Express could not be used for commercial purposes.

    Access Express isn't a thing ever made and sold by Microsoft, incidentally. So probably difficult to use for any purposes, including commercial.

  • C-Derb (unregistered) in reply to dayneo
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?
    I cannot imagine what Tom had to update on his resume. Did he want to advertise his new found expertise in maintaining distributed Access applications? Sure, there's tons of places looking for someone who has those skills, but he already knows he doesn't want to do that kind of work.

    Or maybe he wanted to become a real accountant?

  • (cs) in reply to dayneo
    dayneo:
    Interesting that all the developers that make it onto the WTF always seem to "update their resumes" at the end. Are they ever able to hold down a job?

    It is possible they can.

    The real question of the WTF is: Are any of these people actually working at a real job, as opposed to a nightmarish perdition?

  • drstober (unregistered) in reply to Chad

    Most of the times that I see this it is the direct result of accounting monstrosities. In large companies, getting IT support to develop a solution for you costs lots of hours at a burdened rate. Compared to slicing a few hours out of your budget to have someone clodge together something it's a huge difference.

    The problem I see is that there's a huge gap between tools to make user's lives easier (and consequently letting them spend time analyzing data vs. manipulating it) and enterprise, designed by committee, IT solutions.

    Having clodged together some of these monstrosities, I always heavily caveat that I'm not a real developer before starting, during development and after delivery. I know real developers and have done some personal study on coding and software design, but I'm not a professional. I also try to push the customer to move to an IT developed solution.

    At the end of the day, I've got happy users that have a tool that does what they need, but I'm sure it would make most professional devs want to gouge their eyes out.

  • faoileag (unregistered) in reply to C-Derb
    C-Derb:
    I cannot imagine what Tom had to update on his resume.
    Well there is a school of thought that says: "Holes in your CV are bad!".

    So it's probably better to put something in there like: From: 03/01/2013 To: 03/02/2013 Role: Software developer for financial applications Achievements: installed Visual Studio, applied for Oracle Access

    Besides, unlike in other stories, this developer is just updating his resume, he is not leaving immediately.

    So yes, he must update his resume with the company he is currently employed with. Receiving a job application after just a few days into a new job will raise a few eyebrows on the other side anyway.

  • eVil (unregistered) in reply to luptatum
    luptatum:
    I hope the next thing he wrote was a document titled "Why your decisions are stupid and this company sucks", in which he explained in detail why all those decisions by management were wrong, and any other WTFs he might find in the company, which he sent to every person in management immediately after finding a new job.

    No really, they aren't gonna learn if we don't teach them.

    I kinda agree. If you're leaving immediately, it doesn't hurt to explain why:

    "Because you're asking a highly skilled developer to do his job incorrectly for very bad reasons. Any any other developer who you hire will therefore either be:

    1. Competent, and therefore also leaving this job immediately because you're not paying enough to put up with this shit.
    2. Incompetent, and therefore going to stay and make your problems even worse."
  • (cs)

    As an aside, WTF is up with the notion that internal IT must be treated like a consulting firm with hour tracking and "billable" hours? You work for the same company! It doesn't cost you extra to request a project be done.

    Worst of all is this disturbing new trend of having your IT be a spin-off company owned by the same guys but with a different name so you can have "IT Services" external to your organization but they still technically work in the same building and for the same users.

    Can someone in the corporate world please explain what the point of this is? Other than to make your IT staff miserable by pretending they're consulting (or worse, actually offer consulting to other companies based on what your internal IT has done for you) when they're not? Is it some kind of tax scheme?

    I've seen so many companies now that don't tell you that the tech job you're applying for isn't with Initrode's IT department, it's actually with "Initech IT Solutions" which just so happens to have only a single client, Initrode, and just so happens to have the same management structure and senior management as Initrode.

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