• Hasteur (cs)

    Gotta love that the answer to fixing a botched POS system implementation is to try monkey-patching the system to get it to work in less time it took to make the original system.

  • powerlord (cs)

    As bad as rolling deadlines are, they're still more flexible than the fixed-in-stone type.

  • dave (unregistered)

    This is a Wtf? I thought this was the professional standard for the software industry today

  • HellKarnassus (cs) in reply to dave
    dave:
    This is a Wtf? I thought this was the professional standard for the software industry today

    Yah, the X30-Q standard clearly specifies this as a requirement to be a certified enterprise.

    BTW, love your articles Remy, I can find easter eggs and read while others think I'm working on a web app.

  • Boss (unregistered)

    Work harder, not smarter!

  • dgvid (cs)

    I was asked for a time estimate in an interview once. They were porting an existing X-Windows application to Windows 3.1 and wanted to use MFC. The interviewer, who was the project manager, showed me a few screens from the existing application and gave me a rough idea of the scope of the work and asked how long I thought it would take.

    I only had about two years experience at that point, so didn't know how much I didn't know, so instead of explaining that I couldn't answer the question in an interview, I gave him an answer of about three to six months (as best I can recall). I thought that was really too low an estimate, but I wanted to make a good impression. The interviewer was unpleasantly surprised. He was sure it would probably only take a few weeks.

    I was not offered the job. The project manager felt my estimate showed I didn't have enough experience. I was a little worried that I had gotten the estimate so wrong. Then a few days latter I spoke to a more experienced developer who had recently started working on the same project I was interviewing for. He said my estimate was right on the money. The project manager was in deep denial.

  • Slicerwizard (unregistered)

    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.

  • Buddy (unregistered)

    Worked for a defense supplier on contract. We were in competition with others for the BIG project, so all the bidders far outspent what they were allotted to get the proof of concept ready.

    The proof of concept was delivered on time, was very cool with a windows UI (not Windows!), but the client balked at the price and went with a plain text only offering.

    It probably has the makings of a WTF, but looking back, it wasn't so bad. Spent many 60+ hour weeks (paid hourly thank you), got to work on some serious hardware, lost some weight, and made a lot of money (at least for a student's summer job).

  • ping floyd (unregistered) in reply to Slicerwizard
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.

    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...

  • dohpaz42 (cs)

    Hrm. Doesn't sound so bad to me. As others had said, this is the industry standard. TRWTF would have been taking the job, which he didn't.

  • Bryan the K (unregistered)

    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

  • C-Octothorpe (unregistered) in reply to Bryan the K
    Bryan the K:
    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

    Where's Nagesh when you need him...

    Offshoring anyone?

  • Slim (unregistered)

    Wait... a 5-digit date?

  • Ting Sao Wu (unregistered) in reply to C-Octothorpe
    C-Octothorpe:
    Bryan the K:
    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

    Where's Nagesh when you need him...

    Offshoring anyone?

    Maybe not be starting racism debate again, eh?

  • APH (unregistered)

    I can't tell you how much this resembles my current project.

    1. Rewrite this existing code in a different language.
    2. Don't copy the code, because it is crap. Make it better.
    3. Hard deadline pulled from the air by upper-management.

    Thankfully, my employer isn't always this silly.

  • Jumizo (unregistered) in reply to ping floyd
    ping floyd:
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.

    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...

    As he clearly realises....look the source

  • free-range user. (unregistered) in reply to Slim
    Slim:
    Wait... a 5-digit date?

    Three-digit Julian with two-digit year?

  • trtrwtf (unregistered) in reply to ping floyd
    ping floyd:
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.

    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...

    Ada minimum, I'd say fifteen percent got it. Tops, 20.

  • boog (cs)

    Two ice cream analogies in one WTF article? And some said it couldn't be done.

    Methinks Remy is trying to tell us something.

    Addendum (2011-03-01 16:12): And more if you view the source. Would somebody get Remy some ice cream already!

  • moz (unregistered) in reply to HellKarnassus
    HellKarnassus:
    BTW, love your articles Remy, I can find easter eggs and read while others think I'm working on a web app.
    And there I was all ready to criticise Remy for not only making a pig's ear of déjà vu, but also mis-spelling "small talk" in two separate places.
  • moog (cs) in reply to ping floyd
    ping floyd:
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.

    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...

    Actually, I would have commented on it if Slicerwizard hadn't. Some of us younger folks are curious about programming languages...
  • DCRoss (cs) in reply to Bryan the K

    And if that doesn't work, you can always fire the entire department and bring in a completely new team. If you just keep hiring new people eventually you'll get someone who understands everything.

    (I only wish I was joking.)

  • BlackBart (unregistered) in reply to free-range user.
    free-range user.:
    Slim:
    Wait... a 5-digit date?

    Three-digit Julian with two-digit year?

    The Honeywell has been in operation since the year zero, and it is now the year 99,997 - a few years before it overflows.

  • DropDeadThread (unregistered)

    This comment was supposed to be frist but I missed the deadline.

  • Marc B (unregistered) in reply to Slicerwizard
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.
    Or really? Maybe they were speaking in Smalltalk.
  • C-Octothorpe (unregistered) in reply to Ting Sao Wu
    Ting Sao Wu:
    C-Octothorpe:
    Bryan the K:
    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

    Where's Nagesh when you need him...

    Offshoring anyone?

    Maybe not be starting racism debate again, eh?

    Maybe find out what racism actually means before accusing someone of it, eh?

    rac·ism –noun

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    As far as I can tell, my comment doesn't meet any of the above criteria... I was replying to Bryan's comment about throwing coders at a problem and the problem will go away, which is a huge misnomer but continues to be very popular among many dim-witted managers.

    Bah, who cares... I'm not going to spoon-feed this to you.

    VB is TRWTF, right? Right?

  • boog (cs) in reply to trtrwtf
    trtrwtf:
    ping floyd:
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.
    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...
    Ada minimum, I'd say fifteen percent got it. Tops, 20.
    Eiffel like you shouldn't make fun of younger folks' lack of experience.
  • сергей (unregistered) in reply to HellKarnassus

    [quote user="HellKarnassus" BTW, love your articles Remy, I can find easter eggs and read while others think I'm working on a web app.[/quote] Could do without the rainbows and unicorns though...

  • C-Octothorpe (unregistered) in reply to сергей

    [quote user="сергей"][quote user="HellKarnassus" BTW, love your articles Remy, I can find easter eggs and read while others think I'm working on a web app.[/quote] Could do without the rainbows and unicorns though...[/quote]

    You get that too? Whew! I thought it was because I went to some "questionable" websites last week...

  • Matt Westwood (cs)

    Actually, I might have taken it. Sometimes you just need these impossible challenges to get the rest of the universe into perspective. And every so often these jobs just turn out all right.

  • frits (unregistered) in reply to Bryan the K
    Bryan the K:
    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

    Who hasn't done something like this?

  • Ed Yourdon (unregistered) in reply to frits
    frits:
    Bryan the K:
    Nothing a coders death march can't fix.

    Just have people work hours and hours of unpaid overtime. Then hire a bunch of Jr. Level developers and a bunch of contractors....

    I'm sure it'll work

    Who hasn't done something like this?

    Pretty much everyone I've ever talked to has.

  • C-Octothorpe (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood
    Matt Westwood:
    Actually, I might have taken it. Sometimes you just need these impossible challenges to get the rest of the universe into perspective. And every so often these jobs just turn out all right.

    I agree... There have been situations where I have had to choose between the high-paying, low expectations contract versus the so-so paying, tight deadlines and highly challenging contract.

    Usually I go for the high-pay when I'm looking for a 6 month vacation, but when I'm ready to bust my butt, go for the death march ones. They're usually way more fun and have people with better personalities and tend to be more technically adept. These are the contracts where I learn the most...

  • HellKarnassus (cs) in reply to C-Octothorpe
    C-Pound Pound:
    These are the contracts where I learn the most...

    Meh, life is too short to be learning

  • caper (unregistered)

    Tops, 20.

    I almost had a Spitbol when I saw that.

  • frits (cs) in reply to boog
    boog:
    trtrwtf:
    ping floyd:
    Slicerwizard:
    Hey Remy, Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It is not a form of chitchat or idle banter.
    There's a Snobol's chance in hell that the younger folks got that...
    Ada minimum, I'd say fifteen percent got it. Tops, 20.
    Eiffel like you shouldn't make fun of younger folks' lack of experience.
    I'd like to go all meta and make the forth pun.
  • Jerry (unregistered)

    See, here's the deal. There are certain companies that will never absorb clue, even if you drown them in it. These need to be removed from the universe as quickly as possible, to minimize general pain for the entire species.

    One of the best ways to help a company along its inevitable path is to accept these jobs and commit to the deadlines and then make sure you switch to another job shortly before the deadline arrives. As an hourly contractor, of course, so you can tap them even harder when the death march starts.

    Don't do it for yourself! Do it for the common good!

  • C-Octothorpe (unregistered) in reply to Jerry
    Jerry:
    See, here's the deal. There are certain companies that will never absorb clue, even if you drown them in it. These need to be removed from the universe as quickly as possible, to minimize general pain for the entire species.

    One of the best ways to help a company along its inevitable path is to accept these jobs and commit to the deadlines and then make sure you switch to another job shortly before the deadline arrives. As an hourly contractor, of course, so you can tap them even harder when the death march starts.

    Don't do it for yourself! Do it for the common good!

    Win ^^

  • Rich the Engineer (unregistered)

    Just handle it like they do business with government. Give 'em an estimate with lots of contingencies; low-ball the figures, then hit 'em hard with change orders and schedule delays. Oh, and don't become an employee, offer to do it as a contractor.

    If you play your cards right, you can retire after this job wealthy beyond your wildest fantasies.

  • martiert (unregistered) in reply to ping floyd

    Actually, I'm 24 and the first thing I thought of was Smalltalk the OO language, not Smalltalk as in smalltalk. Maybe I'm just damaged.

  • JJ (unregistered) in reply to Bryan the K

    I guess that's exactly what the previous project manager thought...

  • chron3 (cs) in reply to martiert
    martiert:
    Actually, I'm 24 and the first thing I thought of was Smalltalk the OO language, not Smalltalk as in smalltalk. Maybe I'm just damaged.

    Probably... and I bet you speak with a Lisp also... and geeky enough to have a pet Python at home...

  • EatenByAGrue (unregistered) in reply to chron3
    chron3:
    martiert:
    Actually, I'm 24 and the first thing I thought of was Smalltalk the OO language, not Smalltalk as in smalltalk. Maybe I'm just damaged.

    Probably... and I bet you speak with a Lisp also... and geeky enough to have a pet Python at home...

    So many perls of wisdom here, I'm just sitting here gawking.

  • fritters (unregistered) in reply to APH
    APH:
    I can't tell you how much this resembles my current project. 1. Rewrite this existing code in a different language. 2. Don't copy the code, because it is crap. Make it better. 3. Hard deadline pulled from the air by upper-management.

    Thankfully, my employer isn't always this silly.

    Happened to me not too long ago. Was given a task to take a well-known feature from product X and add it to product Y. But product X was written in an old archaic language so rewrite it from scratch for product Y.

    Then the boss came and asked how it was going. How long did we think it was going to take? My fellow developers and I, knowing that we had little more than prototype code at that point, estimated another 2-3 months, easily.

    "I really need it done in 3 weeks", boss says. "We have a big customer interested in buying product Y. They're coming to visit and having this new feature will really WOW them."

    OK, so we start working crazy hours and weekends to make this happen. I work on statutory holidays and cut into the vacation I had scheduled. Miraculously, we make the deadline and I'm pretty satisfied with the results. I hand it off and take the rest of my vacation.

    When I come back, I ask how the demo went. Was the customer wowed? And of course you guys can all guess the answer: "Err, well, we didn't really have time to show them."

    At least I got lots of overtime pay.

  • Katastrofa (unregistered)

    If they were losing loads of money each day, he lost a golden opportunity to milk them for loads of cash. It wouldn't matter if he'd get it done or not.

  • Silverhill (cs) in reply to EatenByAGrue
    EatenByAGrue:
    So many perls of wisdom here, I'm just sitting here gawking.
    I C what you mean. I hope nobody fires an RPG at us for all this.

    I wonder about that 5-digit date field...there are some organizations that use (or, at least, once used) two digits each for month & date, and only a single digit for the year, perhaps with the idea that their project(s) certainly would not go on for more than ten years. Fools, say I, fools!

  • trwtf (unregistered) in reply to EatenByAGrue
    EatenByAGrue:
    chron3:
    martiert:
    Actually, I'm 24 and the first thing I thought of was Smalltalk the OO language, not Smalltalk as in smalltalk. Maybe I'm just damaged.

    Probably... and I bet you speak with a Lisp also... and geeky enough to have a pet Python at home...

    So many perls of wisdom here, I'm just sitting here gawking.

    That's what she sed.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    These kinds of environments are the worst because it shows two things about the company:

    1. Management doesn't value the professionals they hired to do a job, because a non-technical manager is deciding deadlines without consulting technical staff.

    2. The programmers and IT management are typical yes-men who doom themselves to look good to management.

  • some guy (unregistered) in reply to trwtf
    trwtf:
    EatenByAGrue:
    chron3:
    martiert:
    Actually, I'm 24 and the first thing I thought of was Smalltalk the OO language, not Smalltalk as in smalltalk. Maybe I'm just damaged.

    Probably... and I bet you speak with a Lisp also... and geeky enough to have a pet Python at home...

    So many perls of wisdom here, I'm just sitting here gawking.

    That's what she sed.

    Groovy.

  • jpaull (cs)

    Anyone else read the first two words of the article as "Lawrence welked" the first time they looked at it?

    No?

    Just me?

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