• kuroshin (cs)

    Unfortunately, this is the norm at most dysfuncional teams.

    You'll always have an overzealous brat who always wants to lend a piece of their mind. Even if that piece lies in between their legs.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    Yet another classic example of why management (especially upper management) should never, ever, ever take on development tasks.  It never ends well for anybody -- they break things, nobody wants (or can) tell them that they broke something, and even if it's really obvious, the blame would inevitably get shifted onto the regular developers somehow.

    Gotta love that deployment strategy, too.  No QA?

    Alex Papadimoulis:
    I think I'll start invested my money in my mattress.

    No kidding.  I said that after Paul's story, too, and this one isn't helping my sense of security either. :P

  • Benanov (cs)

    I think we've found a place where breaking the build is beneficial.

    At our office, there's a bit of "you broke the build" but not to the point of someone having a mark of shame.



     

  • jimlangrunner (cs)

    I weep.  

  • WIldpeaks (cs)

    "The Real WTF" (tm) is this looks so familiar, ah man (except in our case, 6 versions only would be in the good days heh).

  • merreborn's nemesis (unregistered)

    Alex Papadimoulis:
    The customer ran six different versions of GOLD side-by-side. The workstations gave each of these a "friendly" name: Version 3.40.2b was "GOLD (Reports Broken)", Version 3.42.1 was "GOLD (Use Only For Filings)", and so on. In addition, the GOLD server is scheduled to reboot itself four times each day to reclaim leaked memory.

     

    SVN == Good

     

    captcha:  truthiness??? is that a word?

    </sarcasm>
     

  • MBV (unregistered)

    Ehm, Alex: how well did you check this? I really can't believe this is actually happening to some major stock market. It is just too obvious, and I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that. Or things must be very different in Europe than they are in the USA. Everything I've ever heard of the banks disagrees with these kind of articles.

  • skippy (cs) in reply to Benanov

    If it compiles it must work! Ship it! </sarcasm>

  • aw (unregistered) in reply to skippy

    We always referred to that as "compile to CD"

  • JD (unregistered) in reply to MBV

    Anonymous:
    ... I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that.

    I have to believe that he is "anonymizing" the original content by saying that it is a financial institution of sorts.  It was VERY obviously to me that this is my previously place of employment, and it was not a financial institution.  ;)

  • skippy (cs) in reply to aw

    Anonymous:
    We always referred to that as "compile to CD"

    The only thing more fun is compiling the code AT the client's site...  Makes for fun later when you realize that the code was never checked in 

  • Not (unregistered)

    Wheres the code?..:(   dailys with no code are boring..

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to MBV

    Anonymous:
    Ehm, Alex: how well did you check this? I really can't believe this is actually happening to some major stock market. It is just too obvious, and I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that. Or things must be very different in Europe than they are in the USA. Everything I've ever heard of the banks disagrees with these kind of articles.
    mbvlist_AT_fastmail_dot_fm

     

    I'm thinking Vancouver- and I'm thinking, the customer spec requires the software to be fucked up.

  • Swift (unregistered)

    But did he get the girl?

  • Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    The software provider is not responsible for liable issues such as profit, or loss, in the event of a software glitch.  The software provider,  from now on referred to as the VENDER, is only liable for the cost of the software only, not matter what act of god, man or animosity occurs in the use, installation or deployment of said software.

     < kudos: the three stooges as the Executive 3 />

  • Kooky Koder (unregistered) in reply to Not

    Salesman: "We told them it had a scheduler. It goes in tomorrow. Here's your plane tickets."

    (code all night long - fly - install)

    Customer: "We won't have any employees for two weeks. I told your salesman that."

    Salesman: "Well, I wanted the sale booked this month - for my comission check" 

    Me: "You  increased our cost by $4000.00"

    Salesman: "My comission isn't calculated as % of profit, it is %of sales."

    .... WTF? 

     

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to MBV

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company and I probably had Paul's old desk.  If I remember correctly, Paul and I were in the same string of developers who joined and then quit within a month when we learned just how...interesting the place was.  They actually joked that the desk must be cursed.

    Management believed that testing was unnecessary since the customers were just going to run the software themselves anyway.  They would find the bugs and call us.  Agrily.  Especially when someone's misplaced '!' flipped the logic behind the Buy and Sell buttons or the message queues overflowed and started dropping trades.  Ah, good times. 

  • ptomblin (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company and I probably had Paul's old desk.  If I remember correctly, Paul and I were in the same string of developers who joined and then quit within a month when we learned just how...interesting the place was.  They actually joked that the desk must be cursed.

     

    Actually, I was a slow learner - I stayed there for 1.5 years.  I envied you guys who figured it out quickly and left soon after.  There was one guy who quit after a week and begged his old job back at another company - I kept wondering why he didn't see how things were going to get better any day now.  They never did.  In spite of the management's best effort to improve morale by firing the guy who complained the most.

     

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to JD
    Anonymous:

    Anonymous:
    ... I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that.

    I have to believe that he is "anonymizing" the original content by saying that it is a financial institution of sorts.  It was VERY obviously to me that this is my previously place of employment, and it was not a financial institution.  ;)

     

    Just like scott adams works at everybody's job, so this WTF is everywhere.     

  • Richard C Haven (unregistered) in reply to MBV

    Anonymous:
    Ehm, Alex: how well did you check this? I really can't believe this is actually happening to some major stock market. It is just too obvious, and I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that. Or things must be very different in Europe than they are in the USA. Everything I've ever heard of the banks disagrees with these kind of articles.

    Beleave it. Financial transactions (the actual transfer of money) has a lot of safeguards on it, but forecasting, CRM, etc. software does not.

     Stock brokerages are no more immune from "it's the way we've always done it" and "but the VP is used to this package" than any other company.

    Cheers
     

  • biziclop (cs)

    I had to deal with a library like that. We started off with v26-v32 when suddenly a new branch called v36 emerged but we still got bugfixes for v32 (labelled v32a-v32l). From v36 we progressed with the second branch v38-v44 (even numbers only), and a brand new one (odd numbers between v37-v49), v49 continued to live on as versions v491-v499 and
    finally v500 came which progressed to v530, then we have thrown away the whole library.

    Of course no changelog had been maintained, the secret knowledge of versions was passed on by spoken words, we were just like the druids of old.
     

  • Kemp (cs)

    Not unlike last week's article, Paul's company develops financial software that's used by major stock markets.

    Reminds me of that Fight Club quote:

     

    Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
    Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
    Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
    Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
    Narrator: A major one.

  • biziclop (cs) in reply to Kemp
    Kemp:

    Not unlike last week's article, Paul's company develops financial software that's used by major stock markets.

    Reminds me of that Fight Club quote:

     

    Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
    Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
    Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
    Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
    Narrator: A major one.

    In an ideal world you'd also have to add the value of lost sales due to bad publicity to the costs of not calling back.
     

  • Dark (unregistered) in reply to biziclop
    biziclop:

    In an ideal world you'd also have to add the value of lost sales due to bad publicity to the costs of not calling back.

    That's why out-of-court settlements include nondisclosure agreements.

     

  • Disgruntled DBA (cs)

    I think I worked there.  It warms my heart no end to see them advertise for a new DBA about every 6 months.  I did not really learn a lot of "best practices" there, but I sure did learn what happens with the "worst practices".  Some of my favorites:

     

    SQL Servers installed with no sa password.

     

    Application runs with the sa login

     

    Prolific use of T-SQL cursors

     

    No two customer's schemas are quite the same.

     

    and my favorite:  Two separate and isolated development groups modifying the same code base.

     

    Ahh, the memories 

  • Jojosh_the_Pi (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company



    Is it just me, or have a ton of people been certain they worked at this company?  Am I the only WTF reader that hasn't worked at this company?
  • biziclop (cs) in reply to Jojosh_the_Pi
    Jojosh_the_Pi:
    Anonymous:

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company



    Is it just me, or have a ton of people been certain they worked at this company?  Am I the only WTF reader that hasn't worked at this company?

    I wonder when Mr. Certain Developer/VP turns up. 

  • XMLord (unregistered)

    Few things are as bad as a programmer/manager. I remember one discussion with my manager once that dealt with our web reports:

    Him:  Why are there so many objects?

    Me: Because we want to separate the data layer, the presentation layer and our specific business rules.

    Him:  But all you do is take the data from the result set, put it into some other object and then use that object to generate the page.

    Me: Exactly, this way -

    Him:  Why can’t you just take the result set and send it to the JSP?

    Me: I can, but -

    Him:  That would be much more efficient!

    Me: You know what? That’s brillant!

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    Gotta love that deployment strategy, too.  No QA?

    For a minute, I had to reread this WTF. It sounded a LOT like a place I worked for 4 years (left a year ago). You'd come in in the morning and the systems director would be on a tear about "we gotta push today!!!". The criteria for pushing was a clean compile. If it compiled, it went. Right from a developer box to the public web server.

    And then would follow the inevitable 5 rapidfire patch pushes. No rollbacks allowed.

    Heh. CAPTCHA: CLUELESS.

     

     

  • giggity (unregistered) in reply to Jojosh_the_Pi
    Jojosh_the_Pi:
    Anonymous:

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company



    Is it just me, or have a ton of people been certain they worked at this company?  Am I the only WTF reader that hasn't worked at this company?

     

    Possibly.  If the company is UK based, I'm certain I've worked for them too, from the WTF and what others have said. 

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to MBV

    Anonymous:
    Ehm, Alex: how well did you check this? I really can't believe this is actually happening to some major stock market. It is just too obvious, and I really can't imagine any stockmarket would accept that. Or things must be very different in Europe than they are in the USA. Everything I've ever heard of the banks disagrees with these kind of articles.
    mbvlist_AT_fastmail_dot_fm

     

    I'll go out on a limb and say he meant "stock broker". I doubt this runs the NYSE. 

  • rlemon (unregistered) in reply to kuroshin
    kuroshin:

    Unfortunately, this is the norm at most dysfuncional teams.

    You'll always have an overzealous brat who always wants to lend a piece of their mind. Even if that piece lies in between their legs.

     

    It's not that the 'piece of mind' is not appreciated, it's the determination to have the final say.

    I quite often suggest things that probably are not the best solution. but thats is exactly where it ends, a suggestion...

  • ptomblin (cs) in reply to Unklegwar
    Anonymous:

    I'll go out on a limb and say he meant "stock broker". I doubt this runs the NYSE. 

     

    Nope, not "stock broker".  Ever heard the expression "Market Maker"? 

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to XMLord
    Anonymous:

    Him:  That would be much more efficient!

     There's a real theoretic truth to that.
     

  • skippy (cs) in reply to Unklegwar
    Anonymous:

    For a minute, I had to reread this WTF. It sounded a LOT like a place I worked for 4 years (left a year ago). You'd come in in the morning and the systems director would be on a tear about "we gotta push today!!!". The criteria for pushing was a clean compile. If it compiled, it went. Right from a developer box to the public web server.

    And then would follow the inevitable 5 rapidfire patch pushes. No rollbacks allowed.

     

    I think everyone's worked at "this" company before.  By "this" company I mean any small company that uses their own version of customer-driven, unattainable-dates-promised-by-salesman development methodology to push stuff out as fast as possible withouth ANY regard to thought or planning.  I left mine less than a year ago, but last I heard was that they were on their 6th or 7th "re-release" of their latest version...

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to XMLord
    Anonymous:

    Few things are as bad as a programmer/manager. I remember one discussion with my manager once that dealt with our web reports:

    Him:  Why are there so many objects?

    Me: Because we want to separate the data layer, the presentation layer and our specific business rules.

    Him:  But all you do is take the data from the result set, put it into some other object and then use that object to generate the page.

    Me: Exactly, this way -

    Him:  Why can’t you just take the result set and send it to the JSP?

    Me: I can, but -

    Him:  That would be much more efficient!

    Me: You know what? That’s brillant!

    Pfff. My last manager/director was some sort of engineer by training. Didn't know how to code for snot. But that didn't stop him from occasionally finding some "free" software (open source or shareware with source) and "integrating" it into our code base. He'd make a total mess complete with memory leaks, horrible logic, performance black holes and every other godawful disaster you can think of. Then he'd grow tired of it, or just get to the point where he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work right. Then he'd pass it off to a coworker of mine, declaring it should only take "a week or so" to polish up.  Recipient developer would work several 80 hour weeks and weekends in a row to get the thing cleaned up, and then get dinged on his review for poor performance and "inability to estimate and meet deadlines".

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Jojosh_the_Pi
    Jojosh_the_Pi:
    Anonymous:

    I can verify this.  I worked for the same company. Not one just like it, but the exact same company



    Is it just me, or have a ton of people been certain they worked at this company?  Am I the only WTF reader that hasn't worked at this company?

     

    The software development community in Rochester, NY is only so big and while I don't know Paul personally, I know who he is and that we did in fact work for the same company a few months apart.  Someone questioned whether this story could be real, so I chimed in that I know it to be true because I worked in the same company and experienced the same thing.

    If you are very nice and someone buys me a beer, I will tell you what happened when I tried to fix a bug in that VP's implementation of a vector. 

  • rmg66 (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    Him:  That would be much more efficient!

     There's a real theoretic truth to that.

    Are you being sarcastic?

    Because frankly it *would* be more efficient. And the only reasion to follow the division of labor described by Anonymous would be so that it would fit in with and already defined model.

    Now if the manager didn't know about or care about the design model, that would be a WTF. 

     

  • VGR (cs) in reply to skippy

    skippy:
    If it compiles it *must* work! Ship it! </sarcasm>

    You joke, but I think that's the real root cause.  You've got people who never learned to see writing software as anything more than getting it all to be minimally functional.  Anyone who can pass a few CS courses seems to think he's qualified to write end-user software.  And today's WTF is often what we get as a result.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Unklegwar

     

    Anonymous:

    Pfff. My last manager/director was some sort of engineer by training. Didn't know how to code for snot. But that didn't stop him from occasionally finding some "free" software (open source or shareware with source) and "integrating" it into our code base. He'd make a total mess complete with memory leaks, horrible logic, performance black holes and every other godawful disaster you can think of. Then he'd grow tired of it, or just get to the point where he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work right. Then he'd pass it off to a coworker of mine, declaring it should only take "a week or so" to polish up.  Recipient developer would work several 80 hour weeks and weekends in a row to get the thing cleaned up, and then get dinged on his review for poor performance and "inability to estimate and meet deadlines".

    Sounds like a great reason to declare his contribution a lost cause and excise it in whole. 

    Anonymous:

    The software development community in Rochester, NY is only so big and while I don't know Paul personally, I know who he is and that we did in fact work for the same company a few months apart.  Someone questioned whether this story could be real, so I chimed in that I know it to be true because I worked in the same company and experienced the same thing.

    If you are very nice and someone buys me a beer, I will tell you what happened when I tried to fix a bug in that VP's implementation of a vector. 

     

    Does it involve a cardboard box and all of your personal stuff?
  • biziclop (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    If you are very nice and someone buys me a beer, I will tell you what happened when I tried to fix a bug in that VP's implementation of a vector. 

    Implementing a vector is a good wtf unto itself. (What if I buy a beer, place it on a wooden table...?)

  • biziclop (cs) in reply to rmg66
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    Him:  That would be much more efficient!

     There's a real theoretic truth to that.

    Are you being sarcastic?

    Because frankly it *would* be more efficient. And the only reasion to follow the division of labor described by Anonymous would be so that it would fit in with and already defined model.

    Now if the manager didn't know about or care about the design model, that would be a WTF. 

     

    The design model is a consequence, not a cause.

    If you assume that nothing will ever change, not even a single bit of the user interface, it's efficient. However, you could just as well assume that people will never be stupid from tomorrow on.
     

  • ptomblin (cs) in reply to biziclop
    biziclop:

    Implementing a vector is a good wtf unto itself. (What if I buy a beer, place it on a wooden table...?)

    Only if that wooden table is in JB Quimby's.

     

    Man, I wish I knew who "Anonymous" was so we could share some stories. 

  • skippy (cs) in reply to VGR
    VGR:

    You joke, but I think that's the real root cause.  You've got people who never learned to see writing software as anything more than getting it all to be minimally functional.  Anyone who can pass a few CS courses seems to think he's qualified to write end-user software.  And today's WTF is often what we get as a result.

    It was a sad joke, yes.  But I know all too well how true that actually is. 

  • Nathan (unregistered) in reply to biziclop
    biziclop:

    The design model is a consequence, not a cause.

    If you assume that nothing will ever change, not even a single bit of the user interface, it's efficient. However, you could just as well assume that people will never be stupid from tomorrow on.

     

    You  are confusing two efficiencies: that of the computer, and that of the developers.  The correct response to an observation like this is: How much does the server cost for this software?  And what is my salary?

    You do not need to be a developer to understand that developers are far more expensive than computers. 

     

  • Solo (unregistered)

    The VP should probably team up with my boss (and her mighty degrees in English and History of religions) because she insists on laying out the database schema. The reason: I want something simple. I don't want any of those fancy many tables that force me to do joins in access. The flatter the better. I know it sounds stupid to you, but that's the way I want it.

    captcha: zork
     

  • Jojosh_the_Pi (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    If you are very nice and someone buys me a beer, I will tell you what happened when I tried to fix a bug in that VP's implementation of a vector. 



    Here's some beer, complete with a wench.  (I'm assuming you're male.)  So what's the story?

    [image]
  • nsimeonov (cs)

    I always wonder where Alex is getting those images... always so nice :) good job, Alex!

  • Brad (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    In addition, the GOLD server is scheduled to reboot itself four times each day to reclaim leaked memory.

    My brother works on a Java Intranet app that he's convinced is the largest single java app in history.  We were discussing server operating systems and he mentioned that he thinks a particular one is kinda squirrely because an instance that's running his team's app has to be rebooted regularly.

    He regularly tells me about wtfs in this "largest app on the planet" and then suspects the OS when the server has to be rebooted.  wtf?

    Recursive captcha = wtf
     

  • Brad (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    Management believed that testing was unnecessary since the customers were just going to run the software themselves anyway.  They would find the bugs and call us. 

    The canard "user's make the best testers" is true, it's just that usually it's accepted that if you actually practiced this, you'd be out of business.  Apparently in this case, the user's have no choice but to use 3 Stooge Inc's software.  Is there a monopoly here or is this an opportunity waiting?
     

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