• Code Dependent (cs)

    This comment will be posted as soon as things stabilize a bit.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    An all too common occurrence, sadly. "Professional" developers who don't understand a lick of best practices but think hacking things together like a cowboy coder is a good thing.

    The Real WTF™ in this story is the CEO who acts like a spoiled child... although that, too, is far too common in the corporate world.

    Why can't these imbeciles go out of business like they deserve, instead of continuing to thrive and prosper despite being idiots?

  • dpm (cs)

    And things are going to stabilize . . . how? By not changing anything!

    Managers are afraid to make a change because if it ends badly, they get blamed, whereas if they maintain the status quo and the project goes badly, the staff get blamed.

    Be a "do nothing" manager, it's a win-win deal! (until the company craters, of course)

  • dpm (cs)

    There's this special biologist word we use for "stable". It's "dead". -- Jack Cohen

  • halcyon1234 (cs)

    One has to wonder what that idea was for Month 7.

    I'd bet it was either:

    1. Let's stabilize things so the CEO doesn't have to keep getting upset over you guys' lousy code

    2. Put me in charge of bringing in $50 worth of snacks for everyone this month. (nudge nudge)

  • gabba (cs)

    As entertaining as this story is, I would question the moral that software can only be developed correctly at big, faceless corporations.

  • dpm (cs) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    As entertaining as this story is, I would question the moral that software can only be developed correctly at big, faceless corporations.
    I didn't see anything about "correct". He merely wanted to work "where he could actually make a difference." I think we've all seen both good and bad environments at both big and small companies. $DEITY knows I have.
  • Jeff (unregistered)

    I believe I've worked at this company. Did the also refuse to use relational databases and stick with hierarchical ones?

  • Mr G (unregistered)

    Do not pass Go. Do collect $200.

  • Zab Brannigan (unregistered)

    If you want to change the world join the peace corp. If you want to be happy working in IT, you have to learn to be satisfied just getting your tabs to line up. Maybe you should look into a job in construction.

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Why can't these imbeciles go out of business like they deserve, instead of continuing to thrive and prosper despite being idiots?
    Enron, Tyco, IndyMac, Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill, and more to come - sometimes they get what they deserve - it's just unfortunate that the rest of us get dragged down with them.

    As for our hero, methinks his 7th winning idea was to leave the company.

  • DBA (unregistered)

    Been there, actually now!!

  • lolwtf (cs)

    Sounds more like it's the manager that needs to stabilize.

  • Outlaw Programmer (cs)

    I've been there, too. Only in my case, it was the CEO (actually President-for-life/CTO) that actually created version 1 of the build scripts and shitty, custom bug tracking software. He didn't act like a baby, though, but everyone was afraid to just drop the crappy tools and adopt real ones.

  • Shoot me! (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Why can't these imbeciles go out of business like they deserve, instead of continuing to thrive and prosper despite being idiots?

    Lehman Brothers anyone?

  • Nodody (unregistered) in reply to lolwtf
    lolwtf:
    Sounds more like it's the manager that needs to stabilize.

    In the sense of

    dpm:
    There's this special biologist word we use for "stable". It's "dead". -- Jack Cohen
    ?

    That would probably help.

  • blah (unregistered)

    Yes it does. It sucks monkey balls.

  • Smash King (cs) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    As for our hero, methinks his 7th winning idea was to leave the company.
    I think you're right, snoofle. I wouldn't work for too long in a place where common sense is acknowledged but never adopted either.
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The Real WTF™ in this story is the CEO who acts like a spoiled child... although that, too, is far too common in the corporate world.
    TRTWF here wasn't the CEO ranting independent of who was at fault. He was just some guy who did not understand technical issues, but had to make money anyway. The WTF lies in the dev manager postponing the adoption of practices that everybody agreed were useful forever. "Yeah, we could do it easier/better/faster, we just won't because I'm too coward to try and change current practices."

    On my seventh meeting I would suggest "Hey, we could improve the company by letting go of the guy that doesn't let us improve it by using the ideas that cost 100 bucks every month". But only after I spread my resume (just in case the bastard had a lot of political strength).

  • akatherder (cs)

    Here's a great idea. Fart in a grocery bag and put it over the development manager's head.

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to dpm
    dpm:
    There's this special biologist word we use for "stable". It's "dead". -- Jack Cohen
    Now, see? I knew there was a connection!

    http://thedailywtf.com/Comments/Office-Supply-Amnesty.aspx?pg=2#217530

    Code Dependent:
    Burns:
    My office changed to the Boston stabler
    Is that anything like the Boston Strangler?

  • shadowman (cs) in reply to akatherder
    akatherder:
    Here's a great idea. Fart in a grocery bag and put it over the development manager's head.

    I don't know why but that made me burst out laughing. I must have a pretty immature sense of humor.

  • immitto (unregistered) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    As entertaining as this story is, I would question the moral that software can only be developed correctly at big, faceless corporations.
    The moral really is that software can only be developed correctly in non-WTF-ridden companies.
  • Morry (unregistered)

    The Dev Manager and the CEO were obviously in what could be badly punned a deadly embrace. The Dev Manager refused to implement changes, until things stabalized (i.e. the CEO stopped throwing fits), and the CEO refused to listen to good advice from anyone but the Dev Manager. Neither one was doing anything to progress the company, but both (probably) felt they were doing the right thing both for their company and themselves. In the end through no improvements will be made until one releases their deathgrip on the company and lets something happen.

    in the end, though, it's the CEOs responsibility to step back, calm himself, and change something. Only insane people do the same thing and expect the results to change.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to immitto
    immitto:
    gabba:
    As entertaining as this story is, I would question the moral that software can only be developed correctly at big, faceless corporations.
    The moral really is that software can only be developed correctly in non-WTF-ridden companies.

    That's pretty much a tautology.

  • Steve (unregistered) in reply to Zab Brannigan
    Zab Brannigan:
    If you want to change the world join the peace corp. If you want to be happy working in IT, you have to learn to be satisfied just getting your tabs to line up. Maybe you should look into a job in construction.
    Chuckle.

    Sometimes getting the tabs to line up is changing the world.

    Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

  • Anonymously Yours (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Trevel (unregistered)

    Primatech is rightfully having some trouble after some of their top people were killed off in the Sylar scare. I can see why they'd be wary about doing anything to shake up the system.

  • Charles400 (cs)

    These WTF stories are a bit formulaic, aren't they?

    1. Programmer comes to work for a great company.

    2. Programmer decides company isn't so great.

    3. Programmer leaves company.

    4. Snarky comment for last sentence.

  • Paula (unregistered) in reply to Charles400

    The real formula is:

    1.) Collect [Something] 2.) ????? 3.) Profit!

  • wee (cs) in reply to Jeff
    Jeff:
    I believe I've worked at this company. Did the also refuse to use relational databases and stick with hierarchical ones?

    Yeah, I think I was down the hall from you. Did you work for the guy who had a hard-on for DBM files and a strange mistrust of SQL and anything associated with the acronym RDBMS? You remember, he was the one who told you to "flatten" the tables ecommerce DB because there were "too many" of them. It wasn't any use arguing with him, because he was the Director and you were a mere entry-level engineer. Besides, he clearly knew what he was talking about when he said that the "SQL is complicated and that makes it slow".

    Then he freaked out because doing things his way so that everything was "human-readable" (like spelling out every single state name in a varchar(255) column for every order taken) means that you can only take so many orders before one of the three tables left in the DB exceeds 2GB and can't be written to. Yeah, he didn't like telling the VP that no orders could be taken for a couple days. And it did no good that you told him beforehand that this would happen.

    Did you get thrown under the bus for that one as well, or did you see where things were headed and manage to document everything while the WTF was in progress?

    Because I should have documented the WTF while it was happening, and kudos to you if you were wiser than me.

  • Someone You Know (cs) in reply to shadowman
    shadowman:
    akatherder:
    Here's a great idea. Fart in a grocery bag and put it over the development manager's head.

    I don't know why but that made me burst out laughing. I must have a pretty immature sense of humor.

    You're not the only one.

  • Asiago Chow (unregistered)

    The problem was that the dev mgr had been beaten into submission by the CEO and wasn't willing to go out on any more limbs. This is the "known fire" dillema. "Yeah, the room I'm in is on fire, but I know that fire and I have experience staying low to avoid the smoke...I've survived in here for years...if I open the door to leave the fire may spread or I may find out it's much hotter in the hall and then I'll really be screwed."

    The real WTF is that the protagonist in the story didn't go to the CEO and say, "Bob (Your name is Bob, right?), you need a new dev manager. Your old guy, he's a nice guy don't get me wrong, your old guy isn't getting the job done if you know what I mean. We talk a good game with new ideas and better practices but we never go anywhere... so here's what I propose: I'll take over and do the job right. We'll get these old problems squared away, start working on some real enhancements that can reach all the way to the bottom line, and we'll stop sinking all our development tallent, and you've got some talent here, into maintenance when it could go to helping us beat our competition! In return I'd like a 50% bump today and I want us to set some specific realistic milestones for 6 months, 12 months, 24 months down the line. When we reach those milestones I want bonuses for me and my guys. What do you say, Chuck? (Your name is Chuck, right?) You ready to to stop fucking around and start running this company like you want to win?"

    If nothing else it is a LOT more fun than resigning.

  • Monkios (cs)

    Save the cheerleader, save the world.

  • pong (unregistered) in reply to Trevel
    Trevel:
    Primatech is rightfully having some trouble after some of their top people were killed off in the Sylar scare. I can see why they'd be wary about doing anything to shake up the system.

    The development manageer is next.

    captcha: conventio

  • Bappi (cs) in reply to Paula
    Paula:
    The real formula is:

    1.) Collect [Something] 2.) ????? 3.) Profit!

    Where [Something] == Money, I presume.

  • blunder (unregistered) in reply to Charles400
    Charles400:
    These WTF stories are a bit formulaic, aren't they?
    1. Programmer comes to work for a great company.

    2. Programmer decides company isn't so great.

    3. Programmer leaves company.

    4. Snarky comment for last sentence.

    They used to have code in them, made things a little better.

  • Duke of New York (unregistered) in reply to Asiago Chow
    Asiago Chow:
    The real WTF is that the protagonist in the story didn't go to the CEO and say, "Bob (Your name is Bob, right?), you need a new dev manager.
    You're talking about a guy who has been in the company for 6 months and doesn't have that kind of cred. He might be able to get the CEO to lean on the dev manager so that he starts making decisions, but fire him? No way.
  • Steve Burnap (unregistered) in reply to Duke of New York

    When I was in a similar situation (years ago, thank God) the person causing the issues was the first programmer for the startup who worked for six months for free to get things rolling. There was no way he was going anywhere.

  • Pecos Bill (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The Real WTF™ in this story is the CEO who acts like a spoiled child... although that, too, is far too common in the corporate world.
    Common? I think they think it's a job requirement!
  • NotTheDroidYou'reLookingFor (unregistered) in reply to Duke of New York
    Duke of New York:
    Asiago Chow:
    The real WTF is that the protagonist in the story didn't go to the CEO and say, "Bob (Your name is Bob, right?), you need a new dev manager.
    You're talking about a guy who has been in the company for 6 months and doesn't have that kind of cred. He might be able to get the CEO to lean on the dev manager so that he starts making decisions, but fire him? No way.
    That's absolutely right. If there's one thing I've learned from small development companies it's that there are three tiers: the C?Os, the architects/dev managers/coders/sales engineers, and the code monkeys. The middle tier cannot be replaced because all the knowledge is tied up there. They're the only thing stopping the company from collapsing under the weight of its own codebase and that pressure also stifles innovation. So good luck shaking things up, even if that might be the only way to get things done.
  • webrunner (cs)

    Well, if Heroes tought me anything it's that Primatech is a front for a conspiracy. They wouldnt want anything actually coming out of it.

  • Siloria (cs) in reply to Bappi
    Bappi:
    Paula:
    The real formula is:

    1.) Collect [Something] 2.) ????? 3.) Profit!

    Where [Something] == Money, I presume.

    if([Something] == "Underpants")
    {
       crazy_plan_of = "Gnomes";
    }
    else
    {
       crazy_plan_of = "Your Guess >= My Guess";
    }
  • Erik (unregistered)

    I swear I've worked for that CEO before. If it weren't for the Visual Studio stuff, I'd swear it was the same company. In our case though, the CEO yelled at the dev manager, made unreasonable demands, and the dev manager caved and dumped them all on us. Then, if you were unlucky enough to wander by the CEO's door, you'd get yelled at too. It was great fun until the company tanked and I went to work for a giant corporation.

    In giant corporations, of course, you get a completely different set of WTFs.

  • Duke of New York (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The Real WTF™ in this story is the CEO who acts like a spoiled child...
    You can hardly blame the CEO for trying to rub the dev team's noses in their own mess.
  • undrline (cs)

    I kept looking for it, and didn't see it ... how often were these contests?

  • akatherder (cs) in reply to undrline
    undrline:
    I kept looking for it, and didn't see it ... how often were these contests?

    'Each month, they had a "Greatest Improvement Idea Contest" in their dev meeting, where the developer with the best idea for improvement would win a $100 bill.'

  • TC (unregistered)

    The CEO exhibits many of the symptoms of a psychopath, in fact you will find many managers ARE pyschopaths because their pathology seeks out positions of power and control.

    My suggestion to people who have managers/CEOs like this is to QUIT!

  • Duke of New York (unregistered)

    People don't seem to appreciate here that the CEO had likely been on the receiving end of the dev team's nonsense much longer than the new guy. He isn't the villain.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Duke of New York
    Duke of New York:
    Asiago Chow:
    The real WTF is that the protagonist in the story didn't go to the CEO and say, "Bob (Your name is Bob, right?), you need a new dev manager.
    You're talking about a guy who has been in the company for 6 months and doesn't have that kind of cred. He might be able to get the CEO to lean on the dev manager so that he starts making decisions, but fire him? No way.

    That's the idea. You get one of 2 outcomes:

    1. The CEO fires you on the spot for being a smarmy SOB B> The CEO say no and GBTW 12: the CEO says yes and fires you after 5 months so he doesn't have to pay a bonus IV: The CEO says yes and actually pays up on the bonuses.
  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to TC
    TC:
    The CEO exhibits many of the symptoms of a psychopath, in fact you will find many managers ARE pyschopaths because their pathology seeks out positions of power and control.

    My suggestion to people who have managers/CEOs like this is to QUIT!

    ITYM Sociopath - Psychos apparently go crazy for the Lulz.

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