• Russian (unregistered)

    Thanks for the cool story, LK.

  • CleanCode (unregistered)

    Couldn't resist - had to read the story early. TRWTF is that Mack is still there.

  • flabdablet (cs)

    OK, so Tye isn't much of a manager, and a millisecond is a difference that makes no difference. Even so, if testing showed that Aargle's new and allegedly improved code did not in fact perform any better than what was already there, then either Aargle's opinion about why the system was slow was wrong, or Aargle's grasp of algorithms is at least as bad as that of his highly paid predecessor.

  • Mads Bondo Dydensborg (unregistered) in reply to flabdablet

    You need to consider that he (AFAICT) replaced thousands of lines of code, spread across several files with two hours work, probably a few hundred lines of code...

    Also, Tye did the benchmarking - since Tye was unable to comprehend a system that does not need disk defragmentation, it seems fair to assume that she did a poor/unfair job of benchmarking the two pieces of code against eachother.

    You point about "assuming" something is the cause of delay is well put though. Far too many people make "data-free observations" and start optimising with very incomplete knowledge/understanding of the system they optimise.

  • Roby McAndrew (cs) in reply to flabdablet
    flabdablet:
    ... testing showed that Aargle's new and allegedly improved code did not in fact perform any better than what was already there...

    The new code was written in two hours, it cannot have been optimised in that time. Unoptimised, it was effectively as fast as the old code on one dataset (1ms in 5s is experimental error). I'd much rather attempt to optimise new, small, clean code which I wrote, then old spaghetti code.

    As a guess, if the code took two hours to write, I'd expect to spend a day optimising it, and maybe double the speed. Then a month finding all the error cases....

  • bkDJ (cs) in reply to Roby McAndrew

    Rewriting this TDWTF, which spans multiple articles and days, seemed like an afternoon job, so I tried it in a comment at the request of a co-commenter:

    Tye is a shitty in-your-face manager. Mack does as he is told, except when the boss is out; then he goads coworkers (probably only to throw them under the bus when the boss gets back). Aargyle couldn't follow orders or keep his mouth shut, succumbs to peer pressure, and in trying to be clever, wastes company resources to produce objectively slower code. Aargyle gets fired.

  • WC (unregistered)

    More people should quit their soul-sucking jobs and find better ones. I worked at a stressful company (though not as bad as this) and the difference in quality of life was amazing. And more, they pay me more now! I was letting them abuse me for less money than I was worth. Ridiculous.

    If you're in a job where your boss is making your life hell, you owe it to yourself to get the hell out.

    Oddly enough, just yesterday my family was commenting that my younger sister has a lot of grey hair, and I've got none. Does stress really cause grey hair? I don't know.

  • pjt33 (cs) in reply to Mads Bondo Dydensborg
    Mads Bondo Dydensborg:
    Also, Tye did the benchmarking - since Tye was unable to comprehend a system that does not need disk defragmentation, it seems fair to assume that she did a poor/unfair job of benchmarking the two pieces of code against each other.
    Given that she wouldn't have been worried in the first place if The System took 5 seconds, it's fairly safe to assume that it usually handles more than 1m records, and the new code may well scale better.
  • Anonymous Penguin (unregistered)

    Istm that GAargle's response was among the best he could do in Real Life (TM).

    Hypothetically, given a sufficiently professional organisation, a better course would have been to schedule a meeting with someone high up in HR and politely but firmly explain that he was hired as a developer, not a whipping boy; that his contract does not require him to endure bad language or unfounded accusations, nor to sabotage a working system; and that, if the company wants to re-negotiate his contract to include those tasks, he will require at least a 50% increase in compensation. For Tye's sake, he should also point out that she is clearly struggling with her own role and needs some serious retraining and probably stress counselling.

    The end result would likely be the same, but he'd feel a lot better doing it. :o)

  • Brent (unregistered) in reply to bkDJ
    bkDJ:
    Rewriting this TDWTF, which spans multiple articles and days, seemed like an afternoon job, so I tried it in a comment at the request of a co-commenter:

    Tye is a shitty in-your-face manager. Mack does as he is told, except when the boss is out; then he goads coworkers (probably only to throw them under the bus when the boss gets back). Aargyle couldn't follow orders or keep his mouth shut, succumbs to peer pressure, and in trying to be clever, wastes company resources to produce objectively slower code. Aargyle gets fired.

    "Objectively"? I don't think Tye's results can be said to be objective at all... you'd be better off trusting reports on the health benefits of smoking from studies commissioned by the cigarette companies. For starters, I'd be asking how many tests she ran before she found a result she could use.

  • MetaCommenter (unregistered)

    Came for the story expecting snide comments in the source.

    AM DISAPOINT

  • Geoff (unregistered) in reply to flabdablet

    Depends is a million records a good benchmark? On any relatively modern system a bubble short of a million records probably is not bad.

    When we say sorted what is actually happening? Are we producing an ordered list of pointers. Moving the actual records around on the disk or tape? There might be more to this than just choosing among binary, merge, heap, quick, etc.

  • Lorne Kates (cs) in reply to MetaCommenter
    MetaCommenter:
    Came for the story expecting snide comments in the source.

    AM DISAPOINT

    <!-- Came for the comments expecting snide comments in the comments by MetaCommenter. AM DISAPOINT -->
  • Maciejas (unregistered) in reply to Mads Bondo Dydensborg
    Mads Bondo Dydensborg:
    Also, Tye did the benchmarking - since Tye was unable to comprehend a system that does not need disk defragmentation, it seems fair to assume that she did a poor/unfair job of benchmarking the two pieces of code against eachother.

    My shot is that he used QuickSort, and she fed it a bunch of already sorted records. Besides, why didn't they use an actual database for data that take 5s to sort?

  • moz (unregistered) in reply to Brent
    Brent:
    "Objectively"? I don't think Tye's results can be said to be objective at all...
    They can't, but at least she has some. Aargle didn't have anything to show that his efforts were worth the storage space.
  • moz (unregistered)

    It really is like Whack-a-Mole in here...

  • Flunky (unregistered) in reply to Maciejas

    What, using Quicksort without random selection? That truly would be a WTF.

  • Delve (cs)

    Expected Tye's last name Pirouline is not visible Quote Am disappoint

  • Norman Diamond (unregistered)

    The president's daughter is sick, but she's still the president's daughter. That's why she's bound to stay and Aargle gets fired.

    But why is Mack still there?

  • Cheong (unregistered)

    "TRWTF is that Mack is still there."

    This is so important that I have to repeat the third time.

  • The Old Gizzard (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Penguin
    Anonymous Penguin:
    Hypothetically, given a sufficiently professional organisation, a better course would have been to schedule a meeting with someone high up in HR and politely but firmly explain that ~.

    Woah, hold it right there, cowboy. You seem to be suffering from the misconception of HR's function and purpose.

    Despite the name, HR's core functions are a) to ensure the company is compling with the local, state and federal labor laws, b) reduce/mitigate the risk of getting sued by disgruntled ex-employees, and c) ****.

    Unfortunately, too many folks think that HR's purpose is to represent/protect/help the employees. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why you will want to avoid them at all costs. DON'T fill out/participate in the exit interview (remember: the purpose isn't to "improve" the company, but to document your surly attitude and gripes so if you try to file a lawsuit--or even for unemployment--they WILL use that against you).

    Now, let's talk about c) ****. As a company grows and the HR department grows along with it, they have to justify their need for a Supervisor, then a Director, then a VP and then a SVP. How can you tell when a company has hit that institutional calcification? When there is a Vice President of HR. At such companies, you can be sure that all job requirements have to go through HR first, all candidates have to interview with HR at some point (where the poor schmucks will be asked the Top Three Questions from the Big Book of Interview Questions™), and HR has the final say in hiring. Oh, and they're slow (we're talking weeks up to years).

    So, c) justifying their high salaries and complex hierarchy.

    There are two functions that companies should outsource without delay, as they're paying too much and getting too little: Payroll and HR.

  • flop (cs) in reply to flabdablet
    flabdablet:
    OK, so Tye isn't much of a manager, and a millisecond is a difference that makes no difference. Even so, if testing showed that Aargle's new and allegedly improved code did not in fact perform any better than what was already there, then either Aargle's opinion about why the system was slow was wrong, or Aargle's grasp of algorithms is at least as bad as that of his highly paid predecessor.

    Well, if they have 1 billion records in production, and the new code has an smaller exponent (even just a small bit), it could make a nice difference.

    WE NEED MORE DATA!

  • shd (unregistered)

    People like Tye ought to be taken out and shot. Seriously.

  • olaf (unregistered)

    "part 2 Real Escape String"

    I see what you did there :D

  • dolor (unregistered)

    I love a good story about forking :D

  • eVil (unregistered)

    So, given that everyone here is somehow involved in the software development game (or, the laughing-at-badly-developed-software game), we can assume the readership has at least some minimum level of intelligence.

    As a result, one half will have found the hidden link to this half two days ago, and finished this article then. The other half will have read the comments, and will have clicked the link, as posted by the first half.... and will have also finished this two days ago.

    So where is today's article, huh? HUH?

    Lazy.

    (I have now completed three successive days of complaining about the same absurdly trivial thing, and am now going to sit back smugly satisfied and drink my massive coffee.)

  • Peter (unregistered) in reply to dolor
    dolor:
    I love a good story about forking :D

    You're fired, you insensitive bastard.

    //captcha: paratus //semper

  • gnasher729 (unregistered) in reply to Geoff
    Geoff:
    Depends is a million records a good benchmark? On any relatively modern system a bubble short of a million records probably is not bad.

    A bubble sort of a million records is bad. A bubble sort of an array of a million integers in a memory in an array, written in C using an optimising compiler, assuming one nanosecond per comparison + possible exchange, will take about 500 seconds.

    Anything in a database, or even larger records in memory, the time will be much higher.

  • gnasher729 (unregistered) in reply to Maciejas
    Maciejas:
    My shot is that he used QuickSort, and she fed it a bunch of already sorted records. Besides, why didn't they use an actual database for data that take 5s to sort?

    You shouldn't use QuickSort, but whatever sort your programming environment / language provides. As an example, the sort algorithms in Cocoa detect sorted arrays, reverse sorted arrays, and the concatenation of two sorted arrays, and sort these in linear time.

  • GCoder (unregistered)

    You know what they say, what goes around comes around. At least in certain parts of the software industry, many times you run into old co-workers. Chances are, if the company performs the same way as Tye, her days are numbered and she'll be looking for a job soon enough. The devs on the other end may be the one hiring her.

    Also, letting someone go like that, the company's best to get a second opinion on that or risk a lawsuit on the grounds of workplace harassment, hostile work environment, and being fired over following an engineer's code of ethics. Especially if you know there's a problem, know how to fix it, being told to keep your thoughts to yourself or do something that is dangerous or can have severe consequences if you follow through.

  • developer (unregistered)

    TRWTF is the name of the people.

  • Mack (unregistered) in reply to WC
    WC:
    More people should quit their soul-sucking jobs and find better ones. I worked at a stressful company (though not as bad as this) and the difference in quality of life was amazing. And more, they pay me more now! I was letting them abuse me for less money than I was worth. Ridiculous.

    If you're in a job where your boss is making your life hell, you owe it to yourself to get the hell out.

    Oddly enough, just yesterday my family was commenting that my younger sister has a lot of grey hair, and I've got none. Does stress really cause grey hair? I don't know.

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  • Christian (unregistered)

    An that's how good people will always find better places to be and middle management will always be the place where people like Tye end up.

  • Anonymous Paranoiac (unregistered) in reply to GCoder
    GCoder:
    You know what they say, what goes around comes around. At least in certain parts of the software industry, many times you run into old co-workers. Chances are, if the company performs the same way as Tye, her days are numbered and she'll be looking for a job soon enough. The devs on the other end may be the one hiring her.

    No, managers like this don't get fired. They implant themselves into an organization (through their special combination of fear, intimidation and having just enough fake knowledge that they can bluff other managers and executives into thinking they're indispensable) so firmly that the it's more likely the company will go under, thanks in no small part to these managers themselves, than it is they will ever be fired. Besides, a company with the good sense to fire these people would usually avoid hiring them in the first place.

    CAPTCHA: incassum - incassum you work for Tye you should find a new job.

  • Pock Suppet (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Paranoiac
    Anonymous Paranoiac:
    GCoder:
    You know what they say, what goes around comes around. At least in certain parts of the software industry, many times you run into old co-workers. Chances are, if the company performs the same way as Tye, her days are numbered and she'll be looking for a job soon enough. The devs on the other end may be the one hiring her.

    No, managers like this don't get fired. They implant themselves into an organization (through their special combination of fear, intimidation and having just enough fake knowledge that they can bluff other managers and executives into thinking they're indispensable) so firmly that the it's more likely the company will go under, thanks in no small part to these managers themselves, than it is they will ever be fired. Besides, a company with the good sense to fire these people would usually avoid hiring them in the first place.

    CAPTCHA: incassum - incassum you work for Tye you should find a new job.

    One gets the feeling you have someone in mind for the role of Tye when this gets turned into a major motion picture.

  • Lorne Kates (cs) in reply to eVil
    eVil:
    (I have now completed three successive days of complaining about the same absurdly trivial thing, and am now going to sit back smugly satisfied and drink my massive coffee.)

    It's satisfying to see our main demographic is still represented. Good job.

  • heh (unregistered)

    i would go above her head if possible. make her get fired.

    also no one would talk to me like that.

  • olaf (unregistered)

    My links to the next 5 stories got removed :(

    This is the real WTF, it is not my fault that your system happily makes unpublished articles readable for the public...

  • Valued Service (unregistered)

    So, just curious, is there some kind of page size limit that made you split this in half, or did you notice some kind of retention problem amongst your readers?

  • Almafuerte (unregistered)

    I've been working in IT for 15 years now.

    Even when I was a noob, a junior, barely out the oven, I would have never taken that kind of abuse.

    I was never afraid to talk to the boss of my boss, and stand my ground if I knew I was right. And if anyone had treated me that way, I would have told that colossal, unprofessional bitch to fuck off.

    What the hell is with every story of management abuse in TDWTF?, everyone is so fucking afraid. This stories should be way shorter ... "Management did something stupid, and contradicted the most basic common sense, so I told them this was the right way, and told them to go eat a bowl of dicks, then proved I was right, and they had to STFU and embrace my solution". Or, simply "That place sucked, so when I noticed everyone was insane, I quit and went to work somewhere else". Or maybe: "I told them to go fuck themselves, and they fired me. Good".

    Everyone in this stories have water instead of blood in their veins.

  • TheEgg (cs)

    I can imagine Tye shaking her fist shouting "You're too good for us!" as he left the building.

  • Anonymous Penguin (unregistered) in reply to The Old Gizzard
    The Old Gizzard:
    There are two functions that companies should outsource without delay, as they're paying too much and getting too little: Payroll and HR.

    I take your point re HR, but I don't understand the bit about outsourcing. How can a company save anything by switching its HR (or payroll) to a group that's at least as large as the old one, but now has a CEO as well as a VP?

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    I have worked for a manager like "Tye" in the past and the issue with these people are twofold:

    1. They know enough to bluff/pretend they have a clue

    2. They are buddy-buddy with the senior management/owners in whose eyes they can do no wrong.

    #1 is easy to disprove, but #2 is nearly impossible because the big boss is always too trusting of the scumbag manager; perhaps they were the first employee 10+ years ago, or they went to college together or their kids are best friends; no matter the reason this person is a highly trusted confidant and nothing they do is ever wrong. These people drag the organization down and nobody ever sees because the boss is unwilling to throw away years of being conned, and in the end either stay afloat but lose money or go bankrupt oblivious to the fact it was avoidable if they had listened. Inevitably they never understand why so many people leave/are fired, thinking it's just bad employees, a fact almost always reinforced by the manager e.g. "Aargle was wasting company resources rewriting working code that we paid for instead of doing the tasks I assigned to him, so I let him go. His skills weren't good enough to work here".

    When you run up against a dick manager who has the ear and absolute loyalty of the head honchos, you can't win that fight short of something like having proof they're engaging in outright illegal activities; anything else will be dismissed as an insubordinate employee trying to undermine a "key player" in the organization who has done great work for many years, and it's a suicide move.

    Sad but true.

  • Roby McAndrew (cs)

    I had a manager like that once - a Director of Engineering. The company was sufficiently small that his boss was the CEO, so going over his wasn't an attractive option. After about 9 months I walked (the money was good). A few years later I bumped into an ex-colleague who told me that shortly after my departure questions were asked about staff retention in engineering and the result was the Director was removed.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs) in reply to Roby McAndrew
    Roby McAndrew:
    I had a manager like that once - a Director of Engineering. The company was sufficiently small that his boss was the CEO, so going over his wasn't an attractive option. After about 9 months I walked (the money was good). A few years later I bumped into an ex-colleague who told me that shortly after my departure questions were asked about staff retention in engineering and the result was the Director was removed.

    If only that was the rule and not the exception. I was part of a dev team where we lost 3 devs (including the manager) in the span of 2 months, with 2 good guys leaving within a week of each other, along with our network administrator. Our boss was the CIO who reported to the CEO. No questions on retention were ever asked, and the CIO spun it as being one guy was too slow (he had 10+ years of solid experience and was never given any real projects) and one guy was too green (inexperienced but very fast learner with a real passion). One of the guys even had an hour long talk with the CEO about the problems with the CIO when he gave his notice.

  • dgvid (cs)

    TRWTF is that Argle didn't quit on the spot when "she let loose a string of profanities." (Yeah, I know, easy for me to say.)

    Oh, and also that Mack is still there.

    And that anyone would work for a manager like that.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to The Old Gizzard
    The Old Gizzard:
    Anonymous Penguin:
    Hypothetically, given a sufficiently professional organisation, a better course would have been to schedule a meeting with someone high up in HR and politely but firmly explain that ~.

    Woah, hold it right there, cowboy. You seem to be suffering from the misconception of HR's function and purpose.

    Despite the name, HR's core functions are a) to ensure the company is compling with the local, state and federal labor laws, b) reduce/mitigate the risk of getting sued by disgruntled ex-employees, and c) ****.

    Unfortunately, too many folks think that HR's purpose is to represent/protect/help the employees. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why you will want to avoid them at all costs. DON'T fill out/participate in the exit interview (remember: the purpose isn't to "improve" the company, but to document your surly attitude and gripes so if you try to file a lawsuit--or even for unemployment--they WILL use that against you).

    Now, let's talk about c) ****. As a company grows and the HR department grows along with it, they have to justify their need for a Supervisor, then a Director, then a VP and then a SVP. How can you tell when a company has hit that institutional calcification? When there is a Vice President of HR. At such companies, you can be sure that all job requirements have to go through HR first, all candidates have to interview with HR at some point (where the poor schmucks will be asked the Top Three Questions from the Big Book of Interview Questions™), and HR has the final say in hiring. Oh, and they're slow (we're talking weeks up to years).

    So, c) justifying their high salaries and complex hierarchy.

    There are two functions that companies should outsource without delay, as they're paying too much and getting too little: Payroll and HR.

    Absolutely. HR are not on your side. There job is the same as yours, to make money for the company. They do it by keeping your salary as low as tolerable and making sure the company doesn't get sued.

  • QJo (unregistered) in reply to WC
    WC:
    Oddly enough, just yesterday my family was commenting that my younger sister has a lot of grey hair, and I've got none. Does stress really cause grey hair? I don't know.
    You've gone bald instead.
  • QJo (unregistered) in reply to Pock Suppet
    Pock Suppet:
    Anonymous Paranoiac:
    GCoder:
    You know what they say, what goes around comes around. At least in certain parts of the software industry, many times you run into old co-workers. Chances are, if the company performs the same way as Tye, her days are numbered and she'll be looking for a job soon enough. The devs on the other end may be the one hiring her.

    No, managers like this don't get fired. They implant themselves into an organization (through their special combination of fear, intimidation and having just enough fake knowledge that they can bluff other managers and executives into thinking they're indispensable) so firmly that the it's more likely the company will go under, thanks in no small part to these managers themselves, than it is they will ever be fired. Besides, a company with the good sense to fire these people would usually avoid hiring them in the first place.

    CAPTCHA: incassum - incassum you work for Tye you should find a new job.

    One gets the feeling you have someone in mind for the role of Tye when this gets turned into a major motion picture.

    Sigrawney Beaver or Joan Colitis?

  • golddog (unregistered) in reply to WC
    WC:
    More people should quit their soul-sucking jobs and find better ones.<snip/> If you're in a job where your boss is making your life hell, you owe it to yourself to get the hell out.<snip/>.

    This needs to be reinforced for those people with less experience in the world. It isn't worth it to stay in a job that you hate. Move on.

    Remember, nobody can take advantage of you without your permission.

Leave a comment on “The Tye That Binds ...(part 2 Real Escape String)”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article