• 6U35T (unregistered) in reply to dubwai

    "Turns out she used her friend's resume and called her all day for assistance"

    Was she Indian?  I've known a few who "skill pool" - produce a CV that's basically the union of all their skills, then spend all day asking the guy in the club who knows.  Of course English speakers could do it, but they'd get found out pretty soon.

     

  • Filthysock (cs)

    Contractors who have no skill eh? check this one out

    There is this guy at my old work, who was getting paid more than me, who puts himself up as a .NET senior programmer.
    Sent my friend who is still there this email the other morning...

                           what is the best way to code the following.
    
                       If  stringa contains 'ABC'
                       {
                               Do Something.
                       }</PRE>
    



    OMG, but it gets better.
    30 minutes later....

       This is the best I have so far
                 at = str.IndexOf("ABC", start, 0);
                 if (at == -1)
                   {
                           Do Something.
                   }



    THREE HOURS LATER
    he goes over to my friend's desk and goes
    "the best i have so far is a for loop and indexof"

  • Paula Bean (cs)
  • Mike R (cs) in reply to Paula Bean
    Paula Bean:


    Brillant!
  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to Me

    Our company hired a guy who worked on an ASP project for two weeks before seeking help from coworkers to understand why his vbscript kept showing up in the browser as though it were text.  They fired him when they saw that his pages had a ".htm" extension rather than ".asp". 

    They then hired his replacement, a guy who turned out to be just as inept.  The developers quickly became aware of his uselessness, but he stayed on for about a year.  We all figured it was because if they hired and then promptly fired two guys in a row it would reflect badly on management, so we were forced to put up with him while the company spent $65,000 to ignore a mistake.

    On comparing notes, we developers discovered that this guy had established a network of contacts, scattered about the building so nobody realized what he was doing, whom he would approach with questions, piecing together their random bits of information and bluffing as best he could.  In the year that he was here he produced exactly one project -- a simple form to collect input and then send an email.  I inherited it when he left, and it was a gawd-awful mess.  I just asked the project champion for a set of requirements and started over from scratch.  Finished it in two days.

    One time this guy came to my desk and asked me, "Do you know how to make the page do something after the user makes a choice in a listbox?"

    "Sure, use the SelectedIndexChanged event," I said.  Seeing the glaze in his eyes, I said, "Here, look," and whipped out a quick page showing him how to use the event.  Then, to get him to go away, I emailed him my sample so he could copy-and-paste.

    And as he left the bastard said to me, "Yeah, that's how I was gonna do it, too.  I was just wondering if you knew of another way that was better."

  • emptyset (cs) in reply to FredSaw

    FredSaw:
    And as he left the bastard said to me, "Yeah, that's how I was gonna do it, too.  I was just wondering if you knew of another way that was better."

    <FONT face="Courier New" size=2>company picnics are the appropriate time for vengance.  this one time, i showed up with a pinata of salvador dali's head.  when my co-workers kid busted it open, it covered everyone in feces.  nobody seemed to appreciate the art house production, so i grabbed a bunch of ketchup and mustard bottles and sprayed everyone down with them.</FONT>

    <FONT face="Courier New" size=2>"see, fuckers!  it's art!  eat shit and go to hell!"</FONT>

    <FONT face="Courier New" size=2>all that remains of that company is a vw bus behind a credit union in uptown marietta.  it is rusted through, and the engine is gone.  i had no hand in that.</FONT>

  • Mowlly (unregistered) in reply to A Wizard A True Star

    Not caring is a form of laziness!!!

  • Bit Babe (unregistered) in reply to kdd

    "Also, I have never met any female programmers who produce good maintainable code although it is certainly fun to have them around. "

    What bs, while I know there are bad female programmers, not all of us are.. watch out for that chavonistic cr*p... If anything all my coworkers give me a hard time b/c my code makes all of theirs look bad.

  • Paul Bean (unregistered) in reply to Bit Babe
    Anonymous:

    "Also, I have never met any female programmers who produce good maintainable code although it is certainly fun to have them around. "

    What bs, while I know there are bad female programmers, not all of us are.. watch out for that chavonistic cr*p... If anything all my coworkers give me a hard time b/c my code makes all of theirs look bad.

    Oh hey how's it goin' Paula? XD
  • Jilko (unregistered) in reply to JimNtexas

    I'm having trouble buying this one.  I admit, except for a few short contracting gigs I've always worked in companies that made and sold products that were mostly software, not for companies that made lint rollers or something and just have an IT department.

    But even in the IT department at the Lint Roller company, do they not use source control?  Can a developer work for weeks and months without checking code that needs to work as part of a larger project?

    I've seen this in lots of places. In fact, the place I'm at now did not have source control or configuration management until I introduced it.

    The previous “developer” had everything set up where there were only two copies of source code: one on his laptop and one in production.

    Tickets (bug reports/feature requests) were kept as a bunch of loose papers in a manila folder.

    ...but don't get too smug. Any place that uses a subjective form of ‘percent complete’ as a form of reporting doesn't know what it's doing, either. Earned Value measurement must be absolutely, objectively measurable to be valuable. What this means is that anyone off the street can be provided the formula/method for calculating percent complete, apply it to the task and get the same number.

    If you're not able to do that, then your percent completes are meaningless, and your PHBs are wasting money.

  • Stupidumb (unregistered)

    Hey now, at least she put it into a package.
    And it's error free

  • mralex_fl (cs)

    the projects managers was on vacation or wtf!

  • Trevor Raynsford (cs)

    Hmm. A few years ago I worked for a company and we employed a Linux contratctor for a while. "Guy" was very helpful always popping round to your desk if you had a problem and searching web-sites for useful information.

    He was supposed to be doing actual Linux development work and didn't seem to be making much progress, but had lots of excuses. Unfortunately we had no C/C++ developers except me. I worked from home most of the time and then I was on holiday for 2 weeks.

    Eventually the boss gave him a new task "Write a small program to send a UDP packet requesting status from a Quake or similar server and print out the reply". So he "worked" on it for a few days with no apparent progress.

    The boss then asked me to look into it and gave me the code he had written. It was actually lifted from another contractor's program that did socket stuff which he had added a few lines to and which did nothing like what was required - didn't even take command line args for a server IP and port. So I wrote one - took me half a day with no Linux experience to speak of. So...

    Boss: "Does your program work?" 

    Guy :"Yes".

    Boss: "Show me"

    Guy : "It's on my gilrfriend's PC at home. I'll go and get it now."

    ... and that was the last we saw of him.

  • jwenting (cs) in reply to Jilko
    Anonymous:

    I'm having trouble buying this one.  I admit, except for a few short contracting gigs I've always worked in companies that made and sold products that were mostly software, not for companies that made lint rollers or something and just have an IT department.

    But even in the IT department at the Lint Roller company, do they not use source control?  Can a developer work for weeks and months without checking code that needs to work as part of a larger project?

    Source control?
    Rarely have I seen it even in dedicated IT companies, let alone IT departments.
    Those that do have something of the kind usually just make a new directory on the server for the next version and copy all the sources of the previous version into that.
    And that includes multinationals...

  • Mike Montana (unregistered) in reply to jwenting

    Stumbled upon "WTF" the other day and have been enjoying the postings, but, this Paula one has kicked me into contributing my two cents.

    Early in the thread someone said 'this is really a management failure', and I agree partly. Its also a developer team failure. I've seen this same scenario appear several times over the years. After the "totally unqualified lazy a-hole" has been fired an autopsy is done to answer 'how did that happen' - and what usually happens can be traced to:

    • The developer simply wasnt aware of the depth of the expectations of their code. In status meetings they answer accordingly as they understand the situation "hmmm the task seems simple, and I'm making good progress towards meeting this simple assignment".

    * Or, the developer is so helplessly unaware of what they're supposed to be doing that they're striving very hard to conceptualize where they fit into the system - and not writing any meaningful code yet. I suspect 'brilliant paula' was in this situation - she had no clue what she was supposed to be doing, how it falls together, and what its supposed to do'

    Where is the blame for this one? Firstly on management for not giving clear enough deliverables. Mostly, on the development team - they simply failed to integrate with Paula to ensure that she understood what was expected of her. Sure, there was weekly status meetings that were a formality, not a real 'status check'. Did anyone sit with her and say "do you know whats going on? how do you plan to call my code? how should i call your code? what tables do you plan to touch?" Probably not - as the original WTF posting suggested, she was simply the "overpaid contractor hired to solve everything magically". The team's failure to ensure a real status check created their own misery of 'compressed crunch time' - oh well, they get what they created.

    Paula shares a good deal of the blame too - she clearly failed to ask the same questions of the team "How do I integrate with your stuff?" - Obviously, she didnt know how/what to integrate with, and realized by asking the questions she would be revealed as 'Clueless Paula'. Oh well, in the end she got what she created.

    Shame of it is that maybe she actually was a decent developer - maybe not, but neither she or the team did any real 'status checks'.
  • Kevin (unregistered) in reply to Me

    I agree.  If wrote these codes, you must have known that you are in big big trouble!!!  Getting a book and copy some samples should not be that hard...

  • ogilmor (cs) in reply to ferrengi

    ferrengi:
    If this type of thing happens all the time where people get paid without doing any real work, isn't there something the company can do to get back the money that was stolen? Can't the company sue the employee for lying about their skills and not doing their work? Or is it just not worth the time and effort for the company to go after the crook?

    If she was a 1099 they could contest the bill next invoice.   If she was a W2 contractor (agency) she's gotta get paid by the agency legally, even if all she did was cut her toenails [6]

    I know of a company that withheld from the agency when the contractor didn't leave source code. 

  • ogilmor (cs) in reply to Cowardly Dragon

    Anonymous:
    However, all of the truly talented IT people I've seen were all men, so women competed with men for average competence, but the talented outliers were all men.

    i can't claim any great talent myself, but IT is overwhelmingly male; still, of the females in the field who take it seriously, they're at least as good as the men I've seen, maybe better.

    Now, if you're talking about true genius level or "world changing" type of talent.  Well, there are a LOT fewer women than men, simply cause there are LOTs fewer women than men in IT.  we can talk about WHY that might be ad naseum, but it remains a fact. 

    Love this thread; some GREAT wtfs in here.  [Y]

  • Schol-R-LEA (cs) in reply to ogilmor

    Curiously, a great number of the women in IT were men once; for some reason, the field has a disproportionate number of MTF transsexuals. Make of this what you will.

  • NITH (cs)

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!

     

    I think this chick was in a code group back at my community college.  We all wrote for a week, came back together and she never had anything done. 

    I hope she was easy on the eyes.

  • tq (unregistered) in reply to A Wizard A True Star
    A Wizard A True Star:

    To be honest, I've done similar things in the past.

    At a previous job, I was handed a set of lengthy, incomprehensible stored procedures. No documentation, no requirements, maybe 5% of the code was commented. They only gave me one deliverable: "Make it work."

    Man, I surfed the web so hard that month. Finally someone came around to check on my status, and I had to admit I couldn't make heads or tails of the code. They told me to get help from the original developer, who basically took one look at the procedures and said, WTF was I thinking when I wrote this?!?


    I was recently called in for an interview, hired on the spot, and sat down at a desk to work.  Later, working from home, after spending some time looking at the code, I mailed off a request for the documentation.  No answer.  I mailed off a request for email addresses of the other developers in the company whose brains I might pick to explain the meaning of cryptically named variables and table values.  No answer received other than a complaint that my mail didn't use the company .signature format.

    Must learn to ask more questions in interviews.  :-P

  • proggy (unregistered) in reply to tq

    I can belive this story. From first-hand experience, I've seen a "Brilliant" Paula Bean. In this case it was a guy and he spent all his time working on personal side-projects. The management was more interested in people showing up on time and being at their desks then actually doing anything. Eventually, he was fired. And a few months later, the management was fired as well. There is hope.

  • BlueRose (cs) in reply to Cowardly Dragon
    Anonymous:

    However, all of the truly talented IT people I've seen were all men, so women competed with men for average competence, but the talented outliers were all men.


    Speaking as a female programmer in the IT industry, you have two problems going on here when you talk about the male versus female skillset:

    1) There are way more men than women in the field.  Them's the facts.  I work in Boston and I rarely wind up working with other women.  Most of the time I am the only female programmer.  In my situation, you deal.  The majority of the time I do not receive any issues due to my gender (in fact, most men seem to be extremely overjoyed to meet fellow geeks who happen to be women), but on occasion I will run into the occasional jerk.  At one tiny company I worked at some years back, they got desperate for clients and started having their programmers telemarket for them--self included.  They eventually told the others that they could stop but continued making me do it.  When I asked why, I was told that "women sound better on the phone than men."  No, this company is no longer in business, thank goodness for small favors.  :P

    2) Given the affirmative action that a lot of companies take, some will unfortunately be too quick to hire women with lesser skills simply because they are women.  Sometimes they can pick up the skills and sometimes they'll never learn, but will just get shoved out there because of their gender.  Is it fair?  No.  Am I for such programs?  Not if they hire women who can't code well simply because they are women.

    I suspect that the most of the people on this forum who bitch about women have run into #2.  Either that, or they don't have girlfriends and have to take it out on someone.  ;)  Unfortunately reason #2 contributes to the stereotype that women are somehow inferior in the programming field to men.

    End slightly political rant.
  • >>jass<< (unregistered)

    WTF ? :o

  • beeenie (unregistered) in reply to Sumit
    Anonymous:
    To play the devil's advocate, Paula could be more accomplished than this excerpt would suggest. She could have done some implementation outside of version control on her own PC.
    This code snippet might be an initial see-if-the-environment-is-set-up kind of Hello World test - I do that often enough.

    But yes, in my experience, this does not ring all that untrue at all. At one previous workplace, there was this big project of which one small part was presenting web-based reports. One guy was hired to do them in ColdFusion (then new). He had a presentation on what ColdFusion is and how it was to be used - some code snippets, lots of diagrams etc. Every time there was a need to show progress, he inevitably got things around to making his presentation again. When he was finally forced to leave - afetr 2 years or so, he had hardly done 15% of what he was supposed to.

    (More tidbits about that project - it was basically a payment-processing application with a customer front end. The server + database got written in 3 months. The client GUI took 1.5 years. The reports, as you might have guessed, were not done after 2 years. Miraculously the project survived).

  • beeenie (unregistered) in reply to Sumit
    Anonymous:
    To play the devil's advocate, Paula could be more accomplished than this excerpt would suggest. She could have done some implementation outside of version control on her own PC.
    This code snippet might be an initial see-if-the-environment-is-set-up kind of Hello World test - I do that often enough.

    But yes, in my experience, this does not ring all that untrue at all. At one previous workplace, there was this big project of which one small part was presenting web-based reports. One guy was hired to do them in ColdFusion (then new). He had a presentation on what ColdFusion is and how it was to be used - some code snippets, lots of diagrams etc. Every time there was a need to show progress, he inevitably got things around to making his presentation again. When he was finally forced to leave - afetr 2 years or so, he had hardly done 15% of what he was supposed to.

    (More tidbits about that project - it was basically a payment-processing application with a customer front end. The server + database got written in 3 months. The client GUI took 1.5 years. The reports, as you might have guessed, were not done after 2 years. Miraculously the project survived).

  • arul (unregistered) in reply to zephc

    lol .. Somewhere far away, a DBA sits up and sniffs the air .. the feeling of being laughed at was in the air ..

  • Your Name (unregistered) in reply to JohnO
    JohnO:

    My theory is that you can go into any large organization and find that half the people are actually working and the other half are just pretending to work and taking credit for what the other half did.

    Optimist!
     

  • none (unregistered) in reply to Mike R

    Yeah, but isn't it your job to take the 4 days necessary to learn a new programming language/technology/etc on your own before you interview?  If you're really serious about the job, then get information on what the company is looking for and adapt.  It seems younger people are willing to do this, while older people with more experience resort to arrogance and expect to be paid for having experience in what the company is not looking for.  If you were a manager and faced with these attitudes, then would you hire the younger programmer who is willing and eager to learn on their own to get up to speed or an older programmer who thinks he's a bigshot and will tell you how things should be done and also (rightfully) expects a higher salary...

  • jwillow (unregistered)

    For those that doubted the Paula Bean story:  we had a guy just like that, many years ago (we'll call him Paul).  Small company, late 1980s.  My boss and I both had a good feeling about Paul when we hired him - that he was "our kind of guy".  Could answer any question we asked and solve every problem we posed, and we had interviewed plenty who were sadly disappointing, including people with advanced degrees.

    Paul seemed to come up to speed quickly, and handled a few minor projects successfully during his getting-his-feet-wet period.  My boss and I both left the company a few months later, just after Paul had been given his first big project, so you can blame what happened next on the management transition if you like, and on the fact that most of our projects were single resource (only one developer per project), so there was no code check-in until it was time to hand over to the test team.

    Paul was always "right on schedule" but wouldn't show anyone his code.  After six months, two months past the original project deadline, he claimed to be "just a few days" from completion, so his new boss finally issued an ultimatum for Paul to meet a deadline the following week.  Conveniently, Paul had a hard drive crash the next day and lost everything (nope, never made any backups either).  He was fired two days later, and when they went through his office they found no printouts related to the project nor any other indication that he had ever done an iota of work on it.

     

  • Silver Fix (cs) in reply to jwillow

    I was transferred to the company IT department to fill the seat of a guy that was leaving...I had worked with him on an internal project for a few months, so boss figured I'd be a shoe-in.

    Well...the project we were working on was done and worked...well.

    Fast forward a few months after our company was purchased, the new CEO decided that we would lead the industry in innovation, therefore we would only use software developed in house...

     ...shocked stares....

    His project lead was his secretary, and for her first project, she decided that the company would have a single program that could handle all the various needs of different departments throughout the company.

    Well, we already had that, but it was based on COTS software, and therefore was deemed unworthy, despite being easy to use, familiar to all, and light in day-to-day admin requirements.

    So, the power-that-was hired some rinky-dink coding firm which, they assured, assigned their most experienced person to the job.

    He kept to himself, which led us workerbees to assume that he was working very hard on the project, and besides, our boss was anal overlord about our productivity, he'd be doubly so on expensive contractors.

    I managed to see Mr Personality in the cafeteria one day, and saw a Tux pin on his tie. I asked him what distro he preferred, to which he (rudely) replied, "I just use Linux.' and huffed off back to his cubicle.

    Later I was relaying the conversation to a friend and it dawned on me just as I was about to get to the point that the fucker probably didn't have a single clue. Boss walked by and wondered what we were laughing about, so I cut to the punchline and his face went from geek white to irate manager red in a second.

    /cue sound of one shoe dropping.

    He called this not-terribly-inexpensive guy into his office and wanted to see his work to date. What he produced in 6 month's time was a multimedia demo of how the application will work once the design phase was complete, and he offered up a time line of another 6 months to do the actual coding, because "the hard work is in the design, not the coding." 

    He even made a cute little program that ran itself as if the program he was supposed to be making was actually running, complete with fictional dbase queries and performance charts.

    The company got its money back, so my boss got to keep his job...I'm sure the daily toe-jam sessions he gave upper management helped in that regard. 

    A little over a year later, and the company was still using the program that two guys cobbled together from a cots app, despite paying for other contractors to come in and build the Dream App as envisioned by the CEO's secretary.

    When I left the company, they were still using that cots thing that I helped wire together, they were 200k + in the hole on the new app that still didn't work, and their separate warehouse app was 500k in the hole with no end in sight. 

    The former secretary is now in charge of a small subsidiary of some sort. The next Carly, I say.

    It's not what you know, but who. :)            

  • Frostbitte (unregistered) in reply to ferrengi

    Yes, there is a way for companies to get back at the contractors. Usually it is in a warranty clause in the contract. Meaning if your code is broken or needs fixing, you created and could be held liable for fixing it or modifying it later on.

    My father-in-law is a contractor and he usually has this written in his contracts.

  • IorDMUX (unregistered) in reply to Leaves

    I still want to see someone explain away that site.

  • IorDMUX (unregistered) in reply to Leaves
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Joao Clemente (unregistered) in reply to ItsAllGeekToMe

    I actually went to help a guy some years ago... He had been working for two months in a rewrite of an java application... His boss has told him "I basically want this thing that application X has, but in for Y..." The guy had basically "replaced" every X string with an Y string, and he didn't even had been able to compile the thing... in two months! So... far-fetched? maybe... but not too far-fetched I'm afraid! :-p

  • 240 (unregistered) in reply to Trev

    Yeah, that's real "brillant".

  • Al H. (unregistered)

    I would tend to agree that female programmers are just as likely to be inept as male ones. I would add though that they're more likely to be "book smart" with graduate degrees and lists of letters after their name, as opposed to "code smart" with years of experience actually doing useful things.

    Perhaps it simply takes more credentials to get hired if you're female?

    --Al--

  • David (unregistered) in reply to Paul Bean
    Paul Bean:
    Anonymous:
    "Also, I have never met any female programmers who produce good maintainable code although it is certainly fun to have them around. " What bs, while I know there are bad female programmers, not all of us are.. watch out for that chavonistic cr*p... If anything all my coworkers give me a hard time b/c my code makes all of theirs look bad.
    Oh hey how's it goin' Paula? XD
    Hang on a second.... wtf, aren't you paula yourself? OH NO, are there TWO paula's?!
  • dude (unregistered)

    The real WTF is that I logged in two years later to comment.

  • noob (unregistered) in reply to dude

    last!

  • MaDeR (unregistered)

    Unfortunately, not last. He, he, he.

  • KrisB (unregistered)

    ... okay, "Brillant" though I may be, I'm not a programmer AT ALL... and I've looked over my husband's shoulders from time to time, asked questions, but mostly left it alone. (it is basically math for "fun", and I hate math)

    That being said, even I knew this was wrong - and a little far-fetched.

    [end transmission]

  • grep (unregistered)

    last!

    </comments>
  • KJR101 (unregistered) in reply to noName

    You seem to have hired a lot of "experts"... always something I don't like to see on a resume!

    Ex = has been! Spurt = drip under pressure!

    Not a good combination, IMHO!

  • Ajay (unregistered)

    Strange, the failure here is of the company because:

    • They hired a candidate without knowing his/her skill level

    • No check was made on what the employee was really doing until she started complaining.

    I have been in industry for 20 years and there is no way this will fly anywhere that I have worked.

    We hired C++ programmers by giving them tests fo r an hour and interview lasted roughly for 8 hours. Before the real interview, the candidate was screened through a phone interview. If the candidate came to interview and not suited it went against the hiring manager as company time was wasted.

    I thought it was rigrous but it was effective. We had almost no turnover.

  • Me (unregistered) in reply to Ajay

    Why are you posting this here and not in the reposted article? Do you enjoy being invisible?

  • Anonymous2 (unregistered) in reply to x-sol(lazy)

    Almost ditto:

    Got a new job after being put on a death march that got cancelled when delivered, then discovered pretty quickly my predecessor was a fraud who had buggered around for 2 years producing nothing but random cludge and that management believed the system was ready for production.

    I couldn't rewrite because noone was available who knew what the system was supposed to do and there was no documentation or specifications.

    Something broke inside that day and it took some time to mend.

  • Copperblade (unregistered) in reply to Mike R

    I agree, but what is the solution? Honestly, what is the solution to this in other industries? Why do there seem to be so many bold a-holes in programming?

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