• Paula fan (unregistered)

    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.

  • Volmarias (cs)

    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?

  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Over. (cs) in reply to Volmarias

    Volmarias:
    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?

    I think The Daily WTF should be a reference every employer checks. :)

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Paula fan
    Anonymous:
    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.


    Are you kidding?  "I'm almost done! ... Oh, I'm having some problems getting it finished" is apparently her MO.  She just switched things out and didn't comically misspell Brilliant this time.
  • ParkinT (cs)

    Sounds like Paula has a good handle on "workflow" (except her own)

  • Maximiliano (unregistered)

    I´m sure they did, the person they asked about Paula´s performance just said: "Brilliant"

  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Over. (cs) in reply to Dave

    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:
    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.


    Are you kidding?  "I'm almost done! ... Oh, I'm having some problems getting it finished" is apparently her MO.  She just switched things out and didn't comically misspell Brilliant this time.

    It would have been funnier had her name been spelled Paulla, or something like that.

  • stonguse (cs) in reply to Volmarias

    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.

  • Maximiliano (unregistered) in reply to Maximiliano
    Anonymous:
    I´m sure they did, the person they asked about Paula´s performance just said: "Brilliant"


    Forgot to quote original comment, this was the one:
    Volmarias:
    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?


  • Rick (cs) in reply to Maximiliano
    Anonymous:
    I´m sure they did, the person they asked about Paula´s performance just said: "Brilliant"


    Nobody ever got sued for giving a positive reference. :-)
  • Romeo (cs)

    <font size="2">No "brillant" nor "brilliant" replies this time, right? No fun at all anymore.</font>

  • ferrengi (cs)

    Hmmm,
    Does scott go on this site regularly?
    If so, I would think he has heard this story before and would've taken a look at her code earlier.

  • Gene Wirchenko (cs) in reply to Paula fan
    Anonymous:
    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.


    Yes, it is sad how people do not check references.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • haveworld (cs) in reply to Paula fan
    Anonymous:
    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.
    Paula is not necessarily the same Paula. It's just something that Paula would do, so it could be Paula.
  • ferrengi (cs) in reply to stonguse
    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.


    If this the person hiring does not have the technical knowledge to test the application then all the applicant has to do is have good interviewing skills/image and say a lot of buzzwords.
    You could then claim that not having someone competent enough to test these people is a bigger WTF that this submission but that is another story. There is no shortage of bad managers.
  • stonguse (cs) in reply to Romeo

    Actually ApprovePurchaseOrder is a factory for PaulaBeans which of course return brillant. Brillant is very much alive.

  • Merlin (unregistered) in reply to stonguse
    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.


    So do I.
  • Paula Brillant (unregistered)

    You guys are so mean,
     First of all.
    Brillant is my Last Name.
     so what is the problem?

    second,
     I was really close the having that project complete before they let me go.
     its not really fair of you all to take this position without really knowing the whole scenario.

    let me explain.
       
     with my advanced knowledge of Java and other programming.
     I was shocked to see the company in question's pattern.

    It took me a long time to analyze the flow due to the complexities used within thier java .

    I really am a good programmer and I just wanted you all to know that.

    P.S.
     if any of you know of anyone hiring advanced java programmers.
     feel free to drop me a line @ paulabeans_is_brillant@microsoft.com

  • neek (unregistered)

    <font size="2"><Brilliant></font><font size="2">Please, post Paula picture into fbi most wanted site so we prevent to hire her in a future and besides we could see if shes hot after all!</font><font size="2"></Brilliant></font>

  • ptomblin (cs) in reply to Volmarias
    Volmarias:
    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?


    Most companies now don't give proper references.  If you call them up they will confirm or deny that the person worked at their company at the time period specified with the job title specified, and that's it.  The reason is that our wonderful ligitigous society means that telling somebody that Paula was a complete fuck-up who never did any work will get you sued for defamation.

    I'm fortunate that I work in a small enough town that I can sometimes get information through the back door by asking people I've hired or who I used to work with if they've worked with the applicant, or can find a former manager and buy them a beer and maybe they're let slip something in a totally informal and unprovable manner.

  • Cooper (cs)

    Goody - I get to cry 'no wtf' first!

    It is time to get real here.

    Incompetent, lazy, wtf developers abound and it is simply not logical to call their behavior, which obviously supports them in some way, a wtf.

    The WTF is that a company which claims to develop systems (whether for internal or external purposes) doesn't care enough to implement technical progress reviews (like 'gee show me what you've done' or 'demo tomorrow at 16:00'), ESPECIALLY FOR NEW STAFF.

    If Scott had any role in managing this fiasco, he is not elegible to work for me.


  • Cooper (cs) in reply to Cooper

    he isn't eligible either....

  • Ann Coulter (unregistered) in reply to Romeo
    Romeo:
    <font size="2">No "brillant" nor "brilliant" replies this time, right? No fun at all anymore.</font>


    And this time it's relevant.
  • graywh (cs) in reply to ptomblin
    ptomblin:
    Volmarias:
    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?


    Most companies now don't give proper references.  If you call them up they will confirm or deny that the person worked at their company at the time period specified with the job title specified, and that's it.  The reason is that our wonderful ligitigous society means that telling somebody that Paula was a complete fuck-up who never did any work will get you sued for defamation.

    I'm fortunate that I work in a small enough town that I can sometimes get information through the back door by asking people I've hired or who I used to work with if they've worked with the applicant, or can find a former manager and buy them a beer and maybe they're let slip something in a totally informal and unprovable manner.



    I've seen a lot of people ask/tell whether or not the person is re-hirable.  That still leaves not explanation why.
  • An apprentice (unregistered) in reply to Cooper
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    At the same time, Scott's team was growing. Management brought on a handful of new contract and full-time employees...

    ...but the project manager assured Scott that Paula was a J2EE expert and would have no problem handling even the most complex task on the project...

    ...no big deal, said the project manager, Paula is almost complete and it'd be OK if we deliver this project a little late, anyway. Better to let her learn the system that discourage her by taking it away...

    I don't think Scott is to blame. It seems the greatest problem of this company is poor management. It's unreasonable to hire new development staff if the project goes on smoothly and is nearing completion as planned. Then again, stupid management, including HR, can ruin any project.

  • sammybaby (cs) in reply to stonguse

    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.

    Simple - the people doing the hiring are usually incapable of evaluating those abilities. demonstrating them would be a waste of time, and might expose the interviewer's lack of domain knowledge.

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to sammybaby
    sammybaby:

    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.

    Simple - the people doing the hiring are usually incapable of evaluating those abilities. demonstrating them would be a waste of time, and might expose the interviewer's lack of domain knowledge.

    Sooo.... bring in the lead programmer during the second round of interviews, have THEM ask questions. It's what was done when I got hired at my current job, and it seems to have worked out rather well.

    As far as litigious references go, Ask their former employer "Would you hire this person again?" and "Who terminated the employment contract?" While this shouldn't necessarily be taken as a reason to hire or not (certain firing practices may not be the fault of the employee, or even within the power of their boss), it should be at least one thing to consider.

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to Volmarias

    Gobfucking christ, can we PLEASE turn the edit time limit on for like a minute or something so I can clean up the mess that happens when I believe that the fucking forum software can work?

  • its me (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    [...]

    Several weeks later, Scott followed up with her

    [...] 

    A couple weeks passed

    [...]

    Another week passed and now everyone was concerned.

    Uh, not to be a hard-ass but I see two WTF's here... One, yeah Paula is an idiot, that happens. But two, and the bigger issue is, why, when Scott gave her a one week task, did he not follow up in a week and ask to see her progress then? A new team member comes on and is delivering late, seems to me you take a look at where she's going. Better yet, he should have checked her progress within the first few days. Paula was left to twist in the wind for a month or two for a one week task? Yeah that's a WTF, a management WTF....

    -me

  • Digitalbath (cs) in reply to its me
    its me:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    [...]

    Several weeks later, Scott followed up with her

    [...] 

    A couple weeks passed

    [...]

    Another week passed and now everyone was concerned.

    Uh, not to be a hard-ass but I see two WTF's here... One, yeah Paula is an idiot, that happens. But two, and the bigger issue is, why, when Scott gave her a one week task, did he not follow up in a week and ask to see her progress then? A new team member comes on and is delivering late, seems to me you take a look at where she's going. Better yet, he should have checked her progress within the first few days. Paula was left to twist in the wind for a month or two for a one week task? Yeah that's a WTF, a management WTF....

    -me

    Especially after she claimed that she could probably get it done in a couple of days. 

  • Mike K. (unregistered)

    There are two big WTF's here, and they aren't Paula's fault.

    #1 - "Paula" should never have been hired. The hiring manager must have the ability to review the applicant's skills by issuing some kind of test. A coder should NEVER be hired unless the hiring manager has seen the person's code. Ok, so there are pitfalls in that. The applicant might have one piece of good code that they've written; or they might have stolen an former co-worker's nice code. But still, DON'T HIRE PROGRAMMERS WITHOUT SEEING THEIR CODE!

    #2 - Paula's manager or supervisor should not have gone weeks or months without reviewing her actual work. When you have a new employee, there is no trust. You need to build trust with that person. This can only be done by reviewing their work early on in their employment with the company. Paula's manager should have given her x days to write the new workflow, and had her submit the code to him. He then should have reviewed it on day x, providing feedback, help, tips, etc. If after 10 days, she could not produce working code (even buggy code), she should be reprimanded, and her code reviewed by a senior programmer.

    In this case, the manager would have seen that all she'd done in weeks of employment at the company is a simple search and replace. That's grounds for being fired on the spot.

  • Mike K. (unregistered) in reply to sammybaby
    sammybaby:

    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.

    Simple - the people doing the hiring are usually incapable of evaluating those abilities. demonstrating them would be a waste of time, and might expose the interviewer's lack of domain knowledge.

    That's a poor excuse. The interviewer must always be capable of reviewing a candidate's technical skills. If not, then someone who is capable of a technical review should be brought into the interview breifly. It's irresponsible to the organization to hire someone in any other manner.

  • Sindri (cs) in reply to Volmarias
    Volmarias:
    So, apparently no one checks references anymore?


    No, but the ones that do don't post here.
  • K (unregistered) in reply to Volmarias

    Apparently they wanted to compare by value, not by reference.

  • Ann Coulter (unregistered) in reply to its me
    its me:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    [...]

    Several weeks later, Scott followed up with her

    [...] 

    A couple weeks passed

    [...]

    Another week passed and now everyone was concerned.

    Uh, not to be a hard-ass but I see two WTF's here... One, yeah Paula is an idiot, that happens. But two, and the bigger issue is, why, when Scott gave her a one week task, did he not follow up in a week and ask to see her progress then? A new team member comes on and is delivering late, seems to me you take a look at where she's going. Better yet, he should have checked her progress within the first few days. Paula was left to twist in the wind for a month or two for a one week task? Yeah that's a WTF, a management WTF....

    -me



    There's at least one more WTF here. The management insisted on added more people even though the project was only a few weeks away from completion. Adding more people late in the project only adds more risk and very little gain. Even if Paula was a J2EE expert, if you factor in the initial learning curve and communication overhead there's not a lot she could she possibly add in a few weeks. 
  • Satanicpuppy (cs) in reply to ferrengi
    ferrengi:
    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.


    If this the person hiring does not have the technical knowledge to test the application then all the applicant has to do is have good interviewing skills/image and say a lot of buzzwords.
    You could then claim that not having someone competent enough to test these people is a bigger WTF that this submission but that is another story. There is no shortage of bad managers.


    I've never had a technical test before employment, but I've also never had anyone offer me unconditional employment. Usually someone wants a 3-6 month trial period, and I think that's usually fair. After three months you know what you've got, and if you don't want to continue, then you don't have to.

    I know a guy who's a terrible test taker. He flops all the time, and he had issues getting a job because people kept trying to test his skills, and he'd freeze up and appear incompetent. He finally got a shot with a place for three months, and after three WEEKS they hired him permanent, and made a special exception for him so he'd never have to attend department meetings (got some social anxiety issues). Hell of a coder.
  • tDog (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Scott estimated that he could finish it in a week. Paula said that she would have this finished in a few days.
    Several weeks later, A couple weeks passed and Scott was starting to get concerned.

    Another week passed

    Are you kidding.  Scott is the real WTF here.  Ever heard of a code review???  If you wait several weeks plus a week post concern, your are several weeks from when you should have reviewed the work in the first place.  He deserves her and a late project for such poor management. 

    -- tdog

  • ammoQ (cs) in reply to Mike K.
    Mike K.:
    There are two big WTF's here, and they aren't Paula's fault.

    #1 - "Paula" should never have been hired. The hiring manager must have the ability to review the applicant's skills by issuing some kind of test. A coder should NEVER be hired unless the hiring manager has seen the person's code. Ok, so there are pitfalls in that. The applicant might have one piece of good code that they've written; or they might have stolen an former co-worker's nice code. But still, DON'T HIRE PROGRAMMERS WITHOUT SEEING THEIR CODE!

    #2 - Paula's manager or supervisor should not have gone weeks or months without reviewing her actual work. When you have a new employee, there is no trust. You need to build trust with that person. This can only be done by reviewing their work early on in their employment with the company. Paula's manager should have given her x days to write the new workflow, and had her submit the code to him. He then should have reviewed it on day x, providing feedback, help, tips, etc. If after 10 days, she could not produce working code (even buggy code), she should be reprimanded, and her code reviewed by a senior programmer.

    In this case, the manager would have seen that all she'd done in weeks of employment at the company is a simple search and replace. That's grounds for being fired on the spot.



    I totally agree with #2. Not doing an early review with a new team member is absolutely stupid.
    I don't agree with #1. I've been working as a contractor several times, but I never had to show code or pass a test. Good references are enough.

  • BtM (cs) in reply to K

    Anonymous:
    Apparently they wanted to compare by value, not by reference.

    You owe me a new keyboard.

    Generally, the places I enjoyed working the most put me through relatively rigorous technical interviews, up to and including writing code as part of the interview (the most recent was to reverse an input stream, paying attention to scalability and maintenance before raw performance -- of course, I let myself get distracted by some minor detail and wasn't able to satsify all the requirements before the hour was up, but apparently my explanation of what I was trying to do was good enough).  I was also grilled pretty heavily on what exactly I did on the projects listed on the resume. 

    It's gotten to the point where I don't want to work for any company that doesn't make me sweat during an interview.  That means they're either desperate or clueless, and I've worked for those kinds of places enough, thank you. 

  • Djinn (cs) in reply to neek
    Anonymous:
    <font size="2"><brilliant></brilliant></font><font size="2">Please, post Paula picture into fbi most wanted site so we prevent to hire her in a future and besides we could see if shes hot after all!</font><font size="2"></font>


    'Course she's hot, she keeps getting hired
  • Russ (unregistered) in reply to Volmarias
    Volmarias:
    sammybaby:

    stonguse:
    I fail to see how someone can be hired in a technical job without demonstrating their abilities.

    Simple - the people doing the hiring are usually incapable of evaluating those abilities. demonstrating them would be a waste of time, and might expose the interviewer's lack of domain knowledge.

    Sooo.... bring in the lead programmer during the second round of interviews, have THEM ask questions. It's what was done when I got hired at my current job, and it seems to have worked out rather well.



    Second round? Too late. I'm a dev lead and responsible for the first two rounds of the hiring process where I work - first a ruthless screening of CVs (about 80% hit the bin straight away), then an hour-long telephone interview which is extremely technical in nature. I progress maybe 1 in 3 to a timed technical test in which they need to write an actual application in 2 hours (obviously not a complicated one), then a face-to-face interview with the technical architects and engineering managers. Then, and only then, do HR get a chance to talk to them. The whole process takes about a month. The best thing about this approach is that all the bottom feeders are either rejected or give up early on - we've made about 15 offers since January and every single one has been accepted, and no duds have sneaked through so far. If you let HR do the first round, far too much crap gets through the filter.

  • makomk (cs) in reply to Ann Coulter
    Anonymous:
    its me:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    [...]

    Several weeks later, Scott followed up with her

    [...] 

    A couple weeks passed

    [...]

    Another week passed and now everyone was concerned.

    Uh, not to be a hard-ass but I see two WTF's here... One, yeah Paula is an idiot, that happens. But two, and the bigger issue is, why, when Scott gave her a one week task, did he not follow up in a week and ask to see her progress then? A new team member comes on and is delivering late, seems to me you take a look at where she's going. Better yet, he should have checked her progress within the first few days. Paula was left to twist in the wind for a month or two for a one week task? Yeah that's a WTF, a management WTF....

    -me



    There's at least one more WTF here. The management insisted on added more people even though the project was only a few weeks away from completion. Adding more people late in the project only adds more risk and very little gain. Even if Paula was a J2EE expert, if you factor in the initial learning curve and communication overhead there's not a lot she could she possibly add in a few weeks. 

    The question is, which mattered more - that they be seen to be doing something, or that they actually get it done on time.

  • Anita Tinkle (unregistered) in reply to ammoQ

    I disagree with just having good references.  Code samples are a must, and you must get the developer to explain what the code does and specifically why it was written this way and why they chose to present this in the interview.

    A written test is also paramount to knowing how the developer approaches problems and how they wrap their head around a solution (or not).  It sometimes also gives important clues to how they will react in a pressing situation when you provide them a problem that has a very difficult answer (do they bullshit their way through it, or do they ask you for questions and more information?).

    A good programmer will acknowledge when (s)he lacks knowledge in an area.  An excellent programmer will ask more questions about what (s)he does not know and will be eager to learn what solutions are out there.

    It's a shame that these litmus tests don't apply to contractors.  I've encountered way too many "brainless" outsourced coders that had excellent coding skills and knowledge of the programming language, but had very poor ability to solve actual problems well.

  • Coughptcha (cs) in reply to K
    Anonymous:
    Apparently they wanted to compare by value, not by reference.
    Maybe they tried calling to check her references, but Initech had since burned to the ground.  Conveniently, the new company hiring Paula was also called Initech.

    (This comment is coded to only be parsable by "Office Space" and TDWTF afficionados.)
  • cconroy (cs) in reply to Coughptcha

    <font size="2">I can hardly wait for Episode VI: Return of the PaulaBean.

    </font>

  • Satanicpuppy (cs) in reply to Mike K.
    Anonymous:
    There are two big WTF's here, and they aren't Paula's fault.

    #1 - "Paula" should never have been hired. The hiring manager must have the ability to review the applicant's skills by issuing some kind of test. A coder should NEVER be hired unless the hiring manager has seen the person's code. Ok, so there are pitfalls in that. The applicant might have one piece of good code that they've written; or they might have stolen an former co-worker's nice code. But still, DON'T HIRE PROGRAMMERS WITHOUT SEEING THEIR CODE!

    #2 - Paula's manager or supervisor should not have gone weeks or months without reviewing her actual work. When you have a new employee, there is no trust. You need to build trust with that person. This can only be done by reviewing their work early on in their employment with the company. Paula's manager should have given her x days to write the new workflow, and had her submit the code to him. He then should have reviewed it on day x, providing feedback, help, tips, etc. If after 10 days, she could not produce working code (even buggy code), she should be reprimanded, and her code reviewed by a senior programmer.

    In this case, the manager would have seen that all she'd done in weeks of employment at the company is a simple search and replace. That's grounds for being fired on the spot.



    Code review I agree with, but I spent two years working for a company, developing applications under serious stress conditions, and walked out the door two years later without one single piece of production code that I could legally show to a prospective employer (It was proprietary, nda'd, and SECRET, being corporate, corporate, and military). Then I applied to another, similar job, and had no code to show. Does that make me an employment risk? I had a ton of references, I knew my stuff...But I couldn't show real, production-quality code at an interview without some pretty serious paperwork, which would never have been approved.

    There is no magic formula to getting a good employee. Showing code just proves that someone can rip off OSS, or copy from the internet.

  • ammoQ (cs) in reply to Anita Tinkle
    Anita Tinkle:
    I disagree with just having good references.  Code samples are a must, and you must get the developer to explain what the code does and specifically why it was written this way and why they chose to present this in the interview.


    IMO code samples are nearly useless. You never know it the code sample was really made be the programmer; even if, was it made from scratch or is it more-or-less a clone of existing code?
    Additional problem: If the code looks odd, is the programmer to blame or is it just the strange coding standards of that project?
    Additional problem: The copyright of the code goes to the employer. It may contain trade secrets. For that reason, I would not show real-world code from former projects. I could show some artificial samples or my private toy projects, but that means little.


    A written test is also paramount to knowing how the developer approaches problems and how they wrap their head around a solution (or not).  It sometimes also gives important clues to how they will react in a pressing situation when you provide them a problem that has a very difficult answer (do they bullshit their way through it, or do they ask you for questions and more information?).


    Tests are always an artificial situation. Some people fail at tests but shine in real world. Other people are good at tests but not at work.


    A good programmer will acknowledge when (s)he lacks knowledge in an area.  An excellent programmer will ask more questions about what (s)he does not know and will be eager to learn what solutions are out there.


    True. But if a bad programmer thinks he's a good programmer, he might just act the same.


    It's a shame that these litmus tests don't apply to contractors.  I've encountered way too many "brainless" outsourced coders that had excellent coding skills and knowledge of the programming language, but had very poor ability to solve actual problems well.


    Good references means: Successfull projects in the pasts. Many of them.
  • XMLord (unregistered) in reply to haveworld
    haveworld:
    Anonymous:
    I'm curious how you know for certain it's the Paula.
    Paula is not necessarily the same Paula. It's just something that Paula would do, so it could be Paula.




    I really like the idea that there’s really only one Paula. As bad a coder as she might be, she’s still one hell of a con artist. And the beauty is that the companies that hire her, can’t really do anything, except for firing her.

    You just can’t sue someone for being an idiot (yet).

    After all is said and done, she really is brilliant!

  • Bosmonster (cs)

    If she said it would take a few days and you said it would take 5 days as well... how come you actually check her codes like 6 weeks later? I don't know, but if i say something will be done in 5 days here, they'll come see if I'm done on the 4th...

  • Eric (unregistered) in reply to haveworld

    Sure, it's the same Paula.  Just like all these examples come from Initech code.

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