• Alex Papadimoulis (cs)

    V, a contractor I worked with during my tenure at the bank, was let go shortly after he requested that IT Security open a port on the firewall because he couldn't get Kazaa (or some similar program he downloaded) working. Although we didn't have a V Board, we did have a Sandal Board that tallied the days that V wore sandals to work. I think it was like 13-11 in favor of sandals by the time he left ...

  • dhoffman (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis

    Don't they interview contractors at least a little bit before hiring them?  You'd think it would be easy to weed out people this lame.

  • Sean (unregistered)

    At my previous job, I was in a meeting where the guru guy was explaining how the data available on the screen could be downloaded as a CSV by the users so they could import to MS Excel.  My newly hired boss (who claimed to have been a programmer for 20 years) asked the question, "What's CSV?".  Guru guy looks at her in amazement, "It's a comma separated value file".  To which she replies, "OH, I have never heard of that before".... WTF?!?!

  • Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    Perfect

    Spectacular

    Awesome

    Guys like this make more than the average worker on salary which is wtf #1

    At least he asked questions <wtf #2 why not years ago in school is beyond me>

    Idiots are everywhere

  • Morbii (cs) in reply to Sean

    We had a field replacer that replaces fields in a file.  It goes sequentially through the file, replacing all fields.  One of my prior co-workers thought he could one up this "slow" proceedure and wrote an "optimized" replace function.  His function used regular expressions for each field replaced value because regular expressions were "faster".  He actually named the function OptimizedReplace() or some such garbage.

  • me (unregistered)

    Code is breaking in bad an unpredictable ways. I do code review of threaded codebase:

     

    me: what are all these sleep()'s for?

    him: oh, i use them to reduce the chance of locking problems

    me: do you use locks?

    him: they are too difficult to use properly, so I use sleep() 

     

     

    captcha: 37signals 

  • suzilou (cs)

    For one client, when I was newly on the project, they set me up with my Unix account.  When I asked what the initial password was, they said "'yoyo'.  we give all new accounts that password.  it's easy to remember since it's root's"

  • savar (cs) in reply to dhoffman
    dhoffman:

    Don't they interview contractors at least a little bit before hiring them?  You'd think it would be easy to weed out people this lame.

    God, anybody who puts "intense" or "acclaimed" on their resume and is not a professional actor/actress shouldn't even get a callback.

     Having said that, even though Joe clearly doesn't have the experience he says he did, the second section of non-technical WTFs made me start to like the guy. Asking a 3-week girlfriend to move into the house you share with your wife? Priceless.

    This guy must have been a PITA when there was actual work to do, but as dude to hang out with he's probably hilarious.

     Please tell me somebody took a photo of this whiteboard and can post it here. It would be my new wallpaper immediately.

  • Scott (unregistered)

    We had one like that at our office.  Here is a chatlog between us when he came into work over the weekend and couldn't get his solution to compile.

     

    [09:58] Fred: morning Frank.  Did you have any problems compiling this morning?  I got the latest  and am getting 13 errors

    [09:58] Frank: please add all the files that aren't in your solution to your solution and try again

    [09:58] Fred: like stuff missing from FlashWebHelper, GlobalConfig files and stuff

    [09:59] Fred: I did add all the files that were not in local solution.  I went through each folder manually as well to see if any needed 'included'

    [10:02] Frank: I have latest and I can compile

    [10:02] Frank: You must be missing some files in your solutions

    [10:03] Fred: alright - I just did a get latest on 'everything' rather then peck through each directory

    [10:03] Fred: I am at 15 errors

    [10:04] Frank: Make sure that you have added all the new files to your solution

    [10:04] Fred: I am trying - I have been through each directory in the explorer and refreshed to see if any files need included

    [10:05] Fred: like I am missing a dataset it seems

    [10:05] Frank: if I have to come over there and add files I swear to god

    [10:10] Fred: Thanks Frank

    [10:10] Frank: np, just add the files to your solution next time

    [10:10] Fred: ok

     Among other things, we had to teach him about this new thing in programming called "Classes".  To which he responded, "CLASSES ARE COOL!!!"

  • me (unregistered)

    when i was a newbie:

     

    me: fork() is fucked on this box, sometimes it returns 1 and sometimes 0

     

    captcha: eyestooclose 

  • My Lord! (unregistered)

    Once, we had a whole herd of contractors come in to help on a project.  Our database was Oracle 7.3.4 but this didn't stop the "herd" from finding a Sql Server in our company to connect to, create tables, stored procedures, and create 'connectors' to link their stuff back to Oracle.

    The reason the "herd" gave for using Sql Server instead of Oracle was the poor query performance they were getting from Oracle - I did get a hold of some of their SQL, did some explain plans, and told them that their unintentional cartesian joins were the cause*.  They simply started using a Sql Server (which they claimed to know) and dropped any Oracle development (which they definitely did not know).  The boss said he didn't care about The Details as long as the "Gaz-in's and Gaz-out's" produced The Desired Results™.

    <font face="Arial" size="2">Needless to say, more of the "herd" arrived, the project slowed to a halt, and the Bloody Hammer™ <font face="Arial" size="2">finally dropped on this project.  I guess Sql Server was also experiencing Poor Query Performance™.</font></font>

    * I have found some applications of cartesian joins to be very beneficial (not in this case, however).

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to dhoffman
    dhoffman:

    Don't they interview contractors at least a little bit before hiring them?  You'd think it would be easy to weed out people this lame.

     

    Contractors are - in many cases - hired by the boss. So whattya do then, huh? 

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to me
    Anonymous:

    when i was a newbie:

     

    me: fork() is fucked on this box, sometimes it returns 1 and sometimes 0

     

    captcha: eyestooclose 



    Thats because the () makes it sometimes think that there's a spoon attachment, so you're really ending up with spork. You should have run either spoon() proper, or forkE
  • jones (unregistered) in reply to My Lord!

    my personal rule is that when a company brings in enough contractors to call them a herd it's time to get out........

  • Abigail (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Oh crap, I really screwed up this time.
    Err, did you break the test database again?
    No, no. I asked this girl I've been seeing for three weeks to move in with me.
    Aren't you married?
    Yeah ...

    I didn't know it was possible for anyone to be that stupid.

  • bcat (unregistered) in reply to Abigail

    Hmm, I call BS on that one. Most of the others are more believable.

    CAPTCHA: error 

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Abigail

    After reading the first few sentences I expected the "Joe Board" to be something Joe build so it could be the new "Paula Bean". But it's probably funnier this way.

    captcha: "paula" indeed 

  • un.sined (cs) in reply to Jay
    Anonymous:
    dhoffman:

    Don't they interview contractors at least a little bit before hiring them?  You'd think it would be easy to weed out people this lame.

     

    Contractors are - in many cases - hired by the boss. So whattya do then, huh? 

    Every contracting position I've been in, I've been interviewed by whoever my manager will be, plus several others on the team, both for technical aptitude and for "group fit".  I was a career contractor of 8 years until recently (I switched careers from contract to full time I guess).  In that time, I've probably had 15 different positions.

    I take that back...  Only one time was I hired without an interview with the people that I would have been working with.  I'd have still taken the job had I interviewed with them (since jobs were scarce at the time), but at least I would have known about the cluster **** that I was getting myself into.

  • EvanED (cs) in reply to Abigail
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Oh crap, I really screwed up this time.
    Err, did you break the test database again?
    No, no. I asked this girl I've been seeing for three weeks to move in with me.
    Aren't you married?
    Yeah ...

    I didn't know it was possible for anyone to be that stupid.

     Yeah.

     It's actually very impressive in a way. Some sick, sick, way.

     

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    "Why doesn't the JavaScript documentation explain that you can't use JavaScript variables in HTML image tags?  I spent four hours looking through the documentation!"

    My best guess was that he was talking about something like:

    <script>var image = "something.gif;"</script>

    <img src="image">

    I never did manage to get the concept that JavaScript and HTML are two different things though to him.
     

  • Burninator (unregistered)

    I had a co-worker ask me:

    How do you tell if a number is negative?

  • Sizer (unregistered) in reply to me
    Anonymous:

    me: what are all these sleep()'s for?
    him: oh, i use them to reduce the chance of locking problems
    me: do you use locks?
    him: they are too difficult to use properly, so I use sleep() 

    If I could mod you up I would. This is so sad yet utterly believable.

     

  • Jonathan (unregistered)

    Why do I need a 'default' case? It should never get there....

     

  • mep (unregistered) in reply to Burninator

    In my workplace, we have the "william wiki" for quoatable quotes from our lovable coworker william, here's a few entries:

     "there are no beautiful woman engineers"

    "vanna white (the price is right model) has the PERFECT job for a woman"

    "are you on crack?"

  • Trinian (unregistered)

    This guy has a wife and a girlfriend?  Man, utter brainlessness must be quite the aphrodisiac.

     

  • Jack Hardcastle (unregistered)

    We have a board like this in our office for dumb user comments.  My favorite (besides the user that wanted to plug her laptop into her hotel room cable television to make it "surf the internet faster") is from a training session involving a popular Mac-based painting program.  The technician (now my boss) was trying to teach a group of teachers how to use the program in their classes.  After having shown them all the basic tools (brushes, stamps, paint buckets) he set them loose with the challenge, "Go wild!"

     Five minutes later, he looked over at one teacher to find nothing but a solitary yellow circle in the middle of her screen.  "What's wrong?" he asked.  "Are you uncomfortable with the tools?"

     "I know computers are expensive.  I didn't want to waste the paint."
     

  • Triggur (unregistered)

    My own Joe Contractor was a guy we secretly called "Gang Fighter" behind his back.

     He earned this name because he he shaved his head and had a curious baseball-seam-like scar on his hairline, with some extra mottled scarring on the back of his head.  Whenever he noticed people eyeing it, he confessed spontaneously, "Oh the scar, well... a buddy of mine got jumped by a GANG once and being a martial arts expert, I jumped in and fended all five off by myself, but one, he had a knife, and he CUT ME, man."

    And then by coincidence we stumbled on a web page showing what hair transplant scars look like.

     Yup.  "Gang Fighter"'s scars were from his failed attempt at rescuing his hairline from male-pattern baldness.

     The fact that the guy turned out to be an utterly incompetent OOP programmer to begin with was the only factor in his dismissal, I promise.

     

  • Joe Cool (unregistered)

    Weird... this guy sounds exactly like a Joe I worked with in Dallas.  He was showing off his website to some people at work one day, and up popped a picture of him showing his bare ass!  Once the website link made it around the office (which took all of 2 minutes), management decided that his talents would best be spent elsewhere.

     Captcha: hotdog.   He sure was...

  • gl (unregistered) in reply to Burninator

    Well, if it's in a packed-decimal field in an  IBM COBOL program, you check the upper nibble of the high-order bit for the negative indicator.  By using redefines, this actually allows you to create a negative zero which looks like an ordinary zero when displayed, but when it is compared to zero it is not equal.

  • gl (unregistered) in reply to gl

    Darn, this should have been a quoted reply to this message:

     I had a co-worker ask me: How do you tell if a number is negative?

     

    Anonymous:
    Well, if it's in a packed-decimal field in an  IBM COBOL program, you check the upper nibble of the high-order bit for the negative indicator.  By using redefines, this actually allows you to create a negative zero which looks like an ordinary zero when displayed, but when it is compared to zero it is not equal.

  • Jesse (unregistered)

    Boss: What are you planning on doing for the rest of the afternoon?

    "Joe": (stretches arms and leans back in chair) As little as possible!

     

  • stutter (unregistered) in reply to bcat

    me: "What are all these &nbsp;s for"

    contractor: "I had to center the text in the HTML document."

     -----

    contractor: "How do I change the default setting in Firefox that only allows 21 windows to be open?  I need to open 214 browser windows." 

     ----

     contractor: "I've done some of my best work in MS Access."

     

    There are more, we definately need a whiteboard for this guy :) 

  • djork (cs) in reply to Trinian

    We have a new QA guy here. Apparently they don't think that experience in what we do is a prerequisite for hiring someone in charge of QA. We do web applications. Yesterday I overheard:

    "Are there certain hours that people can submit their information?"

    "So, this runs in Internet Explorer?"

  • fs (unregistered)

     

    I used to maintain such a list in a previous job. After a meeting with this guy I got son angry that I had to do something about it, and that was when the phrase list was born.
    Apparently it was quite needed, because phrases started to pop in from all the people surrounding him almost immediately. We reached 50 in about a month.
    By the time this guy left we were in the seventies and I even got a few from his new jobs colleagues, hehe.

     

    captcha: boti ;) 

  • Chris Travers (unregistered)

    I am involved in an open source fork of a project for reasons that will become very clear.  At one point, I discovered a critical security flaw in a web-based accounting program.  If I changed the login name in the URL from, say, "limited" to, say "admin," it would re-log me in as admin.  No password asked.  I did some digging and discovered the cause:

    The session id was the current UNIX epoch and was not tracked on the server.

     So I let the developer know, and he "fixed" it by setting a cookie value to the UNIX epock timestamp in the browser.  The server-side check?  Compare the post/get value with the cookie value.  Ooops.  Guess that doesn't work.  So I brought it up to him again, suggesting that this really was not secure, since anyone can create cookies.  His response:

    "Did you ever ask yourself how a user could get in if he does not have a
    shell account. No shell account, no way to create a cookie file."

    Honestly, this guy shouldn't be writing web apps.  Or anything else for that matter... 

  • Reed (unregistered)

    Any time you get a resume, run it through a filter which replaces any adjective with "???????".  If you can still get any information from the sentence, other than that someone has heard of some buzzwords, then you can go forward with that.

  • Licky Lindsay (unregistered) in reply to Sean

    Anonymous:
    At my previous job, I was in a meeting where the guru guy was explaining how the data available on the screen could be downloaded as a CSV by the users so they could import to MS Excel.  My newly hired boss (who claimed to have been a programmer for 20 years) asked the question, "What's CSV?".  Guru guy looks at her in amazement, "It's a comma separated value file".  To which she replies, "OH, I have never heard of that before".... WTF?!?!

    CSV is a PC-ism. I would not be shocked if a programmer with 20 years in the Unix or mainframe worlds had never heard of it. Also, CSV sucks, so I wouldn't hold it against the guy..

    CAPTCHA: pizza
     

  • pat sajak (unregistered) in reply to mep
    Anonymous:

    "vanna white (the price is right model) has the PERFECT job for a woman"

     

    So who's the woman on Wheel of Fortune?
     

  • Al (unregistered)

    Can't limit this to just programmers...

    Management says: "There are no expense synergies in the buy-plan"

    Management does: moves the purchased division from the east coast to the west coast.
     

  • Expat (unregistered)

    I used to work in a "Near Shore Global Development Centre" for a "Reputed MNC". We had a fairly good team of locals, but usually we had also some "experts" coming from the big "offshore centres". Some of them were good and able to keep up with the locals, but some projects suffered from self-proclaimed "gurus" (of course, the fact that they paid a lot for having them didn't contribute to the team morale).

    When a poor soul asked one of them about the guru's expertise on Rational Rose and if he had a tutorial, he received a link with a Rose toutorial...a tutorial on how to grow garden roses...  

    In another project, after explaining to the "Technical leader" how to navigate the relations on a relational database, he asked "and then? how I go back?"

    He understood: from the Document get the author, from the author get the department, and from the department, get the approver... but nobody explained him how to get back to the document!

    Then the "technical  leader" spent 3 months "writing" stored procedures that had to be quietly discarded for the development team's mental health sake.

     Coming to think, we had a good share of WTF...
     

     

  • jub (unregistered) in reply to gl

    The goggles.... THEY DO NOTHING!

     Captcha: null (exactly, that's how much they do)
     

  • Davr (unregistered)

    My favorite line of code generated by a coworker. It's almost zen-like:

    var xml_xml = new XML(xml); // parse xml

    ('xml' is a string var, and this creates a new instance of an XML object, which parses the 'xml' string, and is stored in the xml_xml variable)

    honestly, the real wtf is that he missed one more place to put XML in there: (the :XML indicates strong typing of the xml_xml variable)

    var xml_xml:XML = new XML(xml); // parse xml
     

  • el jaybird (unregistered) in reply to me
    Anonymous:

    when i was a newbie:

     

    me: fork() is fucked on this box, sometimes it returns 1 and sometimes 0

     

    captcha: eyestooclose 

    Three weeks into my new job after graduating with a Master's in computer engineering, I accidentally wrote a routine that, when distilled, was essentially:

     while (1)
       fork();

    I should mention that we use xterm sessions into shared servers for all of our development.  Probably 100 other developers ranging from junior to senior leads were logged in on the same machine that I was.  When I ran my program, I had about 5 seconds before the system became unresponsive.  I tried my darndest to do a "killall" but I was too late...

    10 minutes after the system rebooted I got a knock on my cubicle from an agry IT guy, and I got quite a few comments later in the lunch room...

  • jer (unregistered) in reply to me
    Anonymous:

    when i was a newbie:

     

    me: fork() is fucked on this box, sometimes it returns 1 and sometimes 0

     

    captcha: eyestooclose 

    should have tried: WTFork();

    :)

  • Licky Lindsay (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

    A guy asked me why his code didn't work if the value of "foo" contained spaces. His code was the equivalent of:

     <input type=text value=<%=foo%> />

    Captcha: zork

  • jub (unregistered) in reply to Licky Lindsay

    > Also, CSV sucks, so I wouldn't hold it against the guy..

    As much as CSV files may suck, clearly they have some advantages over certain alternatives:

    - Over binary files: because CSV is a human-readable, non-proprietary format

    - Over fixed-length record files: Because nobody wants to draw vertical lines on a sheet of paper with a ruler and count columns just to be able to import a bloody file. And what if the field size changes? The field length and number of fields in CSV files are relatively simple to alter.

    - Over XML: because you don't *always* want to be bothered with a full-fledged hierarchical parser library, and the speed penalty of XML over CSV can be significant.

    Finally (although technically the files wouldn't be CSV anymore) it another separator is used (tabs are popular and easy to filter/replace by spaces), they are insanely easy to parse.

    SO, your objections against delimited files are exactly what?

     

  • dotNetChick (unregistered)

    I had a contractor tell me in an interview once, "I write 100% bug free code." with a dead straight face.  That was just one of the gems during the interview.  My opinion was overruled and management hired him anyway.  Girls are smart, sometimes you should listen...

  • Benanov (cs)

    We have a programmer at our company which we shall call Noel (set the RTL bit).

    Noel has said some great things over time.  He's not originally from the US (this matters for a few lines below), but the cultural capital he doesn't know is very small by this point.

    He begins most of his sentences with Dude.  Sometimes he ends them with Dude.  We suspect he's speaking in XML, but his parser's broken.

    When questioned about a lunch choice:  "Dude, Japanese, Dude!"  (<dude>Japanese!</dude>)

    When confronted with many reasons why the newest shiniest tech gadget isn't a good buy: "Dude, just buy it!"

    He once wanted a cell phone that you could use to make micropayments (instead of carrying around a separate credit card). He didn't like the fact that we immediately pointed out that by losing the phone you were screwed.

    Some of us deal in WTFs.  This man speaks WTF.  When asked on how best to handle an interesting requirement:  "Dude, just use XML!"

    When being assigned to a new project:  "Dude, is the [Project Manager] hot?"

    When dealing with a particularly sticky problem:  "Duthisfäkingsux!"

    He was showing off his new razr: "Dude, I got a new phone, and it plays MP3's."
    We fully expect him to follow this up later with another gadget which prompts him to say: "Dude, check out my iPod, it makes phone calls."

    After meeting the sister of one of our colleagues:  "Dude, [I'll sleep with her in] two weeks, max."

    Noel: "Hey [Benanov].  Dude, how do I set the ID of this search record? It's read only"
    Me: "Use the constructor, one of the overloads takes the ID as an argument."
    Noel:  "Oh."

    We have an inside joke that involves placing Cantaloupe icons on all internal applications we write.  The beauty is that while I understand that the base joke isn't funny, Noel and some of our cow-orkers have made it about them, by asking why the icons are there.  And so, it's now funny.  My friend had a picture of cantaloupes as his desktop background for a while as commemoration.

    When seeing this for the first time:  "Dude, why do you have oranges on your desktop?"

    When seeing it again, near lunch:  "Dude, let's go get some cannibals"

    (The best part:  Someone actually bought my friend and I cantaloupes and placed them on our desks during lunch. It wasn't Noel, but he was jealous he didn't get one.) 

    The best part is that once in a while we'll stop picking on him, because we feel bad about making fun of him all of the time. He'll come by and prompt us to start up again, like he misses the attention.

  • Martin Brice (unregistered) in reply to jer

    I used to work for a Microsoft Applications consulting shop (can't stress the MS part enough).  I was very surprised to read on my performance review something to the effect of using unfamiliar acronyms.  The acronym?  VB. 

     

    Yup, I was knocked cause my boss didn't know what "VB" was!

  • maber (cs)

    I had a manager a few years ago who wasn't too quick.  A few of us got bored in the office one day, so we rearranged keys on the keyboards to entertain ourselves.  He found out, got upset because we were "destroying property," then proceeded to dig through log files for a day and half trying to figure out who did it.

    Also the same manager who thought we should replace our MySQL database with a smattering of XML files because it was "faster." 

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