• Prime Mover (unregistered)

    Yeah, I've got a "mentor" a bit like that. Whenever I ask him a question about anything, his answer is usually either unbelievably cryptic or a variant on RTFM in red bold capitals. It's a bit like playing Crystal Maze.

    I told him: while I appreciate it may help me learn my way around the system in the long term, by getting me to read through the entire codebase and reverse-engineer it in its entirety, it may help us get the job done in a timely manner if you can just quickly point me towards the relevant information directly.


  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    If you are supposed to lead you have to be both a leader and a mentor. I once needed another team to write a vital portion of a major project that fell in their team's portfolio. The two contractor's lead was so useless he basically did nothing all day, and they were lost as to how to build it. So I did all his work myself and helped them build the piece and it worked perfectly at the end. He never even noticed. Sometime after that he vanished so I imagine this wasn't uncommon.

  • Hal (unregistered)

    Part of the objective of these mentoring arrangements is teach people the things they can’t have learned elsewhere and can’t stare at some existing works and figure out. It’s about learning who is who and where to go for what, how to ask, what types of favors to trade, etc that are part of the culture.

    Learning you “offer to pick up the next required inter-team code review of their next devops release if they will look at your requested schema additions” First is the right way to handle a busy dba at ACME Corp sorts of stuff.

    Our mentor in this story isn’t helping and I am not defending him, sounds awful to work with but our new hire needs to discover exactly the things he really needs out of it anyway.

  • WTFGuy (unregistered)

    Any time a "manager" is responsible for performing some of the work of his/her subordinates, the whole team is screwed.

    Immediately the manager's single most urgent task is always to do some of the work. Not to organize the work for others, not to train the others, not to interface with other teams, or the PM or the stakeholders, etc. It's simply to bash out more code.

  • MiserableOldGit (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover

    Hmmm, sounds like you inherited one of my old jobs.

    "Mentor"'s attitude was he'd had to learn it himself so I needed to, in spite of that being a blitheringly inefficient approach.

    Add to that it wasn't true anyway, I know he'd inherited the earlier form of the app as part of a team formed from the same outsourced provider that had created it, and in any case, the problem wasn't the original codebase (it wasn't great, but it wasn't a cruft of WTFery), the problem was the hideous tangled spaghetti he had been accreting to it ever since. I think the idea was I'd work with him to unjam the thing as it had become slow and buggy, trouble was there was no working with him and he was adding crap at much faster rate than I could fix things.

    You != AITA ... if my additional moaning sounds familiar, just update your resume and get along outta there as it's a lost cause!

  • Prime Mover (unregistered) in reply to MiserableOldGit

    Ooooh, no no no! The pay's too good, and I'm actually enjoying it, surprisingly enough.

    But yes I could indeed sitting in your old metaphorical chair.

    All hail the Flying Spaghetti Code Monster!

  • (nodebb)

    If tech lead name equals Rajiv, create synonym for an existing stored procedure.

    Else, use existing stored procedure.

    If tech lead not found, get whiskeys at the bar.

  • Angela Anuszewski (google) in reply to Mr. TA

    "If tech lead not found, get whiskeys at the bar."

    More like - congrats, you are it (no matter your actual title or pay)

  • (nodebb)

    The real WTF here? A database administrator who did something helpful! Oh, wait, she' a database developer. Never mind.

  • Zander (unregistered) in reply to Angela Anuszewski

    “Who's the maintainer of this (semi-abandoned) FOSS project?” “You are“ “Wait what“

    ^ Actually happened to me around Christmas 2018

  • löchleindeluxe (unregistered)

    :looks for hidden cameras: Well, I'll admit that IATA in this one. Because mgr didn't push for new hires years ago when I was at 80% load. Now I'm at 120%, I don't have time to mentor the new guy. Mgr is still ["I don't know", "We have to keep legacy", "", "", "", "We don't have time"].shuffled()[0]

  • MiserableOldGit (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover
    Ooooh, no no no! The pay's too good, and I'm actually enjoying it, surprisingly enough.

    But yes I could indeed sitting in your old metaphorical chair.

    All hail the Flying Spaghetti Code Monster!

    Oh yes it was extremely lucrative, and I do actually enjoy sorting out legacy messes. The messier the better.

    If it is the same place, perhaps the "chairs" have been re-arranged as nobody likes sharing an office with a histrionic loon who throws temper tantrums thrice daily. There wasn't anything to be gained from interacting with the guy, so it would make sense.

    Thinking about it, I've seen this scenario in at least three other places, I've just always managed to avoid being stuck as "mentor's minion" without any way around the obstructive fool.

    Keep smiling!

  • ClosetDBA (unregistered)

    Rajiv probably knew that getting Paramdeep access to the schema required a 12-page business justification, appearance in front of 5 compliance committees while wearing sackcloth and ashes, and the sacrifice of a white goat.

    Worked in a place like that once. I was the dev debugging their (massive, sprawling) SSAS cube. For some reason my DB access to the source databases didn't allowed me to even see table design - beyond (perhaps) column names. I didn't even know SQL had that security granularity. So I couldn't see indexes. One day, something was wrong. Yep, it's wrong in the cube. Source? Multi-million row table. What does it look like in there? Fire off a query looking for that one row. Next thing the DBA is on the line telling me he's killed my spid and is about to revoke my permissions.

    I'd assumed that anyone other than a blithering idiot would put an index on a unique, ID column, used to join to other multi-million-row tables. That assumption was true. The bit of the syllogism that wasn't true was "whoever designed this database was not a blithering idiot". So my sensible-seeming query, written blind, turned into a table scan.

    I think I did get minimally higher permissions after that. Can't remember what I had to do do make that happen. It was probably something dirty.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    I swear, Ellis & Jane are the only reason I show up any more

  • 🤷 (unregistered)

    I think we all encountered our Rajivs, only their job position might differ. I never got to know my Rajiv in person, but I was simply told: "Whenever you are asked to add new functionality to one of Rajivs programs... just rewrite the entire thing. It's easier that way." And once I laid eyes on one of his projects, I knew my boss was right (seriously, nested if-else statements 32 levels deep isn't anything I would wish on my worst enemy)

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