• ray10k (unregistered)

    Poor kid learned an important lesson: Don't open your mouth.

  • RLB (unregistered)

    "Poor kid" was still getting paid. "Poor kid" knew exactly what he was doing.

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    Thank God for Jane Bailey...this site was running out of oxygen ;)

  • Earth's Mellow Monk (unregistered)

    "The site had a bad habit of asking for information it already had, over and over, without any JOINs." I've worked on a site like that. Brrrrr.

  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    Profiling running in production reminds me of the financial services place I worked, it ran Oracle on Windows with no internal firewalls, so they ran a virus checker on the Oracle servers. Also people downloading movies to their PCs affected the web servers since they ran in the same network.

  • Dude (unregistered) in reply to my name is missing

    Is TRWTF people downloading movies to their (work) PC?

  • Pabz (unregistered) in reply to RLB

    Yes, but he probably wasn't getting paid enough to deal with that crap.

  • Jaime (unregistered)

    The site has an O(n^2) problem... but real issue is that they didn't do the horrible implementation in a stored procedure! We all know it's still 1994 and database servers don't cache ad-hoc query plans... so the problem isn't the lack of knowledge of database access strategies, it's that they didn't use stored procedures. C'mon people, I've written performant applications on top of simple ORMs and never used a JOIN or a stored procedure (not that I do it all the time, but it can be successful).

  • Anon (unregistered)

    When (stupid) bosses ask how long something is going to take, they do not want to hear how long something is actually going to take.

    Also, I will assume this takes place in the US: US employment laws are beyond ridiculous if you can be immediately fired for giving an honest answer that the boss happens to not like.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Anon

    Employment laws vary from state to state. There are only a few federal guidelines that affect the whole country.

  • Perri Nelson (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    Many places in the United States have "at will" employment, which basically means you can quit for any reason, and you can be fired for any reason. The best way to deal with it is do a good job, keep learning, and be honest with your employer and yourself.

  • D-Coder (unregistered) in reply to Perri Nelson

    Many places in the United States have "at will" employment, which basically means you can quit for any reason, and you can be fired for any reason. The best way to deal with it is do a good job, keep learning, and be honest with your employer and yourself.

    In general, yes, but that depends on your employer.

  • (nodebb) in reply to my name is missing

    Story from devs at a startup I worked at; previous "architect" was running SETI@home on all of their servers.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Anon

    The downside of being able to fire someone for incompetence is that you can also be fired for being competent.

    My first real dev gig the 'boss' kept asking me how long a rewrite would take in a different language for a different OS. I kept telling him 6 months. Eventually I was let go. I found out he had outsourced the rewrite and it took them at least a year.

  • Drone (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    But it works the other way too. As soon as someone is recognized as a bozo, they can be removed. I'd be reluctant to work in an environment where someone can demonstrate incompetence and lack of knowledge and yet is not allowed to be fired.

    Consider the story we just read: the experienced contractor should have been let go immediately (before he could do more damage), and the junior should have been re-trained. The only difference between that outcome, and the outcome we read, is the knowledge possessed by the boss. No amount of well-meaning worker protections can fix that one.

  • I can be a robot if you want me to be (unregistered)

    You need to learn to read management - for some the only response is "how long do you want it to take".

  • WTFGuy (unregistered)

    @Drone: your last sentence is certainly True. But ...

    If we assume many managers are ignorant PHBs and many managers are simply vindictive shits, then how much better to work in an environment where the law protects the worker from being victimized by managements' gross incompetence or negligence in performing their own jobs? The evidence of my own career certainly supports that assumption, and as best I can tell my experience is pretty typical in the US.

    Yes, that will protect lazy or lame workers. But it also protects good or excellent workers from bad bosses.

    Over the last 20 years IT in particular has gotten used to the idea that we're all temp workers who expect to change jobs every few months. The truth is that churn has enormous costs for both workers and for companies. It creates tremendous effort spent running in place. it confuses activity with the illusion of productivity.

  • Worf (unregistered) in reply to WTFGuy

    That's the problem of IT. If you do your job well, you won't have a job because it appears you aren't doing anything. If you do your job poorly, it looks like you're doing a lot because you're busy running around fixing what's broken.

    That's why there's churn - it makes people look busy without actually doing anything.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Anon

    As someone who has worked "at will" and under contract, I'll take the at will any day. Under contract I had a co-"worker" who would babble on his phone or openly play video poker all day. My bosses eventually paired his responsibilities down to a single extremely easy project that should have taken a week tops to handle. When they finally confronted HR with the fact that he still hadn't made any progress after 6 months, they transferred him to a different team were he was allowed to retire with full benefits.

  • Junkfoodjunkie (unregistered)

    Seriously... 4+ months to rewrite an existing weppage in PHP? Just... No. You have the database queries, you know what the site is supposed to do, and you have the existing code.

    Give it... 1 month for code writing, and 2 weeks for testing and making sure everything works as intended. They were three people. I've written a custom CMS from scratch in less time than it took these people to rewrite an existing site.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Worf
    That's the problem of IT. If you do your job well, you won't have a job because it appears you aren't doing anything. If you do your job poorly, it looks like you're doing a lot because you're busy running around fixing what's broken.

    And this problem is definitely not an American problem, it exists all over. A project with 250 reported bugs, got more staff and was praised on the intraweb when they reduced the number to 100 and all got some appreciation. Another project manned by a third and with next to none bugs, went under the radar except some nagging because it implemented the features too slowly.

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered) in reply to Craigory

    It is frequently the case, when attempting to support the unsupportable, for a disputant to take the most extreme of edge cases that back up their thesis and use that as a basis that because of the egregious nature of this edge case, then all instances of the opposing position are similarly untenable.

  • Mike (unregistered)

    But even under unionised contract playing video poker all day is an immediate firing offence, like getting drunk to work or hit your co-workers or your boss. Simply the unionized contract specifies the procedure of firing protecting the employees from an abusive boss or employer.

    The main problem is the boss unwilling to do the homework and check how the employees are doing and make decent directives.

  • WTFGuy (unregistered)

    In an ideal world "at-will" would work to good employees' benefit. Nobody worth a damn would be willing to work for shitty bosses on shitty projects. Those bosses, projects, departments, and perhaps even companies would die as surely as any other genetically defective organism.

    In the real world, there are far more shitty bosses and F'ed up projects than there are good workers. And there's not (yet) an effective way for workers to locate the good jobs worth having among the morass of hell jobs. The main way people detect a hell job is by taking it. Nor are enough people, even in IT, willing to churn themselves that aggressively by walking out at the first sign of stupid, ideally taking the other quality workers with them. I daresay a resume that shows each multi-year gig separated by a dozen 1- or 2-week stints at Initech-equivalents would not endear you to the next hiring manager; you'd look waay too picky/fussy/difficult to bother with.

    Bottom line: In the US today, unless you're enough of a superstar dev to have your own wiki page, the businesses holds all the cards and you're nothing but an itinerant farm worker picking vegetables. Albeit in an air conditioned space for a better hourly rate.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    You do realise that in most EU countries we have something far beyond at will? You can be fired at any time for any nondiscriminatory reason.

    Job protections are not needed when you have reasonable unemployment benefits.

    It's really quite odd that the US has worker protections that in any EU country would be considered radically far left. Very inefficient.

  • (nodebb)

    I'd rather have it be hard to get rid of dead weight or move them into lesser positions (and that's not in the least because I'm burning out and would love to be able to not do shit and get paid for it sometimes) than the typical situation where the one sane guy gets fired because everyone else is a yes-man Smithers ass-kisser and the bosses are all clueless idiots who don't want to live in reality. At-will employment sounds great but often it just hurts the employee (like most employment laws in the USA) because the company is more likely to use it to let go their one good guy on a team of bozos than to get rid of the bozos. Dealing with them and maybe having to give more than a 2 week notice to leave is better than facing the situation like in this WTF where the lone guy with a clue is let go because he gave a realistic answer and all the other nimrods gave a canned answer and the boss was too dumb to understand it.

    I have noticed that the higher up the chain you get, often the less competency you see. Sure, there are middle-manager PHBs but often the low-level manager has sense, and as you go up to the director level and beyond there's less and less of a grasp on reality from people who are supposedly the most experienced/knowledgeable folks in the company.

    Addendum 2019-08-20 07:22: It also doesn't help that in IT if you get a string of bad jobs at these Initech-type cesspits, it either makes you look like a loser who can only get jobs at third-rate companies, or it makes you look like a spoiled job-hopper if you run into a few of them in a series, realize it, and get out ASAP.

  • I dunno LOL ¯\(°_o)/¯ (unregistered) in reply to DocMonster

    I have noticed that the higher up the chain you get, often the less competency you see.

    If only there were a name for it, some kind of principle, how about... Peter?

  • (nodebb) in reply to DocMonster

    I hear you. It's really difficult to recover once you've been sidetracked like that. Someday I will find a way though.

  • M$ GUY (unregistered) in reply to my name is missing

    We had one guy at the branch making his own productions at home. Daughter's birthday party video lasted for 2 hours and it was hogging the network (1 GB of data being uploaded to dropbox. Also son's baseball game. All the innings. At one point he had about 27 GB of data flowing through the wires.

    This was in the year 2005, when 4G / 5G and 6G did not exist.

  • Argle (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    The story was my submission. I actually knew my position was coming to an end at the start of the ill-fated meeting. I was also OK with it. And this wasn't my first walk through the park. Just out of college, I was lucky to be hired by an experienced, former TI chip designer and I had HIS mentor as a co-worker. But, unfortunately, lower management wouldn't choke down their responsible estimate of one year for a new product. I had another job opportunity land in my lap, so I bailed out, but I was back a couple years later and deliberately looked up one of my former co-workers. I asked him how long it took to develop the product. He shrugged and said "a year."

    (How did I get named Korbin for this story? LOL)

  • Gnasher729 (unregistered) in reply to Developer_Dude

    There’s a hint in the nam “Seti@home”. You run it at home.

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered) in reply to Argle

    Argle is the new Snoofle!

  • medievalist (unregistered) in reply to Argle

    In such situations my strategy is to put on a cheerful go-getter expression and say "I will do everything in my power to meet your deadline, O glorious leader, rah rah team" and then do the best possible job while making sure the manager gets full credit for setting the unrealistic deadline. In fact I will constantly refer to it as "Joe's target date" as in "we're pushing forward agressively and with good leadership will still meet Joe's target date" or "there's still a few critical issues preventing shipping but we have only missed Joe's target date by three years so far."

  • throwawayCosmetics (unregistered)

    This near exact thing happened to me at a contracting job for a website belonging to a well known cosmetics company. They wanted to do a 30k+ user loadtest, but I was easily able to demonstrate the new upcoming site can't even handle 500 without database locks messing things up. I even verified that the locks were breaking things with the DBAs. Boss didn't listen; kept asking what it would take to get it working for 30k+ users.

    I have no idea what it'd take; I was hired specifically to run & analyze results of Jmeter loadtests. When web devs & DBAs fix it then I'll retest. Ask them how long it'll take. We got into a bit of a back 'n forth since boss insisted I somehow had the magic to make it happen. I told her that:

    1. I don't have the power to fix it; at least that's not what I was hired for. I'm here to TEST what was built and give you the results of those tests.
    2. Even if it is fixed, we're gonna need a lot more computing power to generate 30k+ users.

    I lost that job after about 3 weeks of this "debate". 6+ months later, on BART train to my much better job, I ran into another person I worked with at the cosmetic company and asked him how it went.

    The most guilty feeling of schadenfreude I've ever had.

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