• Anon (unregistered)


  • Helten (unregistered)

    .NET Framework 4.7.1 was released on 17 October 2017, so Jesse hasn't been toiling for a very long time.

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered)

    Where's the WTF? Business as usual, competent programmer has a system to maintain, life is good. And as it is so well documented and maintained, it's anyone's job to take over.

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered)

    Being allowed to, no, required to, rewrite a POS according to your own design, then getting to maintain that system rather than being pulled off it and moved to the next POS, all while getting paid well (I can assume). So that's a WTF now? For most programmers this would be heaven. FWIW,I've been in a vaguely similar situation for years, and I'm not complaining.

    The only thing to watch out for (if you've got some ethics, that is) is not to leave a similar POS to your successor a few years from now due to all the new features. Sure, customer feature requests are not always well-thought out, consistent, or even sane, but part of your job is to make them at least a bit saner and sell that to the customer. All in all, this part should be relatively easy going compared to the initial heavy lifting. And what system would be better suited to ongoing enhancements than one you designed yourself and know intimately?

    Maybe (probably) you didn't design it quite extensible enough in some places, but now is the time to refactor it and make it more extensible. It doesn't appear like your boss would object very much as long as you deliver on features. Just keep the inner platform in reasonable bounds and this can work out great!

  • (nodebb) in reply to Little Bobby Tables

    I'm guessing that the WTF is in Part III.

    I kinda get where Linda is coming from in one way. The old system has repeated episodes of bad data that she has to fix manually, so "the computer gets it wrong" is business-as-usual. Now take away her ability to do manual fixes (or at least make it less obvious how to do this), and she still trusts the computer to get it wrong but she doesn't feel comfortable with how to un-wrong the new system.

    And yes, "she trusts the computer to get it wrong" is, indeed, a WTF. But I'm betting there's a better(1) WTF waiting for us in Part III.

    (1) In the sense of being more worthy of being presented on this noble site we all love.

  • stan (unregistered)

    You feel it leading up to the creation of a new 7 headed monster

  • MIKE (unregistered)

    When I read manual fixes i translates as "cooking the books" - the old system required some manual intervention - so was possible some plausible deniability, by the new one makes harder to justify manual "fixes".

  • MR Access (unregistered)

    As someone who took a minimum amount of competence with Access 95 and built a 20 year career as an Oracle DBA/Programmer, I say bravo to you for keeping the old arts alive. Someone somewhere has Office 2000 professional edition sitting idle in a drawer, on a bookshelf, etc. You should not have any issue doing an upgrade. ;-)

  • Ben Warre (unregistered)

    Been cribbing from my forum posts?

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    The real WTF is that this is consider a WTF at all.

    Smart guy fixes stuff, gets noticed, works hard to build better system, system rocks, everyone loves it except one dry vagina, he's buried in work.

    His feet are well & truly under the table.....job security & pay raises beckon.

    WTF is wrong with that?

  • Kashim (unregistered)

    yeah, obviously no RWTF here. "Familiar and safe in old habits" isn't really a WTF anymore, it is just business as usual. Also, this guy gets to work in an environment that has let him completely upgrade everyone to modern workstations and tools, and he is complaining about it? Going to the boss and suggesting a full rewrite of something, getting the green light, and then getting to take full ownership of it (even if there ends up being a lot of feature creep) is a dream compared to what most people are dealing with.

    The rest of us are stuck owning the legacy systems while our bosses refuse to shell out the time/money for the rewrite.

  • Bored (unregistered)

    I've dealt with people like her.

    I used to do part-time consulting for a financial group many years ago. The secretary there was a crier. Literally. Things would go wrong and she would call me crying. Often.

    The owner (an unbelievable weasel, don't get me started) somehow convinced Microsoft he was a computer store. We got boxes of beta software. Since it was new stuff it was all obviously the best, and he would spend his nights happily pounding boxes of 3.5 discs into all of his employee's computers. To increase productivity. Needless to say, I made bank there.

    So one day the secretary calls me, crying as usual. Everything is wrong, I can't work, I'm going to get fired, the works. I show up as quick as I can. And I see something I've never seen before. On her pc, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is gone, and Weasel has upgraded her to something called Windows 95 Beta. I've never seen it before, never even heard of it. I tell her I'll look into it.

    I spend an hour getting familiar with it. I find her word processor, accounting software, all of it. It's all hiding under the Start button now. I show her how to get to her stuff. She starts crying. Again. "I can't remember how to do all that!" A wicked idea strikes me.

    I copy the icons onto her desktop into folders, and change the theme to high contrast blue, so it looks like WFW 3.11. She sits down happy as a lark and tells me I'm a genius. I did no actual work - I just made 95 look like WFW 3.11.

    And bill them. :)

  • Bruce W (unregistered)

    "It makes me feel in control, you know,"

    Had a boss like that. She calculated everything on a desk calculator - even multi-step calculations for 300 employees. I moved her multi-step calculations to a few simple Excel formulas which saved her hours of manual 10-key punching. When double checking Excel's calculations (by again doing her multi-step calculations for every employee) she called me in the say the computer was wrong. She quickly keyed a calculation when I noticed something strange half way through - 0.00 on the 10-key display. I told her she just multiplied the next number by zero. I switched her 10-key to show 10 decimal places and that 0.00 changed to 0.00342... and suddenly her calculation matched Excel. I wanted to say to her, "You know what computers do well? COMPUTE."

  • Boordum Ogrerish (unregistered)

    so, he built a better system and now people want to enhance it. what a f***ing nightmare...


  • Carl Witthoft (google)

    [quote] there were still several systems that relied on Access 97 haunting him every day. [\quote]
    I cheerfully parsed that as "several systems that would not function unless Access 97 haunted him "

  • Fnord (unregistered) in reply to Carl Witthoft

    Pretty much the same thing.

  • (nodebb)

    My question is how did you ever get an Access database, especially an Access 97 DB grow bigger than 2GB? Did you link to tables in other Access databases?

    I wrote an application for a client about a decade ago which creates an Access (4.0) DB which would keep growing until it would reach the 2GB limit and then it became an irrecoverable mess. Thankfully, the application was designed to actually read most of its data from a set of text files generated by other software so it could amalgamate the data and generate reports, so I just had to get rid of the oldest data and rebuild the database from the text files. It took an hour or so to regenerate but then everything was back to normal.

  • tbo (unregistered) in reply to Nutster

    As I read it, Access is the front end. SQL server is the backend.

    Yes, I know Access isn't "front end" software, but it can make connections to SQL Server, so...

  • siciac (unregistered) in reply to Kashim

    yeah, obviously no RWTF here. "Familiar and safe in old habits" isn't really a WTF anymore, it is just business as usual.

    Human beings are TRWTF.

  • marcodave (unregistered) in reply to Bored

    I copy the icons onto her desktop into folders, and change the theme to high contrast blue, so it looks like WFW 3.11. She sits down happy as a lark and tells me I'm a genius. I did no actual work - I just made 95 look like WFW 3.11.

    Retrospecively, you could have gone full throttle there, and actually replaced the default shell with progman.exe, which was cleverly kept there by MS, in anticipation of all them crying secretaries who could not find their "works"

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to Bored

    Windows 95 Beta. I've never seen it before, never even heard of it. ... I copy the icons onto her desktop into folders, and change the theme to high contrast blue, so it looks like WFW 3.11 ... I'm a genius ...

    Cool story bruh. Amazing genius to be able to change the themes in Windows 95 Beta having never seen it before. Got any others?

  • Sole Purpose of Visit (unregistered)

    So, this guy gets hired out of college with obviously no knowledge of network topography whatsoever. But luckily (in the lacuna between part I and part II), he suddenly becomes an expert. You know, the kind of expert that doesn't randomly pull the plug out of a server "just because."

    He gets dumped with an Access 97 mess, eight levels of "views" deep, and writes a parallel implementation that is 100% compatible (apparently with no help from customers, business analysts, testers, DBAs, whatever.

    He's got a boss called Shane who equates "saving several minutes, waiting for each financial report to be generated" with "hey, good job, my man! You've saved me several hours a week!" Which is quite plausible if the Shane in question is a brain-damaged moron who can't step aside whilst waiting and, you know, read his email or something. Actually, bosses can most definitely be that cretinous, but ... one more dinger against this story.

    And the big WTF is that he does such a brilliant job that he gets deluged with functional requests that are passed straight down to him with no costing or planning or any other sort of organisation?

    Indeed. So entirely believable that I almost feel guilty for the merest suggestion that this entire story is basically so anonymised that it might as well be written as The Return Of Hanzo?

    I'll make it up to you for doubting it, though. I'll do a straight swap. A one-time offer. 15% of the Brooklyn Bridge for $10 plus a stack of Access 97 installation disks ...

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Kashim

    Agreed 100%. I would love to be able to take ownership of a rewrite, no matter how many feature requests came pouring in, versus being a digital janitor for a geriatric dementia patient if a system.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Kashim

    Except that he went to the boss and suggested getting a team of developers to do the upgrade/rewrite, and the boss greenlighted our hero doing it himself with no team of developers. OK, yeah, that's business as usual, but it's still a WTF.

  • Gaurav (unregistered)

    Unlikely he fresh out of school did all this.

  • (nodebb)

    Much of this is a classic case of "Be careful for what you ask for, you might just get it!".

    Of course it can degenerate into a classic WTF, that's obvious.

    As for my stuff, once I was involved with visiting customer sites, and users were "amazed" with the better performance a freshly cleaned CRT screen would give. Even more so, when smokers were involved.

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    Does anybody else wish places would post "hero" jobs separately from "janitor" jobs? I don't care how much scope/feature creep is involved, it's a million times better than being stuck under the yoke of a legacy disaster you're not allowed to fix.

  • Dave (unregistered)

    Start a new app in WPF? That hulking monstrosity that couldn't even render text properly until version 4? Not a web app written in React or Angular...? That's the WTF...

  • Dave (unregistered)

    The WTF here is the protagonist bending over and touching his forehead to the ground every time he's asked to nod. I bet at the end of the series we'll find out he's been stuck on the same $9 an hour since he started...

    When the boss says 'you're good at this stuff, when can you start?' the answer is 'when we've worked out a budget and found a team of programmers to do the work', not 'uh... now?'

  • wow (unregistered)

    Wow, finance systems can't have bugs. I hope it wasn't to crazy of a system to implement.

  • Angry Bees (unregistered)

    Let's make a new modern system and write it using WPF, no way that's not already obsolete.

  • JC (unregistered)

    Not sure what his "finance system" is doing, but there is a lot of off-the-shelf software for finance, since standard finance procedure are, well, pretty standardized - maybe that would have been an option? There's then enough work left to interface with the rest of the software, but support would be reduced (if that's a reduction) to patching and upgrades.

  • (nodebb) in reply to JC

    Maybe that's exactly what he did, replacing the old behemoth by something off-the-shelf for a dozen bucks, configuring it, and then Doing Something Useful (TM) for a couple of (billable) weeks?

  • Joe (unregistered) in reply to MIKE

    I suspected, but could never prove, that this was the reason behind the resistance to my substantial improvements to a piece of in-house financial software, around a lifetime ago. VB6, not Access, but, at the time, backed by the same single-user-masquerading-as-multiple-user "Jet" engine and a series of .mdb files living on a network share. My improvements made the system substantially more difficult to "game." People would complain, then call the original "consultant" who wrote the original version to revert mine back to his. After a while of being able to neither make my changes stick, nor prove that the original version was being used to fudge the numbers, I eventually gave up. I suspect this is more common than people think. Sarbanes-Oxley started to put an end to this nonsense at least in publicly-traded U.S. companies. I'm not ordinarily a fan of those kinds of burdensome, competition-killing legislation. But in this particular case I can understand why without it, massive fraud, if not in this instance then certainly in many others, would have gone on undetected for several additional decades.

  • anonymous (unregistered)

    We must know how she got those reports down from minutes to seconds...

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Angry Bees

    TRWTF is that everything these days is a web app (or something designed to run in a browser, whatever you call that when it's run locally or limited to a LAN/intranet). Even WPF relies on some web/HTTP/CSS technologies for rendering IIRC (GTK3 certainly does).

    That said, WPF is in no way obsolete (even though it sucks).

  • tlhonmey (unregistered) in reply to Bored

    Personally when I was doing 3.X to 95 migrations for people who couldn't handle change like you describe, I just found where the upgrade had stashed progman.exe and added it to startup, then set the task bar to auto-hide. Worked perfectly up until ME/2000.

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