• Oneway (unregistered)

    I am having frist.

  • martijntje (unregistered)

    I am having trouble commenting on the article.

  • JG (unregistered) in reply to martijntje

    Have you tried typing letters into the text box

  • CRi (unregistered) in reply to martijntje

    Please perform the steps indicated in the documentation for first commenting on the article in order to resolve your error commenting on the article.

  • Oliver Jones (google)

    Back in the day, my manager used to say "See figure one" to people who didn't followin instructions. She made it clear what she meant by holding up one finger. Guess which one?

  • Gargravarr (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that Emilio eventually read the documentation.

    In my line of work, I ended up converting a customer-specific accounting application from our standard SQL view into a .Net application - the logic was so absurdly complicated that the SQL became a total mess and performance was going downhill. My new approach is much more maintainable.

    After being hounded for documentation since nobody else understood my design, I wrote down everything I knew, and commented the transient logic in the code. All told, a good 20 pages for this single-purpose application. And I put it publicly accessible on SharePoint, in the same folder as all the spec documents detailing the logic requirements.

    People still come straight to me with questions of 'how do I do this' despite the extensive pages of explanation. Some idiots will insist you explain it line by line to them.

    I was tempted to set up a Pidgin auto-responder detecting the necessary keywords and linking straight to the documentation.

  • BruisedForehead (unregistered)

    What is this "Documentation" of which you speak?

  • (nodebb)

    That was somewhere in the sidebar, wasn't it? Was the "best of the sidebar" category removed when the website layout was changed?

  • Andrew (unregistered)

    TRWTF is using the root drive instead of somewhere under the :/Users folder, where user specific work/files should be.

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to Gargravarr

    TRWTF is a complicated procedure that takes 20 pages of documentation. Real men write automatic procedures.

    The worst documentation that I ever saw consisted of pages and pages of "add these lines to this file" and so on. There were blocks of 10 or 20 lines for each file that needed to be modified. Each one was included in the document as a screenshot.


    So you couldn't even copypaste the lines in place in your target file. You had to type them in, line by line. Okay, aerobics for fingers, yeah I can handle that. Except the screenshots were of insufficiently high resolution to make them difficult to read. This would have been bad enough had they been in English, but the lines being typed in were the full path names of class files, whose names were badly-misspelled pidgin English.

    I bounced the document straight back to its producer with instructions as to how to improve it -- and as soon as that had been done, and I got the appropriate copypasta in a usable form, I then passed the document over to an apprentice I needed to give a training exercise to, and instructed him: "Automate this."

    Makoto: listen and learn.

  • LH (unregistered)


    If people's skin is this thin, no wonder IT got a bad rep. Emilio looks like a saint compared with some of my customers.

    Guess I've developed scales on top of my normal skin over the years.

  • Maelish (unregistered)

    Wait, Japanese was an easy A? Really? Thats a huge wtf!

  • Omego2K (unregistered)

    Sometimes it's worse. You just get a "hi". Until you respond to the "hi" there will be no more chat. So I just stopped responding to it. It's functionally the same thing as closing the IM window.

  • ChaoticEd (unregistered)

    She is obviously new to the management track since any experienced manager would have delegated this to some poor sod in the team and gone to lunch. That that poor sod would loose valuable time and getting behind in his work because of this wouldn't be taken into consideration when it was time for the performance review. That way the manager gets lunch on time and has ammunition to thwart any attempts at a pay raise. Oh well, she'll turn to the dark side eventually.

  • ChaoticEd (unregistered) in reply to Maelish

    The name of the protagonist suggest that Japanese may not be a foreign language to her.

  • anon (unregistered)

    A manager doing tech support. wtf

  • That one guy (unregistered)

    At least it wasn't, "Well, I know what the documentation says. I tried something else before following it. Now, everything is broken and it's your fault. You will fix it for free!" or "Our programmers don't understand the manual. You need to rewrite it so someone off the street can understand it."

  • Clint (unregistered)

    is you am having problem

  • (nodebb) in reply to Clint

    not wurking plz to do the needful

  • wizzleard (unregistered) in reply to ChaoticEd

    yeah - not sure what this story has to do with management. it could have started with her getting hit by a bus, fighting a robot with eye lasers, winning the lottery and then working on a helpdesk chat.

    totally irrelevant.

  • wizzleard (unregistered) in reply to Omego2K

    yeah - last time i got that "hello, how are you doing today?" i responded with "did my request not make any sense?".

  • wizzleard (unregistered) in reply to Gargravarr

    if you had a choice between reading 20 pages of documentation or asking someone directly, what would you prefer?

  • Ex-lurker (unregistered)

    There are a few WTF in here, but surprisingly the customer who can barely communicate or follow instructions is not the biggest of them. That is kinda withi n the expected and thus less prone to make you go "WTF".

    Anon first nailed it. Makoto is doing tech support, and not even high-level tech support. She's wasting her time teaching morons how to properly read, how to type, then how to turn their computer on or whatever creative new ways the customer comes up with to show he's computer illiterate. Since she is some sort of manager, isn't she supposed to have underlings exactly to take care of things she isn't meant to be doing like, I don't know, 1ST-LEVEL TECH SUPPORT?

    Makoto wears a webdev hat, now the manager's and she still decides to wear tech support's too. During her lunch hour. She really needs to learn to delegate or she'll be ripe for a heart attack before she's 40.

  • Derp (unregistered) in reply to LH

    Except Emilio is a contractor, not a customer, so really should know how to do a build.

  • Carl Witthoft (google)

    Upon promotion to manager: "Makoto, I don't think we're in Makansas any more"

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered)

    If a project cannot be checked out and immediately built, then there is a problem with the project. Only if there are external dependencies, should a script be created to automate bootstrapping the build environment.

    In these days of TFS w/ NuGet, Maven, Gulp, and friends, there is no reason to have a build environment bootstrapping manual.

  • Herby (unregistered)

    All of this follows the axiom:

    When all else fails, read the fine manual (documentation) and follow the instructions. Of course, nobody does this. So, if you have things that require proper placement in the directory structure, you should put a preliminary test to make sure that the step was done correctly. Then produce an error message that says something like:

    "You have installed this incorrectly, please refer to section 12.5 of the manual and follow the instructions there."

    Then when they call, you ask for the error message and repeat it back to them, louder if they don't understand.

  • As a Guest (unregistered)

    Paul Neumann's comment, if I could I'd +1 you.

  • CrazyEyes (unregistered) in reply to Omego2K

    I'm fairly young (25) but I'm still used to using IRC and message boards from my teenage years. So any time someone wants help and begins an IM conversation with "hi" or "hello there," it irks me. Just tell me what you want. I make a habit of immediately spitting "hi" back as fast as possible and then minimizing the window until they type their actual question. A greeting is acceptable if you include it in your IM message, i.e. "hi, I'm having trouble with..." but waiting for my response is just dumb. Why not allow me to answer your question whenever I get back? The absolute worst is when they send "hi" while you're away from the keyboard, and then by the time you get back and respond, they're away and don't tell you their question.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    this reminds me of a story where someone kept refusing to read the directions, insisting on having the tech explain things. Tech responded by bringing a copy of the manual, and making a big show out of reading aloud from it in response to EVERY question the guy asked, to HAMMER the point home that EVERY question he asked had the answer in the manual...

    oh, and then where was the story of the insanely sexist customer who was so adamant about ignoring the female tech that she had to get a male employee to stand next to her and repeat everything she said, and the customer directed every question to the male, despite him saying "she's the expert, ask HER" EVERY TIME THE CUSTOMER SPOKE...sheesh.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to ChaoticEd

    Note to self: sign up for English class at Japanese college for "easy A".

  • Sole Purpose of VIsit (unregistered) in reply to CrazyEyes

    Well then. You're obviously not a golfer.

  • NG (unregistered)

    /Padding for length/

  • CrazyEyes (unregistered) in reply to Sole Purpose of VIsit

    Heh, actually, I have played golf before. I still remember the technique for swinging, although knowing the technique and being practiced are totally different things. Can't say it was to my taste, mostly because my eyes are so bad I can't see the ball when it goes flying.

  • Lerch98 (unregistered)

    MILTFD-41 Make It Like The F###ing Drawing for once.

  • bjolling (unregistered)

    And what does an easy A in Japanese have to with dealing with a Spanish speaking contractor? Maybe she also wore an onion in her belt which was the fashion at the time?

  • Chris (unregistered)

    I have a feeling that taking Japanese as a Japanese-speaking person would be more difficult than it sounds. I'm sure there is some disconnect between how Japanese-speaking people read, write and speak Japanese, and how people teaching Japanese think it is read, written and spoken. Probably even more so going the other way - how non-English speakers are taught English may not match up with how English-speaking people use it, which is in and of itself not consistent anyway. So you would have to learn to read, write and speak a language you speak fluently in the way the teacher expects, which may seem weird and foreign to you, even though it is your language.

  • derp (unregistered)

    If it can be documented, it can be automated for the most part. I abhor lengthy setup documentation for projects, they should be little more than running a script and it's done. A lengthy setup is also a sign of a brittle system, so there's that too.

    As for contractors, being an HPC, I get to run into my own ilk that should really just be responsible for banging two rocks together sometimes. I have no idea why the company keeps those contractors or consultants around. They're expendables, just fucking get rid of them.

  • For Great Justice (unregistered)

    A two-hour lunch? Extensive!

  • Gargravarr (unregistered) in reply to wizzleard

    Granted, but I even went to lengths to put in a table of contents and broke out everything into sections and subsections, explaining not just /how/ a particular aspect works, but the various reasons /why/ it works this way.

    At the very worst case, I assume anyone who reads my documentation knows how to Ctrl-F. If not, they should have a typewriter on their desk instead. I even stuck in a glossary of the inane accounting terms so they'd know what to search for!

  • Gargravarr (unregistered) in reply to Quite

    Oh trust me, this thing automates a ridiculously complicated workflow. I drew it up in a Visio diagram (which I included in the docs) and wound up with an Escher-like sketch of the various parties involved and the automatic systems talking to other automatic systems (and the endless provisions for failure). The system is hands-off in normal use and entirely automated, but the documentation explains how to maintain it as well as deploy it. Granted, there is no automated deployment, but since it is silly-easy I found it unnecessary.

    The reason I use mine as an example is because I documented the reasons why certain decisions and design choices were made, and how the logic actually works. Explaining the logic is the #1 reason people come to me with questions, which is outright silly because I didn't design the logic in the first place - someone else did that, also extensively documented (and referred to from my own) that I had to read and use to implement in code. But rather than talk to the original author, they come to me to explain it second-hand. That's what annoys me just as much as not reading the very thing we developers take so much stick for not writing.

  • Ramon (unregistered)

    Those lazy developers from south Europe and their "siesta". They don't read documentation. They don't even finish what they

  • Dave (unregistered)

    "Emilio: I am having error in application. "Makoto: What error are you having?"

    That's the RWTF right there. Why wasn't Makoto's first answer 'Why are you asking me about it?'

  • Richard (unregistered) in reply to Paul Neumann

    @PaulNeumann "If a project cannot be checked out and immediately built, then there is a problem with the project. Only if there are external dependencies, should a script be created to automate bootstrapping the build environment. In these days of TFS w/ NuGet, Maven, Gulp, and friends, there is no reason to have a build environment bootstrapping manual"

    Ah, but if your build is dependent upon Tfs, NuGet, Maven, Gulp, etc; then your build will not work until the correct versions of these things have been installed. Effectively they are external dependencies. Does your build process ensure that they are installed? If not, then a new developer on your team with a clean PC will not be able to check out and immediately build. Or to put it another way, "what is the bootstrapper for the bootstrapper?"

    Most people decide that it's reasonable to assume that certain build tools are in place, since it's a one-off task to install them; rather than require the build process to have to check whether dependencies are in place and install them. If you don't have that environment documented, then feel free to enjoy the questions from your next new employee about what they need to install.

  • Ducky (unregistered) in reply to Richard

    BTW, that's why there are places with VM Images of development PCs these days. (Or a way to "bootstrap" into one, with Vagrant, etc.)

    Provided, of course, you actually have enough time and determination to keep everything up to date.

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Richard

    I think that was the tipping point for me. The company had an overcomplicated undocumented build process, there was no way to create sample data for any kind of testing, and the only contact I had telecommuted every day. I finally had enough of the bullshit that passed for modern software development.

  • nope (unregistered) in reply to Andrew

    TRWTF is the 260 limit for NTFS max_path


  • Bob (unregistered)


  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    I agree with some points here: Getting a new developer up and running should be quick. Building should be automated as far as possible. My not-favourite project consists of multiple .sln, named after developers, compatible VS-Versions and number of dependencies. I asked "which one is definition of working?" and the response was kind of "<all>.sln - but that doesn't work, use <some>.sln but that requires <deps>.sln for the right dlls to exist. If it doesn't compile, let me look at it: Some projects need to be unloaded as they don't work any more."

    A buildserver is a good "definition of working" but still you need to onboard new developers quickly.

    PowerShell-scripts (to get nuget and fake) and fake scripts (to build) can help but you never can start at zero. Those things need to be documented somewhere - and new people need to follow that doc. The article mentions that nuget was used - but is has to be configured, correctly.

    I think TRWTF is Emilio reporting back "the problem has been solved". I've had lots of people reporting problems but never giving true closure after getting some advice.

  • Nobody (unregistered) in reply to Maelish

    Maybe she already knew it. That would explain the easy A.

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