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(IT World)   Seven frustrating things about being a programmer; a few actually don't involve end users   (itworld.com) divider line 226
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7574 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Feb 2013 at 12:21 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-14 05:09:02 PM

Disposable Rob: slayer199: "People assuming you can fix any computer-related problem "  Really?  Programmers are the most PC-Illiterate people I know in IT.

That was one of the oddest things I discovered moving from a help desk to development. Working help desk was basically being an assistant-DBA, assistant-Sysadmin, system builder, networking, etc all in one job. Now I do none of that. Programmers know their code, but it's like triple the pay for a fraction of overall computer knowledge.


I'm a programmer who has to do all of that other stuff you listed. I work in a company that only has me and the boss.
 
2013-02-14 05:12:15 PM
8. Dealing with IT douchebags and their inflated egos.
 
2013-02-14 05:12:51 PM

Rent Party: Remember these words, always: You are a cost center.


Don't measure my job by how much I cost.  Measure it by how much I SAVE.  Tech companies understand this.  The further away from tech you get, the less they understand my job and the more they treat me as a burden.

/system admin, not software developer
 
2013-02-14 05:14:22 PM

HaywoodJablonski: dittybopper: HaywoodJablonski: The best thing is how it's littered with hot babes

Actually, I work with a couple of attractive female programmers.

Do you work in Eastern Europe? That's the only way this scenario is possible


Nope. Ii mean, we only got one out of 12, but she is pretty cute.
 
2013-02-14 05:15:27 PM

Bad_Seed: UberDave: End users not providing enough information about bugs

I deal with this at least twice a week...for a large problem. You need to describe the steps you performed to get to the problem. "When I press 'Save' the application crashes" doesn't tell me shiat. Especially if the application performs 10 different distinct operations and has over 300 controls.

How the hell am I supposed to know. I was doing stuff, I pressed save and it crashed. Do you really expect me to remember the exact state of the program just so I can file a bug report when the POS crashes unexpectedly on me?


No. Just to write down the error message.
 
2013-02-14 05:16:39 PM

Dreyelle: traylor: Dreyelle: 6.  Forcing me to work with smelly H1-Bs

Funny thing is, they probably feel the same about you.

Maybe, but I don't work in India and most of the US showers almost daily, and unlike India, we don't have to watch where we are stepping so we don't step in Holy cow shiat.  Move to the USA and learn to use soap and clean water.  We have plenty of it here.


Most Indian people are very clean, but those that do have BO have the worst BO I have ever smelt.
 
2013-02-14 05:17:11 PM

Disposable Rob: slayer199: "People assuming you can fix any computer-related problem "  Really?  Programmers are the most PC-Illiterate people I know in IT.

That was one of the oddest things I discovered moving from a help desk to development. Working help desk was basically being an assistant-DBA, assistant-Sysadmin, system builder, networking, etc all in one job. Now I do none of that. Programmers know their code, but it's like triple the pay for a fraction of overall computer knowledge.


This is by design of the marketplace.  I've been coding for...a long time... When I started working professionally in 1985 I designed the database and administered said database, wrote the network admin scripts, did the installs, and basically wore all the hats of what would be considered system     development: Design, Develop, QA, Support.

Now you have developers who don't know how to design a database because that's someone else's job.  Give root to a coder?  Heresy to a network admin.  Make a change to a table?  That's the db admin's job.  Everything is compartmentalized.  By design.

And not that it wasn't necessary... But most people in this profession that have only worked in the field post-1995 have worked on only specific pieces of system development, like programming.

And anyone who says they have been designing web pages (for example) for fifteen years, I say... You've got roughly three years experience that you've repeated five times.

//actually 1 year fifteen times, but that sounded trollish
 
2013-02-14 05:19:10 PM

scp747: Give root to a coder?


ROFLMAO.

Not a chance in hell.

/System Admin
 
2013-02-14 05:19:31 PM

OgreMagi: Rent Party: Remember these words, always: You are a cost center.

Don't measure my job by how much I cost.


The business will measure you in no other way.

 Measure it by how much I SAVE.
 It is your responsibility to demonstrate this.   I have also found the number of IT people capable of making this demonstration remarkably small.  In quantative terms, demonstrate just how efficient you are.


 Tech companies understand this.  The further away from tech you get, the less they understand my job and the more they treat me as a burden.

And here we have a demonstration of precisely the attitude I'm talking about.  You might be surprised to learn that those folks at the top understand exactly what you're doing, which is why you're going to get outsourced at the first available opportunity.
 
2013-02-14 05:26:30 PM

OgreMagi: scp747: Give root to a coder?

ROFLMAO.

Not a chance in hell.

/System Admin


Exactly... As I stated, Heresy.  Although I referred to your type as a network admin.  My bad.
 
2013-02-14 05:27:57 PM

xkillyourfacex: neilbradley: Mugato: Programming is farking boring should be near the top of the list. I wasted 4 years of my life being a programmer when I've always really wanted to be a filmmaker. I just thought that software development was a more responsible pursuit. But I quit my job, went to film school and will probably die alone in a gutter but at least I'm not a code monkey. It helps that I don't have a family to support.

Ah, so you weren't any good at it, then.

/programmer for ~35 years now
//love to code


That's a poor assumption. Programming is a broad term, and being good at it doesn't mean you like it and liking it doesn't mean you're good at it. Also, you can like programming some things and not others, doesn't make you a bad programmer, either.

For me, for example, I enjoy the computer science process (it's a beauty to write code that you translated directly from the FOL you proved out mathematically on paper, and see it work the first time it runs.) I also enjoyed writing device drivers, system utilities, and especially compilers. In fact, the latter was the most thrilling thing I've ever worked on.

But I hate RAD, I hate "development", and I hate writing apps for Android. I hate that sometimes 30% of my day involves figuring out what magical incantation of library calls is appropriate to implement my solutions. These tasks involve programming, shouldn't they be thrilling? No. No, I dread them more and more each god damn time a new platform environment is released and a new dev kit is needs learned. It's just not fun, it's... manual labor


I was basically just kidding, but you're right. I can see that, if someone got indoctrinated to programming by doing C# or JAVA in an envrionment where people learned the word "code" 6 months prior, that would suck.

I also agree with you on compilers. In my case, the most challenging and fun was a microkernel. I've written a couple of compilers in years gone past as well, and LOVE it. Even most of my programmer friends think I'm nuts for liking compilers and operating systems, but to me, they're the most interesting part of computing.

I also agree with you about the development on a platform you're not accustomed to. Case in point - Windows programming. Something simple like "How do I make the dialog box appear at a reasonable position instead of the upper left hand corner of the screen every time I launch it?" Searched for hours, looked at all the dialog box options, etc.. and still haven't figured it out. ;-/ Making so little advancement on something that SHOULD be braindead simple... if only I knew the magic bit to make it work!
 
2013-02-14 05:28:18 PM

UberDave: Rent Party: scarmig:

Don't get attached to code.

That.

Here's the facts, super smart code kids:  Your code sucks.  Everyone's does, including mine.

Biggest problem with being a programmer:  Not understanding that the business is not there to provide you an outlet for your very special self and whatever your latest technology fetish is.  You are there to support a business who's only concern is generating revenue.  In software, unless you are building the space shuttle or heart monitors or air traffic control systems, you rarely get to practice ideal engineering. You are a cost center.  So act like one.

F***ing that.

I know so many coders (and general IT people for that matter) that believe they are incredibly awesome and special because they become good in their specific business.


FIG JAM syndrome - F**k I'm Good. Just Ask Me.
 
2013-02-14 05:28:46 PM
1. Managers
2. Politics
3. Manager politics
4. Political managers
5. Managers politicking managers
6. Did I mention managers playing office politics all day?
7. "We're now doing all low level programming in Javascript" (Seriously, this fad needs to die)
 
2013-02-14 05:28:48 PM

Rent Party: OgreMagi: Rent Party: Remember these words, always: You are a cost center.

Don't measure my job by how much I cost.

The business will measure you in no other way.

 Measure it by how much I SAVE.
 It is your responsibility to demonstrate this.   I have also found the number of IT people capable of making this demonstration remarkably small.  In quantative terms, demonstrate just how efficient you are.


 Tech companies understand this.  The further away from tech you get, the less they understand my job and the more they treat me as a burden.

And here we have a demonstration of precisely the attitude I'm talking about.  You might be surprised to learn that those folks at the top understand exactly what you're doing, which is why you're going to get outsourced at the first available opportunity.


I've seen what happens when my kind of job gets outsourced.  The results were fail-tastic.  My friend who had lost his job got hired back as a contractor with a huge increase in salary as a result.  They tried to get him back at his original pay, but he knew he had them by the balls and initially told them he wasn't interested.  I'd welcome my company outsourcing my job.  I would thoroughly enjoy the month or two of vacation followed by a massive pay increase.  Except my company is smart enough to not hire morons like you who think outsourcing is a good idea.
 
2013-02-14 05:28:54 PM

UberDave: MrCrazyInsane: Is "the inability to grasp networking sorcery" on the list?

/it's not the network. Never is.

One of the worst instances I ever ran into:  I get asked, at 10:30 at night on a Friday, to jump into a conference with one of our clients, a large energy company, because our system at one of their power generating stations had slowed to a crawl.  At the time, we had the system installed at three sites all connected to their corporate headquarters.  Only the one site was slow.  Many of the 15+ people on the conference line (mostly the IT folks) were blaming our system.  They're basically treating me, the lowly software vendor, as a sounding board and punching bag.  About 10 minutes into the call, I suggested that someone at the site walk a laptop from node to node...I was ignored.  Around 2:30am, everyone takes a 30 minute break, conference to resume then.  As everyone departs, one of the site specific (non-sorp. headquarters) guys gets me alone and ask me the details about what I said early on.  I tell him to simply walk the laptop from node to node and fire a large-return query at the database at each stop. 40-ish minutes later, conference going again, and with everyone on the phone, the site-IT guy reports that he problem and that it was a piece of network hardware.

This was a fortune 100 energy company with supposed IT gurus.  I know it is often not the network and a lot of vendors will never blame themselves but people should 1) not think they are the most badass programmer/admin in the world because they mastered their little section of it and 2) size up who you are dealing with - they just might be honest and not auto-blame everything but their software.


You a frequenter of TheDailyWTF.com? Swear I read a similar story there.
 
2013-02-14 05:38:14 PM

Nexzus: UberDave: MrCrazyInsane: Is "the inability to grasp networking sorcery" on the list?

/it's not the network. Never is.

One of the worst instances I ever ran into:  I get asked, at 10:30 at night on a Friday, to jump into a conference with one of our clients, a large energy company, because our system at one of their power generating stations had slowed to a crawl.  At the time, we had the system installed at three sites all connected to their corporate headquarters.  Only the one site was slow.  Many of the 15+ people on the conference line (mostly the IT folks) were blaming our system.  They're basically treating me, the lowly software vendor, as a sounding board and punching bag.  About 10 minutes into the call, I suggested that someone at the site walk a laptop from node to node...I was ignored.  Around 2:30am, everyone takes a 30 minute break, conference to resume then.  As everyone departs, one of the site specific (non-sorp. headquarters) guys gets me alone and ask me the details about what I said early on.  I tell him to simply walk the laptop from node to node and fire a large-return query at the database at each stop. 40-ish minutes later, conference going again, and with everyone on the phone, the site-IT guy reports that he problem and that it was a piece of network hardware.

This was a fortune 100 energy company with supposed IT gurus.  I know it is often not the network and a lot of vendors will never blame themselves but people should 1) not think they are the most badass programmer/admin in the world because they mastered their little section of it and 2) size up who you are dealing with - they just might be honest and not auto-blame everything but their software.

You a frequenter of TheDailyWTF.com? Swear I read a similar story there.



Not me.  But I may have posted a version of that story on here before.

Right now, I'm dealing with a group of Admins and DBAs who insist that our software is to blame because a bunch of report writers generated a series of reports that lock a crucial table and neuter the system for 20-minutes at a time.  The corporate sites that don't run these reports do not have the problem nor do any other clients we have.  Yet the are still desperate to blame *something* on the software.

Ah being a software vendor...
 
2013-02-14 05:39:55 PM

xkillyourfacex: um, when do programmers ever deal with end users? the only time that should ever happen is if you're the only employee.


Yes, that's correct.

I was interrupted 12 times yesterday by end users with various email related problems: how to set up email on my iPad, I can send but not receive, all of my several hundred emails have disappeared from my Inbox, etc.

So I made no progress at all on the work that was due to be finished this morning and consequently have been up all night making sure it got done. Because if it isn't done the customer is pissed and wants to know WHY IT ISN'T READY???

I've lost count of the number of all nighters I've had to do in the last 2 years. I want to change careers but being socially inept my options are limited.
 
2013-02-14 05:42:05 PM

Rent Party: dittybopper: Rent Party: I want more comment than code, because I don't want to read your crappy assed code.  I want to read about what it is supposed to be doing when it ceases to do what it is supposed to do.

The problem with this philosophy is that the comments don't always match the code.  In fact, they often don't match when written at the same time.

See rule #1.  Your code sucks.


Code is like farts. My own farts smell like rose but everyone else's smell like shiat.
 
2013-02-14 06:01:27 PM
Project managers ignoring or understating time estimates to complete a task or project

Oh don't worry. Programmers are far from the only people that have this problem.

'I need this in two weeks...'

Then you should have called two weeks ago.
 
2013-02-14 06:04:22 PM

OgreMagi: I've seen what happens when my kind of job gets outsourced. The results were fail-tastic. My friend who had lost his job got hired back as a contractor with a huge increase in salary as a result. They tried to get him back at his original pay, but he knew he had them by the balls and initially told them he wasn't interested. I'd welcome my company outsourcing my job. I would thoroughly enjoy the month or two of vacation followed by a massive pay increase. Except my company is smart enough to not hire morons like you who think outsourcing is a good idea.



This.

If there was one item left of TFA's list, it was "Having to come in and save a project that was outsourced because some jackass bullshiat conartist mid manager convinced the powers that be he could save the company tons of money."

You know that knockoff clothing you can get a flea market that looks like it's a namebrand but frays at the seams and loses all of it's color the first time you put it in the washing machine?    You don't want your critical systems that keep your company afloat to be like that.
 
2013-02-14 06:45:31 PM

kg2095: xkillyourfacex: um, when do programmers ever deal with end users? the only time that should ever happen is if you're the only employee.

Yes, that's correct.

I was interrupted 12 times yesterday by end users with various email related problems: how to set up email on my iPad, I can send but not receive, all of my several hundred emails have disappeared from my Inbox, etc.

So I made no progress at all on the work that was due to be finished this morning and consequently have been up all night making sure it got done. Because if it isn't done the customer is pissed and wants to know WHY IT ISN'T READY???

I've lost count of the number of all nighters I've had to do in the last 2 years. I want to change careers but being socially inept my options are limited.


Sounds like a nightmare. I can only imagine remotely enduring that kind of life if I gave up my dog and relationships with other people altogether, so those responsibilities couldn't interfere with my work duties.
 
2013-02-14 06:55:48 PM
As someone that's had to add lots of code/functionality to existing software packages, the code in the database thing makes you want to rip your hair out. Functions that have no business being in the DB are buried in triggers/stored procs and if you're not careful doing something seemingly benign can blow up in your face.
 
2013-02-14 07:35:38 PM

Disposable Rob: That was one of the oddest things I discovered moving from a help desk to development. Working help desk was basically being an assistant-DBA, assistant-Sysadmin, system builder, networking, etc all in one job. Now I do none of that. Programmers know their code, but it's like triple the pay for a fraction of overall computer knowledge.


I think is from a lot of programmers who got into it because they scored well in math and some guidance counselor suggested programming as a career. I came into software development from the hardware side of things (PC GAMER 4 LIFE), so I tend to be more knowledgeable about general hardware functionality. One of our devs was complaining about how slow his laptop was and brought in some spare memory from home. Don't get me started on why us developers are using laptops...anyway, he didn't know that laptops use a different  memoryform factor then desktops. Had the back plate off before he figured it out.

/Kid can code PL/SQL very well though, so there's that.
 
2013-02-14 07:44:41 PM
More "seven frustrating things about engineering jobs in general, phrased in context of programming".

MayoSlather: As someone that's had to add lots of code/functionality to existing software packages, the code in the database thing makes you want to rip your hair out. Functions that have no business being in the DB are buried in triggers/stored procs and if you're not careful doing something seemingly benign can blow up in your face.


Actually _worse_ when you work hardware, because then when you're loading software packages from the support server and there's a bad call because you're using a slightly different piece of equipment, things sometimes  catch on fire.

//One of the reasons I hate stuff based on LabView.  Being electrocuted by someone's bad code is not really cool.
 
2013-02-14 07:46:10 PM
Things that drive me nuts are crappy, wrong, or completely missing requirements. Or even requirements that are written so no one can understand them but the author.

Also other programmers that will run into a problem/bug/unfamiliar code and not even attempt to solve the problem or answer their own question without throwing their hands in the air, sending me 30 emails, and giving up for the rest of the day until I respond. Then in the mornings standup complain that they couldn't do their tasks becuase I couldn't solve their issue
 
2013-02-14 08:03:49 PM

fluffy2097: I imagine that being a pedantic asshole like most programmers are is the most frustrating thing ever.

I don't even know how they sustain such levels of pedantry all day long.


I love how he says he doesn't know how how to fix your computer, but if you buy him beer he'll magically be able to. Classic programmer. Unable to even man up and say "I know how to fix it but you'll have to pay me to make it my job."


It's more like "I don't know how to fix your computer problem but for beer I'll google it for you and try what it says in the first result."

Seirously people, most computer tech support involves only the ability to do an intenet search and read the results. People are farking lazy when they can use a lame excuse like "I'm not a computer person" rather than look shiat up themselves.
 
2013-02-14 08:20:43 PM

Rent Party: That is because the Church of Agile has fostered the ridiculous notion that "you should just be able to read the code" and if you can't, then you suck.

I want more comment than code, because I don't want to read your crappy assed code. I want to read about what it is supposed to be doing when it ceases to do what it is supposed to do.


This.

The comments are there to tell you what the code is supposed to be doing and why. They are there so when it becomes evident that the code isn't doing that it is supposed to be doing someone can have a hope of understanding the original intent. They are there for when someone has to go in months or years later and read some obscure bit of code that now needs changing they can have a chance of easily spotting the land mines made of assumptions that were left behind by the previous programmer.

Yes, a good programmer can read the code itself and understand what it does, they cannot understand what it is really supposed to do or why it was written in such a way. Write the process in English and then fill in the code. Writing what you are about to do in your natural language will often expose to you the flaws in your plan before you put them into code.
 
2013-02-14 08:26:01 PM
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-02-14 08:26:59 PM
WTF is this guy's problem? He sounds like a whiny biatch. Don't like the user's description of the error? Trap and log the effing thing better. Indents? Sorry, this guy says he's been doing this for fifteen years and can't help someone open a file,

I wouldn't hire him.
 
2013-02-14 08:31:36 PM

lordargent: Slam Dunkz : I tend to be a comment nazi. I hate it when coworkers write tons of code with no comments.

Comments in the code?

Hell, I have trouble getting people to enter comments on SVN-COMMITs

Would it kill you guys to type "Added fix for sort order bug" when you commit your code? Hell, don't even bother with the case number the fix was for, I can find it myself. Just put in SOMETHING so that I don't have to open the commit, do a diff and look at the code to figure out WTF change was made :^|


Each build we have a change log created out of SVN, each change has an id number (and a brief description), or whoever checked it gets a snarky message from the guy that does the build. Also ensure that all changes can be checked that they have been peer tested/UATed or whatever as you can tell what they are for (well it is not foolproof in that part of the process, nothing stopping you checking in other miscellaneous changes as part of a larger change).
 
2013-02-14 08:36:06 PM

jimpoz: [imgs.xkcd.com image 548x205]


imgs.xkcd.com
I prefer this xkcd on regexp. Partly because just yesterday I saved the farking day using regular expressions after a big data cleanup project went horribly wrong.
 
2013-02-14 08:44:00 PM

amundb: Things that drive me nuts are crappy, wrong, or completely missing requirements. Or even requirements that are written so no one can understand them but the author.


Or requirements that change constantly. One recent project I worked on had requirements that changed every week. The people making them didn't seem to know what they were doing (we later found out they were actually graphic designers, surprise surprise.)

The project took about a year but if they'd waited to hire us until they'd finished the design, we could have done it in about three months. And frankly, it would have worked better.

The moral is this: If you're still deciding on features a week before the deadline, you're not qualified to be directing a project.
 
2013-02-14 08:50:23 PM

slayer199: Programmers are the most PC-Illiterate people I know in IT.

Anyone who uses "Illiterate" metaphorically has lost my attention right off the bat.

Thrag: The comments are there to tell you what the code is supposed to be doing and why.


No, that's what unit tests are for.

My contribution to programmer frustration:

-working on something that never ships
-sysadmin arrogance and foot-dragging
-coworker dick-waving and general alpha-nerdery
-haters in other departments that resent you for the pay
-dealing with re-invented wheels (exotic config systems, storing code in database columns, novel approaches to key-value storage in relational structures)
-technology bigots (usually Microsoft guys, ironically enough because their shiat sucks the most)
-environment changes breaking working code
 
2013-02-14 09:05:18 PM

dittybopper: fluffy2097: I imagine that being a pedantic asshole like most programmers are is the most frustrating thing ever.

You want your programmers to be pedantic assholes.  Why?  Because programming effectively requires it.

You walk up to me and give me vague requirements, you probably aren't going to get what you *THINK* you were asking for, if you even had a solid idea in the first place.  The better I can pin down what you want, the happier you will be with the end product.

I mean, you wouldn't walk up to a barista in Starbucks and say "Give me a coffee" when what you really want is a tall cinnamon mocha latte, would you?  Yet I often get the same sort of thing.  Someone will say "I need a report on all X".  So I give them a basic report on all X, and it turns out that they wanted to exclude Y.  OK, so I go back and exclude Y, here you go.  "Oh, and include all Z".  Ummm.  OK.  "But this now has a Y in it".  Yes, that's right, because there are cases where Z *AND* Y are both present, and you wanted all of Z, remember?  "Stop being pedantic".

Now, that could have been avoided if the person came to me and said "I need a report with all of X, and all of Z, but I don't want to see any Y on the report".

It's all about knowing what you want before you formally ask for it, so you get what you want the first time.


Yeah. Except the other end of that is,

"I need a cappuccino."
"Ok, what's in that?"
"Dude, what's wrong with you? It's espresso and steamed milk."
"Well, you need to tell me exactly how much milk."
"You're the barista. Just make me a goddamn cappuccino."
"Fine, here."
"Um, this is cold."
"You didn't say you wanted it hot."

Etc.

Some programmers really need to get over their butthurt that English isn't a formal language.
 
2013-02-14 09:05:55 PM
Something about this thread just begs for a  Pocket Ninja visitation.
 
2013-02-14 09:16:52 PM
Tabs are really minor things to complain about.  Well I have been working in visual studio where all tabs are done automatically so that wasn't a problem. Even when I working basic in high school and assembler in college, this never came up.

I fix things all the time for family, but sometimes there are things I can't fix.
Requirements document?  Hahahahahaha, I get those about a week after we ship.
 
2013-02-14 09:47:40 PM

mccallcl: -dealing with re-invented wheels


1000x this.  I'm doing with with a client, Microsoft stack, that rolled their own identity, security, service client, rules engine, caching layer, etc etc etc.  I've never quit a contract early... but I am sorely sorely tempted.  Their software stack is pure pain to work in.
 
2013-02-14 09:50:22 PM

mccallcl: slayer199: Programmers are the most PC-Illiterate people I know in IT.
Anyone who uses "Illiterate" metaphorically has lost my attention right off the bat.
Thrag: The comments are there to tell you what the code is supposed to be doing and why.

No, that's what unit tests are for.

My contribution to programmer frustration:

-working on something that never ships
-sysadmin arrogance and foot-dragging
-coworker dick-waving and general alpha-nerdery
-haters in other departments that resent you for the pay
-dealing with re-invented wheels (exotic config systems, storing code in database columns, novel approaches to key-value storage in relational structures)
-technology bigots (usually Microsoft guys, ironically enough because their shiat sucks the most)
-environment changes breaking working code


"Environment changes breaking working code" is the biggest pantload of horse shiat. Do you program around NT 4 over token ring?

I was with you up until that point. It's that mindset that keeps 12 year old switches in my closets.
 
2013-02-14 10:04:14 PM
MrCrazyInsane:

"Environment changes breaking working code" is the biggest pantload of horse shiat. Do you program around NT 4 over token ring?

I was with you up until that point. It's that mindset that keeps 12 year old switches in my closets.



Maybe he means OS environment.  For instance, several years ago, I had an old bit of code that was doing tag replacement in MS Word documents.  The client lets a slew of MS updates float out to the network workstations and BAM!...all document printing is failing.  Admin had to get on a machine and retract the updates one by one until it worked (or maybe he re-imaged a box and installed them one by one until it failed...can't remember).

Or there's the time(s) when a new security policy gets uploaded that prevents the software from updating the registry, creating temp files locally, accessing a needed directory, etc.  Next thing I know, I'm getting calls and e-mails from a client desperately wanting to know why our software that has been working fine for the last 12 months has suddenly started prompting all users for a database login complete with asking for server and provider instead of using the local encrypted login file.
 
2013-02-14 10:08:10 PM

UberDave: MrCrazyInsane:

"Environment changes breaking working code" is the biggest pantload of horse shiat. Do you program around NT 4 over token ring?

I was with you up until that point. It's that mindset that keeps 12 year old switches in my closets.


Maybe he means OS environment.  For instance, several years ago, I had an old bit of code that was doing tag replacement in MS Word documents.  The client lets a slew of MS updates float out to the network workstations and BAM!...all document printing is failing.  Admin had to get on a machine and retract the updates one by one until it worked (or maybe he re-imaged a box and installed them one by one until it failed...can't remember).

Or there's the time(s) when a new security policy gets uploaded that prevents the software from updating the registry, creating temp files locally, accessing a needed directory, etc.  Next thing I know, I'm getting calls and e-mails from a client desperately wanting to know why our software that has been working fine for the last 12 months has suddenly started prompting all users for a database login complete with asking for server and provider instead of using the local encrypted login file.


Ah, perhaps he was. Hadn't thought of that. In which case I apologize for being curt.

But if he WAS talking about the network....
 
2013-02-14 10:14:15 PM
To me the most frustrating thing is when someone tells me how to program. It is a very personal thing really. Everyone has their own way of doing it. When the boss comes up and say use x for this, without sometimes even knowing what x is.
 
2013-02-14 10:20:27 PM
mccallcl: -dealing with re-invented wheels

Ever write a bunch of code in a language, it doesn't work, then you go start debugging and you're like, shiat, this is totally valid code, the syntax is right, I've got the right parameters, why the fark isn't this compiling/running?


// then you realize that the function you're trying to use is from another language, in THIS language it's named something differently (maybe with slightly different parameters) but essentially does the same thing.

trunc vs floor (unless you're in mathcad)

mid vs substr

len() or length() (seriously len dudes, three extra chars were too much?)

And my favorite.

WTF is the concatenation operator in this language? Dot? Pipe? Ampersand? Double pipe? Plus? Plus Equal?
 
2013-02-15 12:02:59 AM

mayIFark: To me the most frustrating thing is when someone tells me how to program. It is a very personal thing really. Everyone has their own way of doing it. When the boss comes up and say use x for this, without sometimes even knowing what x is.


There is the polar opposite of that - people who think the answer to everything is X, no matter what the problem is. And yes, I'm looking at you, Java. And XML.
 
2013-02-15 12:21:20 AM

Ant: scarmig: "Here's a new project.  The requirements document is forty-pages long.  We need an hours estimate by end of day.  The project is due end of March."

Fifty-thousand.  Fifty-thousand hours for that request.  Get out of my cube.


For me:

Boss: "Here's something we want that we've never done before, and that we do not know for sure if it's even possible. Give me an estimate."
Me: "I't's not going to be an accurate estimate if I don't even know how I'm going to go about it yet"
Boss: "Just give me a number"
Me: "Right now?"
Boss: "Yes, right now"


My boss at my last gig was proud of her background in project management. I knew during the interview that I should've bolted out the door but some weird curiousity / masochism made me accept the offer.

She would call me and transfer me into conference calls.

It would start out like you described and end like this:
Me: "Eighty hours."
Boss: "Eighty hours?!"
Client: "We can't afford eighty hours!"
Me: "Well what's the requirements document say?"
Boss: "There is no requirements document."
Client: "We were hoping you knew what we wanted."
Me: "Ah, see, it takes a good sixty hours to make an outstanding requirements document."
Boss: "It doesn't take sixty hours to make a requirements document. I can do one in two."
Me: "Oh, great! Get that to me by the end of the day, I'll take a look at it and get back to you with a revised estimate."
Then I hung up.

They say to never burn your bridges but it is, on occasion, hilarious.

/didn't get fired, surprisingly
//though I did get screamed at
///never did get that requirements document
 
2013-02-15 01:15:12 AM

Rent Party: scarmig:

Don't get attached to code.

That.

Here's the facts, super smart code kids:  Your code sucks.  Everyone's does, including mine.

Biggest problem with being a programmer:  Not understanding that the business is not there to provide you an outlet for your very special self and whatever your latest technology fetish is.  You are there to support a business who's only concern is generating revenue.  In software, unless you are building the space shuttle or heart monitors or air traffic control systems, you rarely get to practice ideal engineering. You are a cost center.  So act like one.


You nailed it. Thread over.

A professional programmer is paid to perform a service, not express himself.
 
2013-02-15 02:20:14 AM

fluffy2097: Without knowing the minute details, it is impossible to know what the

 I imagine that being a pedantic asshole like most programmers are is the most frustrating thing ever.

I don't even know how they sustain such levels of pedantry all day long



As a programmer, I can attest that knowing all details makes it easier to map the design of the problem that needs to be solved in my mind.

Pertaining to the "all day long" comment; rather than using definitive descriptions and instead using vague terms only make the person who is speaking sound like a functional retard.
 
2013-02-15 03:03:50 AM
As a system administrator, I should mention what annoys me the most about programmers.

Using obsolete packages that are no longer maintained, were last updated three years ago, have known security issues, and aren't supported by more recent versions of our Linux distro so we have to roll a custom version of it which is never easy because of dependency issues.  Let it go, biatches.  It's gone.  Find a new package and adapt your code.  And stop using obscure packages with no user base that is supported by some lone dude living in mom's basement.
 
2013-02-15 03:22:04 AM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Ant: scarmig: "Here's a new project.  The requirements document is forty-pages long.  We need an hours estimate by end of day.  The project is due end of March."

Fifty-thousand.  Fifty-thousand hours for that request.  Get out of my cube.


For me:

Boss: "Here's something we want that we've never done before, and that we do not know for sure if it's even possible. Give me an estimate."
Me: "I't's not going to be an accurate estimate if I don't even know how I'm going to go about it yet"
Boss: "Just give me a number"
Me: "Right now?"
Boss: "Yes, right now"

My boss at my last gig was proud of her background in project management. I knew during the interview that I should've bolted out the door but some weird curiousity / masochism made me accept the offer.

She would call me and transfer me into conference calls.

It would start out like you described and end like this:
Me: "Eighty hours."
Boss: "Eighty hours?!"
Client: "We can't afford eighty hours!"
Me: "Well what's the requirements document say?"
Boss: "There is no requirements document."
Client: "We were hoping you knew what we wanted."
Me: "Ah, see, it takes a good sixty hours to make an outstanding requirements document."
Boss: "It doesn't take sixty hours to make a requirements document. I can do one in two."
Me: "Oh, great! Get that to me by the end of the day, I'll take a look at it and get back to you with a revised estimate."
Then I hung up.

They say to never burn your bridges but it is, on occasion, hilarious.

/didn't get fired, surprisingly
//though I did get screamed at
///never did get that requirements document


I'm sitting here imagining everyone involved and just giggling silently to myself. Well met!
 
2013-02-15 05:00:54 AM
OgreMagi: Using obsolete packages that are no longer maintained, were last updated three years ago, have known security issues, and aren't supported by more recent versions of our Linux distro so we have to roll a custom version of it which is never easy because of dependency issues. Let it go, biatches. It's gone. Find a new package and adapt your code. And stop using obscure packages with no user base that is supported by some lone dude living in mom's basement.

We would update the code if they would let us, we don't like working with shiatty old modules either. But often the powers that be want to use their time & budget to add new 'features' instead of fixing what is (to them) 'working' code.

// Working until some change somewhere causes the whole thing to come crashing to the ground causing programmer and sysadmin alike to spend tons of time figuring out what killed whatever app.

//Programmer: there's a memory leak in module foo that causes the server to crash due to an out of memory situation every 16 days. We can fix it by migrating to module bar, but it will mean 160 man hours of reprogramming and some more for testing/validation.

The powers that be: What if we double the ram on the server (we have some spare sticks, right?) that will give us a 32 day window, and we can have the sysadmins reboot about once a month.

Programmer: Um, I think it's better in the long term to fix the underlying problem.

TPTB: we've already spent enough time debugging this, I'll put a case in for the sysadmins.

// a year and a half later, the server crashes with an out of memory situation.

TPTB: Hey, I thought we fixed this issue!!!

Programmer: It appears that the amount of data being processed by this app has increased substantially. We should really move over to module baz now (because module bar is now outdated as well).

TPTB: we don't have time for that, throw some more ram on the server and call it a day.

// wash, rinse, repeat
 
2013-02-15 05:01:28 AM

enigmaticsource: lordargent: One of our properitary tools generates code using spaces instead of tabs.

// If I work on a project, I always clean up the generated code, other folks, not so much.

"s/[ ]{2}/\t//" for various values of two is about the first thing I run when I have to look at code.


:set noexpandtab
:retab!
 
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