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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 45
    More: Interesting, gray hair, software engineers, programming  
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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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Archived thread
2013-02-14 01:41:35 PM
4 votes:

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

/it's not the network. Never is.


What the hell do you expect me to blame all the random bugs in my code on then?  Do you want me to tell the truth?!?

Besides, the network admins are on the other side of the campus.  They'll never hear about it anyway and if they do what's the worst that can hap
2013-02-14 03:52:59 PM
3 votes:
And I swear, if one more customer asks me if they can have the logo in cornflower blue I'm blowing up a building.
2013-02-14 01:15:46 PM
3 votes:
Tabs/indents set to anything other than four characters - This was my own personal preference. Four characters just looked right when reading code; anything else looked wrong and made me want to fix it.

use five characters you mother farking troglodyte

That way, multi-indendted blocks end up breaking at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 characters, you know, something logical ... that matches our currency system

Hey bob, indent that block a dime.
Man, this code is a quarter deep.

4 characters gives you 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, that's some farked up shiat.
2013-02-14 12:32:40 PM
3 votes:
If he hates overzealous Scrum Masters and strict "Stand Ups" then he should try coming over to the PM side at a Waterfall Company. Nothing screams stress like using a Project Model that is best represented by Management urinating at will and the rest of us running around with a mop bucket to clean up the mess.
2013-02-15 11:51:29 AM
2 votes:

EngineerAU: 7. "We're now doing all low level programming in Javascript" (Seriously, this fad needs to die)


I know you're talking about Javascript and not Java, but this quote came to mind...

Saying that Java is nice because it works on all OS's is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders
2013-02-15 12:21:20 AM
2 votes:

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
2013-02-14 03:51:16 PM
2 votes:

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


No, but I'm also in my mid-40s, and that might color my perception of "attractive".
2013-02-14 02:35:05 PM
2 votes:
The best thing is how it's littered with hot babes
2013-02-14 01:21:38 PM
2 votes:
2013-02-14 12:57:33 PM
2 votes:

poisonedpawn78: grinding_journalist: No doubt that most of you people who aren't programmers, or have never been programmers, look at those of us who are or were programmers and think, "Boy, that's gotta be a great job. Exciting, fast paced, highly compensated, well respected and, above all, extremely sexy. What's not to love about being a programmer? I wish I was one."

I am not a programmer and have never thought anything like this. I always imagined programming to be something along the lines of sitting at a desk or in a cube with a window on a screen open that could be mistaken for text edit, poring over lines of code that look like they're in a foreign language, working on a single piece of a larger program, while the boss comes by and says that there have been revisions, and your past week's worth of work is now irrelevant.

And then asks what have you been doing with your time .

You pretty much nailed it.


But when it compiles you get to do this...

imgs.xkcd.com

I work for an "engineering services company".  Basically, we do CAD Software support.  Somehow, somebody learned that I took some intro Java and C++ classes in college (as a requirement) and now I am the resident code monkey.  Granted, my knowledge of the matter is very limited, but apparently I am doing something right, since I survived another round of layoffs.

Of course, most of the time I look like I am doing nothing (since most of our business is very visual by nature) because I am staring at text all day trying to debug something while everybody else is designing 3D models and whatnot (in an open environment even....damn it I need a hole to crawl in while at work).
2013-02-14 10:48:12 AM
2 votes:
Scope Creep

laxallstars.com
2013-02-15 06:52:21 PM
1 votes:

lordargent: WTF is the concatenation operator in this language?


I think there is a limit to the amount of almost-exactly-the-same shiat you can learn.

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


No, but the thing I program on is controlled by a maniacal dictatorship that changes the aspect ratio or pixel density of the screen without notice. That thing connects to a series of web services running on computers that move physical location and subnets without notice (and are either accessed by IP, or the server naming convention uses the location in the host name). Sometimes a manager forgets to pay a bill for a web service or hosting provider. Sometimes a domain name expires and the expiry email went unnoticed or to an inactive email address. Sometimes Amazon Web Services goes down.

All of these things have happened to me in the last sixteen months. A list of environment changes that have broken my working code or degraded its performance to unacceptable would fill an entire thread.

/nice token ring reference
2013-02-15 03:50:23 PM
1 votes:
dilbert.com
2013-02-15 02:18:20 PM
1 votes:

treesloth: EngineerAU: 7. "We're now doing all low level programming in Javascript" (Seriously, this fad needs to die)

I know you're talking about Javascript and not Java, but this quote came to mind...

Saying that Java is nice because it works on all OS's is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders


I'm stealing that.
2013-02-15 02:14:01 PM
1 votes:

OgreMagi: Did I say anything about "small changes"?  No.  I realize that dropping an obsolete package can sometimes be a major coding change, but it still needs to be done.  Stop biatching and do your job.


Big changes like that are above my pay grade. I do what I'm told when my boss tells me to do something, not IT.
2013-02-15 12:57:45 PM
1 votes:

dittybopper: Z-clipped: But then I started cracking up, because teaching sorting algorithms to my kid is exactly the kind of thing I would do. My first child isn't even born yet and I'm already devising similar forms of abuse. Having a physics teacher for a dad is going to make my kid wish she never asked questions like "why is the sky blue?"

When he was a bit older, we built a basic Pascaline together, using LEGOs.

The littlebopper is actually an interesting datapoint in the Nature vs. Nurture argument:  He's adopted, but like me, he ended up in the "gifted" program at school.   We've had him since he was a few days old, and the distaffbopper and I always took great pains to make as many mundane moments teaching moments as possible.

/distaffbopper is "average" IQ wise.
//We complement each other.
///We also compliment each other.


Mine was the only kid in her first grade who would correct her peers, "1 plus 1 is not eleven.  That's concatenation."
2013-02-15 09:16:05 AM
1 votes:

Z-clipped: 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.


That's actually not really true.

Say you walked in and asked for a cappuccino, and I gave you a standard cappuccino, but what you really wanted was a latte or a caffe macchiato.  Those are very similar in ingredients, but distinct products.  Would you complain when you got what you asked for, but not what you wanted?

English can be a very precise tool for describing what you want.  It's intellectual laziness that people don't really think about what they want, even when things have been described to them over and over again.  Very basic logic is simple to grasp, to the point where I once taught my son how to manually implement a bubble sort when he was 4 years old, using LEGOs*.  Most people don't even want to try, however.

*Yes, I know it was child abuse.  I figured it was best he learn the wrong way from me first instead of learning it on the street.
2013-02-15 06:16:50 AM
1 votes:
"It wasn't in the requirements so I didn't include it in the code."
-Programmer's response of why site mobile apps land on the homepage rather then the linked article

/inspired by today's XKCD
2013-02-14 10:20:27 PM
1 votes:
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?
2013-02-14 05:19:10 PM
1 votes:

scp747: Give root to a coder?


ROFLMAO.

Not a chance in hell.

/System Admin
2013-02-14 04:05:03 PM
1 votes:

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.


It's actually a quite liberating moment in one's career when they come to terms with the fact that software is seen as an utterly disposable commodity in today's world and that you're little more than a beast of burden to produce said disposable commodity.      It means the next time some overly ambitious middle/project manager is trying to build their reputations with upper management by over delivering under deadline by riding and cropping you like Secretariat down the homestretch, you can   turn around an bray in his face like the mangy jackass you are.    In 5 years time that ambitious middle manager will have moved on to grabbing for the next golden ring and that piece of software will be replaced/rewritten, no matter how beautifully you coded.  It's not worth killing yourself over.
2013-02-14 03:39:51 PM
1 votes:

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"


You: "30 seconds!"
Boss: "What?"
You: "26 now! Quick, tell them!!"
2013-02-14 02:57:04 PM
1 votes:

traylor: 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.

But, unlike the stinky and irritating chemicals you put on your body, cow shiat just smells fine. How can you not understand this


Dammit.  I hate it when I bite on troll bait.
2013-02-14 02:24:40 PM
1 votes:

qorkfiend: traylor: qorkfiend: traylor: China White Tea: I'm not a professional codemonkey, but I do a little bit of programming and the most frustrating thing, for me, is that I pretty constantly get stuck in a perpetual cycle of, "This code is okay and it does what I need it to do, but there is probably a better, more "correct" way of doing this - to Stack Overflow!"  And then I read for a bit, rewrite the function in a better-er, correcter-er way, and then repeat the process until I finally decide that I'll never reach the "correct-est" way of doing it, scrub the project entirely, and go watch Netflix instead.

You are more professional than most of the programmers I've known.

Professionals have deadlines and can't do endless rewrite cycles or scrub their projects and go watch Netflix...

I see, you have much to learn, young Padawan. Muhaha.

Oh? You have a job as a professional programmer where you have no deadlines and can do endless re-write cycles, give up, and watch Netflix?


Yes, I'm working in R&D.
2013-02-14 02:09:29 PM
1 votes:
I'm not a professional codemonkey, but I do a little bit of programming and the most frustrating thing, for me, is that I pretty constantly get stuck in a perpetual cycle of, "This code is okay and it does what I need it to do, but there is probably a better, more "correct" way of doing this - to Stack Overflow!"  And then I read for a bit, rewrite the function in a better-er, correcter-er way, and then repeat the process until I finally decide that I'll never reach the "correct-est" way of doing it, scrub the project entirely, and go watch Netflix instead.
2013-02-14 02:03:45 PM
1 votes:

Dreyelle: 1.  Lack of clear requirements
2.  changing requirements on the fly ("that's not a big change")
3.  Expecting me to do all of your testing for you
4.  Creating a project plan without input from developers and then blaming the developers for the delay.
5.  Including all the "little cosmetic issues" that bother you into a single bug fix so it becomes never ending.
6.  Forcing me to work with smelly H1-Bs


Farking Indian programmers are the worst, most arrogant, inflexible, retarded monkeys money can buy. At lest the Chinese are polite to your face, no matter what they say behind your back.
2013-02-14 01:54:31 PM
1 votes:
"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.
2013-02-14 01:47:23 PM
1 votes:

enigmaticsource: "s/[ ]{2}/\t//" s/[ ]{2}/\t/g
/ftfm
//damn write only code.

2013-02-14 01:41:07 PM
1 votes:

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


In all fairness, most the PC questions you usually get from friends and family are like "Where did my blue E go?" and "Can they really tell if I don't forward this e-mail to 20 different people?"
2013-02-14 01:40:17 PM
1 votes:
1. I have a vision
2. How is that done?
3. Why are you doing it THAT way?


But the most is because of "unrealistic expectations"

Asking me on a Friday to load 2.5 TB of data into 250 undefined tables, from 1500 files in 7 different areas.
Defining all column names, datatypes, build all indexes, partitioning, etc.
And expecting it on Monday.

/is it done yet?
2013-02-14 01:38:29 PM
1 votes:
Dealing with the kind of bad programmers in this thread.
2013-02-14 01:34:21 PM
1 votes:
The first time you destroy your body and spirit working 60-100 hour work weeks making deadline on a product that lasts 1-2 years  in production before the newly hired exec wants it arbitrarily scrapped and re-written to mirror the system they're familiar with from their previously employer,  you  learn to take your living human soul and hold it down and drown it in the proverbial bathtub.     Once you've eliminated any belief in a benevolent or just universe, it's not a bad way to pay the bills.
2013-02-14 01:24:29 PM
1 votes:
Who cares about this list.....I have been coding for a living for a few years now and the one thing I have noticed about myself since I started is that my alcohol intake has increased every year......
2013-02-14 01:21:27 PM
1 votes:
Two-space tabs, using actual spaces to make the tabs. Every other way is heresy!
2013-02-14 01:12:58 PM
1 votes:
Pfft, four space tabs?  There is only ONE tab character that anyone should EVER need.

vbTab

If you use anything else, you're doing it wrong.
2013-02-14 01:03:26 PM
1 votes:
I gotta say, four-space tabs are way too big. It's hard to even read a triply-nested for-loop, much less a quadruply-nested or more. Two-space tabs are the way to go.
2013-02-14 12:40:28 PM
1 votes:
Project managers ignoring or understating time estimates to complete a task or project

This is merely a symptom of a bigger disease of programming ... that being, the people who manage/oversee programmers often (thankfully not always) don't have a background in programming themselves, or if they did it was a thousand years ago on antiquated/irrelevant platforms.  Good programmers are too valuable, unwilling or personally ill-equipped to transfer  management positions    Who fills those positions?   Ambitious bullshiat artists who attended an IT  Project Management conference for a $10k  framed certificate to hang on the wall and a bevy of hi-tech word salad mumbo jumbo to hypnotize upper/executive management with.

Thankfully I'm in a position in my career and skillset where I can be particularly choosy about who I work for.    In any interview, I want to know specifically about the backgrounds of the project managers and the IT management.   If I see a lot of people with fake tans and capped teeth and manicured nails talking about "cloud technology" and "cross platform synergy" I run for the hills.
2013-02-14 12:25:03 PM
1 votes:
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."
2013-02-14 11:57:49 AM
1 votes:

UberDave: Because People in power are Stupid: Scope Creep

Once you accept it and prepare for it every time, it will not be so bad. :)


You don't work for my boss.
2013-02-14 11:57:00 AM
1 votes:
People assuming you can fix any computer-related problem - Knowing the people I know, though, I probably can.
2013-02-14 11:02:48 AM
1 votes:

Because People in power are Stupid: Scope Creep


Once you accept it and prepare for it every time, it will not be so bad. :)
2013-02-14 10:55:31 AM
1 votes:
2013-02-14 10:49:06 AM
1 votes:
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.
2013-02-14 08:51:25 AM
1 votes:
Open workspaces that "foster teamwork".  There is room on this keyboard for two hands, and they are at the end of my arms.  Teamwork is what the standups and collaboration are for.  When I need to do actual work, fark off and leave me alone.
2013-02-14 08:23:00 AM
1 votes:
Did everything make the list?
 
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