Epic Fail or The Site is Down



  • It has been long enough that I'm sure someone would find this funny. Well, I suppose if I was a better writer, it would be funny.

     

    The following events take place at 5pm on a Friday. Dum Dum (not sure what the Law and Order sound effect is actually).

     Bill came rushing in as I was finishing up and about to shut down for the day. "The site is down," came the worse words known to IT or maybe not your IT, but those words at least haunted my dreams and waking moments. I would often check the site just so I would feel relieved. It has been a while since the site went down. In fact, since the switch to version control and develop and master development, the site ran smoothly.

     I loaded the site up on my browser and... the CSS was loading from cache and not retrieving the updated CSS. The links were displayed, but they weren't styled and the header was below the screen. A refresh and the site came up as it was supposed to. I sighed in relief. Nothing to concern myself about.

     Bill spoke up, "So, are you going to fix it."

    "There is nothing to fix.... It could take 5 minutes to fix or 30 minutes depending on what happened and I need to leave." I mumbled.

    "Well, I'll call the project manager and see what he says," came the flustered reply.

    As I left the building, Bill caught up to me, "Hey, we had an email go out to important followers. We really need the site to be fixed."

    "I can fix it when I get home. That would give me plenty of time to fix the problem."

    We stared at each other for a while, until I finally broke down and clocked back in. Hacked a query variable to force the cache update and clocked back out 15 minutes later. Before I left I looked at the logs to see when the problem started and who initiated it. It was committed at 3:45pm.

     

     The following takes place 1pm on Wednesday the following week. Dum Dum.

    "So we called you in here to discuss the critical events that took place last week. It is important that we maintain a steady flow and fixes are implemented in a timely manner. When the site is down, it needs to be corrected right now, not ten minutes from now, not an hour from now. If it takes 4 hours, it needs to be fixed." said HR.

     "Um, the site wasn't down," I replied.

    HR continued, "Given the severity of the problem, we called you in here to get to the root of the problem and ask whether you desire to stay here."

    "What? I fixed the problem and the site wasn't technically down. You could access the site. For a site to be down and critical, it would require some other response than 200."

    HR continued, "So given that we haven't written you up before, we ask that you sign this final written notice."

     

    The following takes place several months later during the exit interview. Dum Dum.

    HR, "So did you see this coming?"

    I replied, "Yes. Of course."

    HR, "Really?"

    I stared at the person wondering if they thought I was an idiot and realizing that yes, they did think I was an idiot.



  • Interesting, but it feels like 1/3 of the story is missing.



  • There are quite a lot of parts missing. I'm just hoping that the parts that are there don't point the finger at me directly. Please forgive any omissions, I don't want to give myself away too easily.

    If you are implying that I'm not the best employee and there were other factors contributing, then you would be accurate. The other parts that are missing would also suggest that the place would not the best place to work for as it serves counter to programmers and their needs.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    What? I fixed the problem and the site wasn't technically down.

    No offense but you're a terrible communicator. "There was no problem! But I fixed the problem." No wonder your co-worker thought you were holding out on him.

    WTFs seen:
    1) Someone putting a site change live on a Friday. You didn't have a company-wide policy against doing this? Terrible.
    2) You constantly flipping between "the site is fine" and "I have to fix the site" in a confusing manner, not only to the guy reporting the problem but still days later to the HR person
    3) Your unwillingness to stay late even 10 minutes to fix something. I mean seriously? Did you have a hot date or something? It's not that big a deal.
    4) Your writing of this WTF filled with confusion and plot-holes. Did you have an exit interview because you were fired, or because you quit? If the former, what the fuck company does exit interviews for firings? If the latter, why would he asking you "did you see this coming"? since the answer would obviously be: "yes around the time I put in my resignation note, idiot."
    5) "Dum Dum." WTF is that? (I've never seen Law and Order, I have absolutely no fucking clue what you're talking about.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    5) "Dum Dum." WTF is that? (I've never seen Law and Order, I have absolutely no fucking clue what you're talking about.

    Imagine the sound of a half-inflated basketball hitting a leather chair in the middle of a swimming pool full of scrap metal.

    That won't help you understand at all, but it's pretty cool, right?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    What? I fixed the problem and the site wasn't technically down.

    No offense but you're a terrible communicator. "There was no problem! But I fixed the problem." No wonder your co-worker thought you were holding out on him.

    WTFs seen:
    1) Someone putting a site change live on a Friday. You didn't have a company-wide policy against doing this? Terrible.
    2) You constantly flipping between "the site is fine" and "I have to fix the site" in a confusing manner, not only to the guy reporting the problem but still days later to the HR person
    3) Your unwillingness to stay late even 10 minutes to fix something. I mean seriously? Did you have a hot date or something? It's not that big a deal.
    4) Your writing of this WTF filled with confusion and plot-holes. Did you have an exit interview because you were fired, or because you quit? If the former, what the fuck company does exit interviews for firings? If the latter, why would he asking you "did you see this coming"? since the answer would obviously be: "yes around the time I put in my resignation note, idiot."
    5) "Dum Dum." WTF is that? (I've never seen Law and Order, I have absolutely no fucking clue what you're talking about.

    I was hoping it would be obvious that I'm a terrible communicator. I wanted to keep the post short, since if it was too long there would be a risk no one would hassle to read it. I also didn't want it to be too long as it might appear I was indulging my ego.

    1. It was a "nonissue" to me, but a very big issue to the boss.

    2. In truth, my excuse was simply that I had other obligations to someone that I felt were higher priority than fixing a "nonissue".

    3. I was fired... for taking a day off for an obligation I did not make clear, because it involved an interview at another company and I thought if I told my current company I was going to quit soon, that they would simply end employment then and there. At that point, I was contemplating giving notice and giving the company the finger. Well, not really as that would be unprofessional. To be honest, I had the biggest smile when they said I was no longer needed at the company and relieved. The reason was that there were things to receive and things to give. They probably thought I was crazy, but it was the happiest day at the company for the longest time.


  • @Ben L. said:

    Imagine the sound of a half-inflated basketball hitting a leather chair in the middle of a swimming pool full of scrap metal.

    You know if you took out the scrap metal you might be able to keep your ball inflated.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    I was hoping it would be obvious that I'm a terrible communicator.

    Haha, this is like some kind of Catch-22 shit. If you typed "I'm a terrible communicator" we would have gotten it, but that would have been an example of clear communication!

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    2) It was a "nonissue" to me, but a very big issue to the boss.

    How important it is isn't the point. The point is you kept saying the site was fine, and then you made a fix. I still having read your post twice don't understand why you had to fix a site that wasn't broken. I assume your co-workers also did not understand that.

    My hunch is the site was broken and you were lying about it being fine because you are a bad person who stinks. Because otherwise you would have just spent like 5 seconds demonstrating the site worked fine to your co-worker's satisfaction and then left for the day.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    3) In truth, my excuse was simply that I had other obligations to someone that I felt were higher priority than fixing a "nonissue".

    My WOW guild really needed me in the battlegrounds man!!! We only have 2 level 85 shamans!

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    4) I was fired... for taking a day off for an obligation I did not make clear, because it involved an interview at another company and I thought if I told my current company I was going to quit soon, that they would simply end employment then and there.

    You wanna unravel that for me?

    Did you tell your manager you were taking a day off? Or did you just no-show? Why did they give you an exit interview if you were fired? You're glossing over that point, which makes no sense.

    With these communication skills, I think the amazing thing is that you were ever hired anywhere.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    The reason was that there were things to receive and things to give.

    Not "things" again!! #mst3k



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Haha, this is like some kind of Catch-22 shit. If you typed "I'm a terrible communicator" we would have gotten it, but that would have been an example of clear communication!
     

    What is this?! Correct usage of the phrase "catch-22"? UNTHINKABLE!

    @blakeyrat said:

    5) "Dum Dum." WTF is that? (I've never seen Law and Order, I have absolutely no fucking clue what you're talking about.

    Law&Order scene transition has a melodramatic soud effect to it, that sounds like BONG!* as the frame freezes and goes greyscale.

     

    *) it's kind of like hitting a central heating radiator, but bigger, and, and... oh fuck, here.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    2) It was a "nonissue" to me, but a very big issue to the boss.
     

    If they're your boss (and accountable for such stuff), then they decide the priority. If it's a big issue to them and it's something you support, then you should have addressed it with that appropriate level of care.

    You seem to be confusing incident priority with resolution effort: just because it's a quick fix to you, it doesn't mean it could be a severe outage.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    3) In truth, my excuse was simply that I had other obligations to someone that I felt were higher priority than fixing a "nonissue".

    At least you're coming clean about that - to us. Perhaps you should have made that clearer to the powers that be: if the change occured at 3:45, then people shouldn't be reporting failure at 5pm[1].

    I suppose the other point is: is incident diagnosis and resolution actually your responsibility? If it is, then dismissing it as a non-issue isn't the right attitude. If it's not but they were relying upon you for some kind of assurance then I can understand why you were torn a new one. It may not make it right, but you seemed to know it was a quick fix (for something that's not broken) which would have placated the panicked parties and hoisted you up as a hero.. and you never entertained that route. Hence the perception of someone ignorant and uncaring, irrespective of what the situation is.

    Yeah, I don't agree with the way in which it was dropped on you, but you didn't win any friends with your response.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    4) I was fired... for taking a day off for an obligation I did not make clear, because it involved an interview at another company

    So were you fired because they'd found out you'd attended an interview elsewere, or fired for concealing that information, or simply fired for taking off a day without making the request clear?

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    To be honest, I had the biggest smile when they said I was no longer needed at the company and relieved.

    If you're in a job where you're heart's not in it, it's best you and they part company. It's counter-productive for both of you.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    They probably thought I was crazy, but it was the happiest day at the company for the longest time.

    I know you said you're not the best communicator, but you really need to take some time to re-read what you're writing there before hitting POST. I'm guessing you intended to say that it was your happiest day there, but the way it's written it sounds like the company were glad to be rid of you. It doesn't sound great when you make out you're such deadwood that waves of euprohia flooded the entire workforce upon your parting.

    [1] yeah, I know: some changes don't fail immediately. But this smacks of poor testing.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    Bill came rushing in as I was finishing up and about to shut down for the day. "The site is down,"...

    A refresh and the site came up as it was supposed to....

     Bill spoke up, "So, are you going to fix it."

     

    There's always a point at which business follow one route and IT follows another, and arguments escalate about which is the right route. That's the fork right there.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    here.
    That one seems to be clipped prematurely - this one has two audible "dink"s.



  • @dhromed said:

    oh fuck, here.
     

    That sound was in colour, not greyscale.



  • @PJH said:

    - this one has two audible "dink"s.
     

    Oh, my memory compressed those into one dink. Maybe it's because the second one feels like an echo?



  • @Cassidy said:

    I'm impressed you can hear in colour
     

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour, since your ear has sensors for a great many frequencies, just like the eye has for three EM frequencies.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    Dum Dum (not sure what the Law and Order sound effect is actually).

    The Sesame St spoof broke the third wall calling it "chung-chung".



  • @dhromed said:

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour

     

    It is? You hear purpleness invading your inner sanctum?

     



  • @dhromed said:

    oh fuck, here.

    Sounds like my old Quadra 610 booting up.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    WTFs seen:

    1. Having different caching policies for static and dynamic content (which is a good thing), but no automated deployment process that changes the links in the dynamic content based on the hash/version of the static content (either by "hacking query variables", or by renaming the static content files). Especially if your site is not only advertising for your product, but your product itself (i. e. a webapp), having broken CSS can create more support calls than your support tems can handle... And unless you are coding in PHP, your framework will probably already provide support for that, and you only need to enable it.


  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    There are quite a lot of parts missing. I'm just hoping that the parts that are there don't point the finger at me directly. Please forgive any omissions, I don't want to give myself away too easily.

    If you are implying that I'm not the best employee and there were other factors contributing, then you would be accurate. The other parts that are missing would also suggest that the place would not the best place to work for as it serves counter to programmers and their needs.

    So, in summary, you left out parts of the story, making it meanigless, so that you would avoid revealing that you are TRWTF.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I'm impressed you can hear in colour
     

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour, since your ear has sensors for a great many frequencies, just like the eye has for three EM frequencies.

    But isn't the nature of electromagnetic waves different from that of mechanical waves? Photons vs baryons, or whatever they're called?

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    WTFs seen:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    Hacked a query variable to force the
    cache update and clocked back out 15 minutes later. Before I left I
    looked at the logs to see when the problem started and who initiated it.
    It was committed at 3:45pm.
     

    7. Made a change then clocked out (although I'm guessing testing took place in that 15-min window)

    8. Checked the logs to see when and who... and report when. Why check for who? Unless it was your change at 3:45, because there's no mention of this individual being named from that point on.

    nb: good luck in the new/next job, HoldYourHeadUpHigh - source of new WTFs?

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    nb: good luck in the new/next job, HoldYourHeadUpHigh - source of new WTFs?

     

    I'm always creating new WTFs. Hopefully less WTFs now. I am slightly crazy, so there is that. Okay, I lie, I'm more than slightly crazy.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I've always thought the sound effect was meant to be a judge's gavel strike.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    I'm always creating new WTFs.
     

    Did you mean "I'm always creating new posts to report WTFs" or "I'm the cause of many WTFs"...?

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    I am slightly crazy, so there is that. Okay, I lie, I'm more than slightly crazy.

    You're new around here, aintcha?



  • @Zecc said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I'm impressed you can hear in colour
     

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour, since your ear has sensors for a great many frequencies, just like the eye has for three EM frequencies.

    But isn't the nature of electromagnetic waves different from that of mechanical waves? Photons vs baryons, or whatever they're called?
    Photons vs. phonons (quanta of mechanical vibration), yes.  And also, what we call "colour" refers to a limited range of frequencies "in the vicinity of 430–790 THz", whereas what we call "sound" refers to a limited range of frequencies in the range of around 16Hz to 20kHz.  Your ear has no frequency range that overlaps with your eyes.  (That's on top of being a different kind of wave altogether.)

    First one to say "But what if I'm a bat?" wins a Pedantic Nagel-weed award. 



  • @Zemm said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    Dum Dum (not sure what the Law and Order sound effect is actually).

    The Sesame St spoof broke the third wall calling it "chung-chung".

     

    I prefer Richard Belzer's  nomenclature: it's the Dick Wolf Cash Register Sound.



  • @DaveK said:

    First one to say "But what if I'm a bat?" wins a Pedantic Nagel-weed award. 

    What? No love for synesthetes???



  • @Zecc said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I'm impressed you can hear in colour
     

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour, since your ear has sensors for a great many frequencies, just like the eye has for three EM frequencies.

    But isn't the nature of electromagnetic waves different from that of mechanical waves? Photons vs baryons, or whatever they're called?

     

    This was all explained ages ago.

     

     



  • I think I can identify with this story, let me give my thoughts, or rather, what was going through my mind as I read this story.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

     Bill came rushing in as I was finishing up and about to shut down for the day. "The site is down!"

    This is possibly the alert that is used most often by managers/users etc. without knowing what it actually means. It turns out to be an image that is misaligned, CSS that is not loading, a script error that blocks the rest of the JS, whatever, but at least not a full-on 404 or 500. I cannot count the times I had this told to me to find the website running perfectly (well, albeit with the aforementioned small issues).

    Basically, after your change, the only thing that had to be done was loading two pages in succession (or refreshing the first page)? I think I can see why that would not be the first thing on your mind when you are just going to step out. It's no real problem, just, everyone will see the dang issue once (hopefully) reload and it'll be done.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    "So we called you in here to discuss the critical events that took place last week. It is important that we maintain a steady flow and fixes are implemented in a timely manner. When the site is down, it needs to be corrected right now, not ten minutes from now, not an hour from now. If it takes 4 hours, it needs to be fixed."

    That's jolly awesome, and I don't mind fixing it right away some of the time, but the fact is I only work here for 8 hours a day, the rest of my time is my own. You can request it, but you cannot order it. If you need fixes 24/7 you'd better be prepared to have a(nother) developer around all the time.

    Second, the problem wasn't severe, the site wasn't down, and I could see it right away. Given that I told you all that at that moment, I did not have any specific desire to fix it right away, when I had another appointment waiting for me.

    Lastly, WTF is going on here. I didn't implement one fix within 10 minutes of you requesting it (during my own time) and now we're talking about firing me? Where in the seven hells did you come from?

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    HR, "So did you see this coming?"

    Of course! I certainly expected to be fired for taking a day off and not working during my free time. Gods... what do you people who can go home without any responsibilities whatsoever possibly know about severity and fixing things right now. I mean, it's not like I ever see HR do an exit interview at 7 in the evening because we really needed a guy gone yesterday. What if I told YOU that you had to schedule a fix 7 days in advance.

    That said, of course, this is just what goes through my mind. In reality, you generally just have to bite the bullet, fix the damn sucker right away and hope nothing else happens to ruin your day. Oh, and be polite during both your meetings and exit interviews. Because otherwise people will hate you. And, I guess, you can't really argue with people being ignorant and therefore having a different perception of severity. It may be horrible to your companies reputation if all your customers see your website not loading correctly even a single time (and less than half of them will even try to refresh the page to see if it fixes it). However, that shit means nothing to a developer whom only sees his early evening evaporating, since he's not nearly so much concerned with the company as management is (especially if he dislikes it anyway).



  • @Aeolun said:

    This is possibly the alert that is used most often by managers/users etc. without knowing what it actually means.
     

    And the correct response is (a) to check the monitoring system that should have alerted for an outage and confirm the server/service is still working then (b) request more information to define and clarify the true meaning of the "management alert".

    @Aeolun said:

    If you need fixes 24/7 you'd better be prepared to have a(nother) developer around all the time.

    Was my understanding - if something is so mission-critical it can't be down for 10 mins, then (a) there will be some automated alerting (and possibly recovery) process in place to maintain desired availability levels, and (b) there should be tight change/testing/deployment procedures to reduce the possibility of a self-inflicted outage.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    HR, "So did you see this coming?"

    "did I see what coming?

    • The fact we experience crises like these because we don't have a testbed to trial out changes but instead deploy directly to production?
    • Or that we have no rollback process so that any release that breaks things can't be quickly undone?
    • Or that the company seeks to blame the person who fixed the break but completely overlooks the person who made the break?
    • Or that until lessons are learned from this debacle and organisational changes are made, this crisis will continue to recur - and I won't be here to (a) fix it, or (b) be blamed for it.
    • your mum, over a [ hill | table ]"



  • @Aeolun said:

    I think I can identify with this story, let me give my thoughts, or rather, what was going through my mind as I read this story.

    Thanks! I was thinking I was the TRWTF, well, I'm still the TRWTF. It is nice to know that someone understands that part of the TRWTF was the company!

    I actually think that most people would have jumped ship much sooner.

    @Cassidy said:

    And the correct response is (a) to check the monitoring system that should have alerted for an outage and confirm the server/service is still working then (b) request more information to define and clarify the true meaning of the "management alert".

    I picture you screaming in your head, "But no one expects the outage inquisition!

    No. No. No. This is small company, and this here we don't need no "high tech-ry" "IT prepared-ness" and we value our ability to move here back and forth with the tides. If this here tide moves forward, we move back and if this here tide moves back, we move forward. It is a dance that IT wouldn't know nothing about and can't be expected to do such things like monitoring. You'd be damn lucky we even have version control.</sarcasm>, except I don't think management were kidding.

    Sorry, This is a company that didn't even have bug tracking. That basically scored a 1 on the Joel scale. A company that didn't have any formal documentation for outages (WTF is that? We, this here is management! and then proceeds to kick IT in the private area into the giant hole.) Not to mention a "Project Manager" who did neither project specification, nor project requirement gathering. As for a manager? I guess he was that. As for a programmer, for a guy with supposedly 20 years experience, he was quite terrible at the code, "So what is the fastest and easiest way to implement something again?". So you think, "Yeah, that works." While screaming, "But, but maintainability, or That isn't OOP, I mean you are using classes, but what about SOLID or really the second O in OOP." Or, "Yeah, lets make everything dependent on this framework by directly extending its base objects and implement all of the logic in the controller. Including copying and pasting or using an base controller that every controller extends."

    Project Manager, "When you have 20 years of experience, you will program like I do." and I feel like Luke felt when Vader told him he was his father. If I ever threw code together without any regard for separation of concerns, maintainability, etc. Please, just end me. I am done. I need to change careers, because obviously, I stopped being a programmer and obviously other programmers hate me.

    I can imagine, from your screaming, that you wouldn't probably last a month before you were rushing to update your resume and jumping from the sinking ship.

    @Cassidy said:

    Was my understanding - if something is so mission-critical it can't be down for 10 mins, then

    That is the rub isn't it? If it was mission critical and the site was down (server not responding or HTTP 500), I would have spent however long it would have taken to fix the problem. It wasn't. It was a simple CSS not loading, which a refresh fixes. In fact, I'm sure most of the page looked as it should, it was just the navigation that was messed up.

    @Cassidy said:

    (a) there will be some automated alerting (and possibly recovery) process in place to maintain desired availability levels, and (b) there should be tight change/testing/deployment procedures to reduce the possibility of a self-inflicted outage.

    Sigh, I was told in confidence, that if I was less arrogant, it would have been possible to implement these things. It appears that if you want to convince people to implement "best practices" from 20 years ago, that you have to massage it into the manager while feeding the higher ups grapes and oiling their bodies. I guess while another slave waves a fan or something.

    The only alerting was, "Hey, I can't access the site," in a calm, and slightly panic voice. You had to first check whether the Internet was down before determining whether the site was down.

    @Cassidy said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    HR, "So did you see this coming?"

    "did I see what coming?

    • The fact we experience crises like these because we don't have a testbed to trial out changes but instead deploy directly to production?
    • Or that we have no rollback process so that any release that breaks things can't be quickly undone?
    • Or that the company seeks to blame the person who fixed the break but completely overlooks the person who made the break?
    • Or that until lessons are learned from this debacle and organisational changes are made, this crisis will continue to recur - and I won't be here to (a) fix it, or (b) be blamed for it.
    • your mum, over a [ hill | table ]"

    Sigh. The sad thing is that they told me that part of the reason they were terminating me was that I didn't care about the other co-workers and that my actions proved that. As a programmer, I see myself more of an knight fighting the evil dragons (why are they evil tho), to protect the village. It is egotistical. It wasn't that I didn't care, it was that I couldn't do more and the demands of management were too great. I don't know how professional programmers or humans do it, but when management just keeps you down. How do you keep getting back up and smiling? It was just so, depressing.

    Not only those questions, but these:

    • Why don't we have a fail-over for when one of the servers are down?
    • Why are we hosting half of our sites on a server meant for one site?
    • Why are we using an old server with possible security holes and old, old versions of the applications we use? So much so that we have to use a third-party to get updates?
    • Why are we using a third-party to get updates?
    • Why don't we have functional tests using Selenium Server?
    • Why don't we have unit tests?
    • Why are you asking for more stability and procedures for making changes, but deny any improvements that would actually implement stability?
    • Why do you complain that things take so long, when you don't give any details, there aren't any specification documents (at least available at programmer level), and you constantly change details (one thing at a time) during development.

    Oh, as for the 24/7 comment. Yeah, they said something around the lines, "We allow you to work 40 hours. If we wanted to, we would have you working 70 hours that the managers work." I stared, I hope not in complete horror. You mean you force the management team to work 70 hours making decisions with reduced cognitive ability? Those people must be supermen and superwomen. I also didn't have the heart to say, "Given that programming is a cognitive professional and that my brain is constantly working on a problem already for 24/7, I need a raise. Also studies have shown that working extended hours in a day taxes the brain. I may be able to work 10 or 15 hours on many simple problems, but give me many difficult problems or problems I've never seen before and I would only be able to put in 6 to 7 hours before my mental capacity is hit."



  • @joe.edwards said:

    I've always thought the sound effect was meant to be a judge's gavel strike.

    The distinctive "thunk-thunk" sound effect used in between scenes was
    created by combining close to a dozen sounds, including that of a group
    of monks stamping on a floor. The sound is intended to be reminiscent of
    both a jurist's gavel, and a jail cell door slamming.

     [url="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098844/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv"]From IMDb[/url]

     



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    Thanks! I was thinking I was the TRWTF

    We've established that you are a WTF, but not the only WTF.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    I picture you screaming in your head, "But no one expects the outage inquisition!

    Hopefully accompanied by visuals of rotating frenzy and splattering white fluid, Ash-like. It tends to put things into context.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    except I don't think management were kidding.

    Yeah, we're a small company so we don't need all that unnecessary bureaucratic bullshit slowing us down, we're agile and nimble and can HolyShitSomethingFuckedUpHOWDIDTHATHAPPENFUCKFUCKFUCK

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    Project Manager, "When you have 20 years of experience, you will program like I do."

    20 years' experience of programming or project management? Length of service isn't some measure of skill or expertise, simply a duration of time. Doing the same job for 20 years could simply mean you've never improved and are stuck in a rut, not that you've become particularly good at it.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    I can imagine, from your screaming, that you wouldn't probably last a month before you were rushing to update your resume and jumping from the sinking ship.

    And I can imagine I'd get indications from the interview process (or at least the website - if it worked) that I'd stay a good FuckHellNo length away.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    If it was mission critical and the site was down (server not responding or HTTP 500), I would have spent however long it would have taken to fix the problem. It wasn't.

    You know that.. but there's no indication that was actually explained to "Bill", no mention that he'd been reassured it'd been fixed, nor of Bill testing to confirm things were okay. I'm sure you didn't just argue with him that the site wasn't down, then apply your fix without letting him know things were okay.. but it's difficult to tell from your text.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    I was told in confidence, that if I was less arrogant, it would have been possible to implement these things.

    Odd. I've never known implementation decisions to be based upon the arrogance levels. If you mean that had you communicated those ideas in a better manner then your justification would have been more easily accepted, but the way in which you formed your business case came off as someone whiny just highlighting problems then I can see the Ad Hominem way in which your ideas would have been dismissed due to who proposed them, not to what was being proposed.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    you have to massage it into the manager while feeding the higher ups grapes and oiling their bodies. I guess while another slave waves a fan or something.

    It's a valid approach and has worked well in the past - apart from that time some cretin used lavender oil and I stank like a pissy pensioner for weeks. she's been busted down to fan-waving until she learns her lesson.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    As a programmer, I see myself more of an knight fighting the evil dragons (why are they evil tho), to protect the village. It is egotistical

    Question is: do you see yourself as the only knight? Do other knights see you as a loose cannon, someone likely to deviate away from planned action and endanger others?

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    Not only those questions, but these:

    Them. Again, perhaps the way in which you communicated this stuff was perceived as highlighting problems rather than proposing solutions. You have very valid points there.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    we would have you working 70 hours that the managers work.

    If managers are working 70 hours a week, then your workforce is too small or your problems too great.



  • @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    Thanks! I was thinking I was the TRWTF, well, I'm still the TRWTF. It is nice to know that someone understands that part of the TRWTF was the company!

    A tiny part.

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    It wasn't. It was a simple CSS not loading, which a refresh fixes.

    Then why did you say you had to stay late to fix it? Now you're on "there was nothign wrong" but I'm guessing in another 3 seconds you'll flip-flop back to "I had to make a fix". Christ man. Christ!

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    As a programmer, I see myself more of an knight fighting the evil dragons (why are they evil tho), to protect the village. It is egotistical.

    So the HR guy was 100% correct? You arrogant fuck?

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:

    It wasn't that I didn't care, it was that I couldn't do more and the demands of management were too great. I don't know how professional programmers or humans do it, but when management just keeps you down. How do you keep getting back up and smiling?

    Well the first thing you do is schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with your manager to talk over the issue. At the very least, make him aware of how you feel. Because he probably had no idea: he just saw you acting like a jackass.

    You may or may not have job-skill problems. It sounds like you're in an ok position if you know the Joel Test and have at least a conception of the stuff on your bulleted list. But oh man do you have "being a civilized human being working with other human beings" problems, and you got to fix those post-haste before you end up an angry fat guy driving a bus for the rest of your life.

    Yes, some people can get away with it. Linus Torvalds, Steve Jobs, that disgusting slob that squats at MIT, eats toe-jam, and blathers on about free software. They can do this because they built their reputation *first* which, even in the cast of the disgusting slob, involved successfully working in (or leading) teams with other people.

    Also your sense of humor sucks. Star Wars? Monty Python? I mean, fuck, yeah I did the "nobody expects the X" joke once on this board, but at least it was actually fucking funny.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    Project Manager, "When you have 20 years of experience, you will program like I do."

    20 years' experience of programming or project management? Length of service isn't some measure of skill or expertise, simply a duration of time. Doing the same job for 20 years could simply mean you've never improved and are stuck in a rut, not that you've become particularly good at it.

    20 years of programming experience. Six months prior to working for the company, he put together a "MVC" project refactored from a TDWTF worthy submission, if nonprofessional projects could be submitted. He seemed to know a lot and I kept going from, "So he knows this is a terrible idea and does so anyway for expediency," to "Why am I working here again?" when I looked at his code.

    @Cassidy said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    If it was mission critical and the site was down (server not responding or HTTP 500), I would have spent however long it would have taken to fix the problem. It wasn't.

    You know that.. but there's no indication that was actually explained to "Bill", no mention that he'd been reassured it'd been fixed, nor of Bill testing to confirm things were okay. I'm sure you didn't just argue with him that the site wasn't down, then apply your fix without letting him know things were okay.. but it's difficult to tell from your text.

    I'm not sure I did actually. I remember refreshing and showing him everything was okay, but he went on like things were still broken. I might have said, "Works for me!" as I was walking out the door.

    @Cassidy said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    I was told in confidence, that if I was less arrogant, it would have been possible to implement these things.

    Odd. I've never known implementation decisions to be based upon the arrogance levels. If you mean that had you communicated those ideas in a better manner then your justification would have been more easily accepted, but the way in which you formed your business case came off as someone whiny just highlighting problems then I can see the Ad Hominem way in which your ideas would have been dismissed due to who proposed them, not to what was being proposed.

    My illusion with professional environments would be where best practices would already have been implemented. That illusion shattered, I then had the illusion that you could eventually talk a good idea into practice. I think it probably did come off as whiny, but probably arrogant in that I wanted my solution implemented. This wasn't the case, but miscommunication and lack of communication was common, so it was probably precieved that way. That and I think the main issue was that I wasn't backed by my immediate boss. What I've discovered is that project management is a battle that everyone has to be all hands on deck for. Unfortunately too many generals were defeated too quickly. Also unfortunately the tools used were broken or used incorrectly.

    @Cassidy said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    As a programmer, I see myself more of an knight fighting the evil dragons (why are they evil tho), to protect the village. It is egotistical

    Question is: do you see yourself as the only knight? Do other knights see you as a loose cannon, someone likely to deviate away from planned action and endanger others?

    I never deviated from a planned action. As a follower, I follow. There were no leaders. If there was a plan and I sure there was, then I was not told what it was and only told small bits when I strayed too far or went awol. It is eternally frustrating and one of the reasons I always ask what development cycle is used when I interview. I also ask about communication and how long until mistakes are explained and corrected. What I've discovered however, is that asking questions is better. When I discover the path is too steep and unsafe and travel will take longer, I fall back and ask if I should continue or take the fork or create a fork that appears safer, even if it is less traveled or not at all traveled.

    If you desire, what characteristics of a "loose cannon" would you so describe? I fear going astray. It does keep me awake at night.

    @Cassidy said:

    Them. Again, perhaps the way in which you communicated this stuff was perceived as highlighting problems rather than proposing solutions. You have very valid points there.

    As previously proven, I do have a communication problem. Imagine that I described these to you and you did not have any technological experience and your stress was spending less and getting more. Likewise, I don't believe I stressed the bit where it would actually help the company. The only way I was able to get version control implemented was one day I said, "Hey, how about we use version control, this FTP stuff tends to overwrite files that multiple people are working on." and the PM was like, "Yes, lets do that."

    Likewise with my speech impediment, it was easier to write out my proposals, but given that they were often long, rambling with a touch of the crazy, they weren't always read.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    It wasn't. It was a simple CSS not loading, which a refresh fixes.

    Then why did you say you had to stay late to fix it? Now you're on "there was nothign wrong" but I'm guessing in another 3 seconds you'll flip-flop back to "I had to make a fix". Christ man. Christ!

    I'm not sure what you are getting on about. I still don't think it was a significant problem. If I cared and paid more attention, I would have noticed Bill freaking out and losing his shit. I didn't pick up on it because I didn't care until I was leaving and Bill caught up to me, finally explained why it was a big deal. After that point I sat down and hacked in a solution, so I could leave as soon as possible. I did end up forgetting that there were two headers and only edited one. I had to correct the other header after I got another email or phone call around 7pm.

    The real WTF for me was that by all appearances, I was given a final written notice having never received a warning or written notice prior. This told me two things: 1) they would have fired me on the spot, but someone decided to "give me" a "second chance" and 2) they would fire me over anything. I could sneeze wrong and be out the door. Well, probably just my imagination and paranoia, since it couldn't be the case, but I do suspect it might had something to do with Bill being the owners' son and basically telling him, "No." However, the evidence suggests that management didn't know a forward button from a back button and that my arrogance and their lack of technical aptitude did me in hard.

    I think they knew I was looking for another job, that the "appointment" was not a doctor's appointment; given that I would have explained it to them and did not. Also I may have sent a slightly insane email to the owners' and I suspect that had I come in, I would have been shown the door. Okay, the email was Guano insane. I regret sending it in hindsight. Well, actually I regret being crazy, but I'm not sure how to prevent that. Well, besides by not saying or writing anything. In fact, it was probably a really, really excellent thing that my edit expired. It probably would have shown you exactly how crazy I really am.

     

    What was the Star Wars joke? I don't remember making one.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    I've always thought the sound effect was meant to be a judge's gavel strike.
    well it did run for like 21 years or something, maybe the first season it was a gavel strike, but became "DUNN DUNN" by the time it splineterd into so many spinoffs



  • @Cassidy said:

    Was my understanding - if something is so mission-critical it can't be down for 10 mins, then (a) there will be some automated alerting (and possibly recovery) process in place to maintain desired availability levels, and (b) there should be tight change/testing/deployment procedures to reduce the possibility of a self-inflicted outage
    A common rule in this regard is "ABSOLUTELY NO Critical updates after 12:00 PM Wednesday"



  • @esoterik said:

    @Cassidy said:
    Was my understanding - if something is so mission-critical it can't be down for 10 mins, then (a) there will be some automated alerting (and possibly recovery) process in place to maintain desired availability levels, and (b) there should be tight change/testing/deployment procedures to reduce the possibility of a self-inflicted outage
    A common rule in this regard is "ABSOLUTELY NO Critical updates after 12:00 PM Wednesday"

    Does your workweek end halfway through Thursday? Excluding more than half a week per week isn't very productive...



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @HoldYourHeadUpHigh said:
    As a programmer, I see myself more of an knight fighting the evil dragons (why are they evil tho), to protect the village. It is egotistical.

    So the HR guy was 100% correct? You arrogant fuck?

     

    No man, it's a romantic idea. It's completely misguided to really think that way, but otherwise ok.



  •  @dhromed said:

    ACTUALLY,

    All sound is in colour, since your ear has sensors for a great many frequencies, just like the eye has for three EM frequencies.

    You couldn't even hear a color-TV signal, gramps.

     Edit: Oh snap. Read thread next time.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @esoterik said:
    @Cassidy said:
    Was my understanding - if something is so mission-critical it can't be down for 10 mins, then (a) there will be some automated alerting (and possibly recovery) process in place to maintain desired availability levels, and (b) there should be tight change/testing/deployment procedures to reduce the possibility of a self-inflicted outage
    A common rule in this regard is "ABSOLUTELY NO Critical updates after 12:00 PM Wednesday"

    Does your workweek end halfway through Thursday? Excluding more than half a week per week isn't very productive...
     

    You spend the second half of the workweek frantically fixing all the crap that was chucked over QA and directly onto Dev during the first half.

    A rule like this is to ensure that no one drops a critical failure on the live site at 4:55pm Friday, forcing either everyone to stay late and fuck up their weekend, or to leave a broken site up all weekend long.

     



  • First of all, the issue was that you didn't stay an extra few minutes.  I'm 100% against overtime and I have better things to do than fix something, but a site that has no CSS is just a step above a site that's down entirely.  If I was your boss I wouldn't have necessarily written you up, but I would have flat out been like "Come on, in the future just fix something like that before you leave for the day."

     With the knight analogy, sometimes you get asked to slay a dragon (big issues). Sometimes, you get asked to route some Kobolds (minor issue).  It's not beneath you to do it.

    Second, if you said you were taking the day off, its none of the company's business where you went or what you did; all that matters to them is that you said you would not be in the office that day.  You could be at the beach with half a dozen college coeds in bikinis feeding you grapes, or sick in bed, it doesn't matter.  Now if you just didn't show up that's just stupid, but I have yet to ever see a company that will tell you "No, get your ass in here" when you send an email or call the boss one morning and say "Hey sorry boss I'm feeling sick and won't be in today". 



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    You spend the second half of the workweek frantically fixing all the crap that was chucked over QA and directly onto Dev during the first half.

    A rule like this is to ensure that no one drops a critical failure on the live site at 4:55pm Friday, forcing either everyone to stay late and fuck up their weekend, or to leave a broken site up all weekend long.

    So, you deploy something Wednesday, and it has a critical failure. You figure out the fix on Thursday, and then wait for Monday to deploy the fix? I feel like I'm not getting something here, unless you guys have some way of knowing about which currently unknown new failures will be found in the future. Or are you guys purposely sabotaging your software?

    Maybe you guys meant to say, nothing noncritical (i.e., fixes a critical failure) gets deployed after Wednesday?



  • @boomzilla said:

    So, you deploy something Wednesday, and it has a critical failure. You figure out the fix on Thursday, and then wait for Monday to deploy the fix?

    Ser-seriously?

    @boomzilla said:

    Maybe you guys meant to say, nothing noncritical (i.e., fixes a critical failure) gets deployed after Wednesday?

    I think I can safely say what we all collectively meant to say is, "you know what we fucking meant you fucking pedantic dickweed, go suck on a primed frag grenade and end everybody's misery."

    Goddamned Boomzilla, you are the *worst*.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @boomzilla said:
    So, you deploy something Wednesday, and it has a critical failure. You figure out the fix on Thursday, and then wait for Monday to deploy the fix?

    Ser-seriously?

    @boomzilla said:

    Maybe you guys meant to say, nothing noncritical (i.e., fixes a critical failure) gets deployed after Wednesday?

    I think I can safely say what we all collectively meant to say is, "you know what we fucking meant you fucking pedantic dickweed, go suck on a primed frag grenade and end everybody's misery."

    Goddamned Boomzilla, you are the *worst*.

    The first rule with engaging in pedantic arguments is that you don't engage in pedantic arguments.

    The second rule with engaging in pedantic arguments is knowing when you have had your limit and are done with the conversation.

    The third rule with engaging with pedantic arguments is the rule of trolls. If you engage, then they win. Doesn't matter if you are "right", they still win. The primary instrument of a pedant is not to use facts and evidence, but to point out mistakes either real or imaginary. Oh, but never ask for facts and evidence. The best pedants are actually quite intelligent. Or at least have greater intelligence than myself.

    The fourth rule of trolls is that the best ones are so subtle as to be indivisible. Pedantic arguments appear to fall into this category, since they appear to be rational arguments over a topic, but in fact are usually the pedant just punching you in the face with their brain or fists. Whichever one is more blunt.

    The 16th rule of dealing with pedants is never insult them. You look like the real asshole. I'm not sure why that is, but it is as if some guy sucker punched you and no one sees that. All they see is the aftermath where you are screaming and frantically waving your fists and arms threateningly and the other guy who threw the punch is all calm. I think the true trolls, this is the holy grail of trolling.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I think I can safely say what we all collectively meant to say is, "you know what we fucking meant you fucking pedantic dickweed, go suck on a primed frag grenade and end everybody's misery."

    Goddamned Boomzilla, you are the *worst*.

    Right. Next time I'll turn off my reading comprehension and follow your example by listening to my shoulder aliens. I apologize to everyone for reading what you posted. I'm going to install go and resume posting with BenL's markov generator.



  • @boomzilla said:

    So, you deploy something Wednesday, and it has a critical failure. You figure out the fix on Thursday, and then wait for Monday to deploy the fix? I feel like I'm not getting something here, unless you guys have some way of knowing about which currently unknown new failures will be found in the future. Or are you guys purposely sabotaging your software?

    Maybe you guys meant to say, nothing noncritical (i.e., fixes a critical failure) gets deployed after Wednesday?

     

    Since Blakey already hit you with "seriously", I'll answer. With profanity.

    Don't deploy new shit to the server after Wednesday, fucktard. I ain't staying late on Friday, and I certain as fuck is fuck ain't coming in Saturday to mop up your broken-ass shit. If you put something out that breaks before Wednesday, you've got the rest of the week to get your assholes in a row.

    Perhaps this handy flowchart will help:

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/sygy6t2.png[/IMG]

     



  • Wow nice graphic.


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