Industries to avoid



  • So which industries as a developer/IT pro should we avoid like the plague?  In my experience I'm adding both any kind of law and medical/healthcare to my list; these places almost always seem to be full of WTFery and hacks upon hacks because of the outright crazy amount of legal things they need to be able to address and stop on a dime if some new wacky requirement comes.  I work for a law firm now and the sheer number of crazy half-ass workflows (most in SQL, with tons of stored procs that read or pass data around to other tables that get read by jobs and other stored procs) is insane, with tons of custom logic because Judge A wants text worded one way, while Judge B wants it another way (I was told once there was a requirement from a judge who wanted every document mailed to his office to be printed on salmon-colored paper; if it wasn't, he wouldn't even read it).  It makes actually standardizing anything impossible.

    What other industries should one avoid?  I hear banking/finance is pretty shitty too due to huge amounts of restrictions and hacks to just get some obscure requirement done. On the flip side, what industries actually would allow a good developer and good teams to do things right?



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    (I was told once there was a requirement from a judge who wanted every document mailed to his office to be printed on salmon-colored paper; if it wasn't, he wouldn't even read it).
     

    The problem isn't industries, the solution isn't avoidance. The problem is people catering to lunatics like that because "client is king" and such bollocks.

    No, fucking judge, you can't have your goddamn salmon paper, you crazy nutjob.



  • Unfortunately, judges have almost absolute autonomy when it comes to their court.  They can demand anything they want and get it, because they're the judge.



  •  Marketing.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    and medical/healthcare 

    I concur with that part.  Without giving away proprietary details, I'll say that I worked in the medical device industry for several years, which due to liability and FDA approval concerns has a weird combination of profit-driven get-it-done-now mentality and bordering-on-OCD preoccupation with ridiculous details.  Now I'm in a position where I work with some different electronic medical records, with varying degrees of frustration but with abundant WTFs in all.

     



  •  Charities, especially larger ones/older ones. I worked in a large UK charity and the amount of time and money wasted because of IT practices that belonged in the 70s was horrifying. It is totally soul destroying to see people's generosity squandered. Apart from that, the amount of political bollox (namely because they are worried about anything tarnishing the image, even though money is being squandered left right and center) and empire building is sickening.

    I recommend working in any cut-throat industry, because the people that are worthless are quickly shown the door.



  • @lucas said:

    Charities
    Real charities (e.g. RSPA[strangely enough], Big Issue), or the fakecharities that get government subsidies (CRUK, ASH, OXFAM)?



  •  Real charities, the older they are the worse they are.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I hear banking/finance is pretty shitty too due to huge amounts of restrictions and hacks to just get some obscure requirement done.

    ...

     what industries actually would allow a good developer and good teams to do things right?

     

    I hate to break it to you, but (salmon paper aside perhaps) "good developers and good teams" do what their customers want.  That's what makes them good.  You can write your shit in MVC v 27, node.js, throw all the XML and jQuery, Hadoop or ORM d'jour you want at it, but at the end of the day, if your attitude is "wahhh! I don't want to do that" then pick another job and convert your programming into an open source hobby.

    It's overwhelmingly the culture of the organisation and the dev team within that defines the quality (or whatever you are railing against), not the industry and certainly not the requirements.

     



  •  I believe the complaint was more about the benefit brought about by such a requirement, rather than not wanting to please a customer. There is a big difference between being an internal development resource and an external development resource. If I worked in my current position as an external development resource, if I was asked to implement something that had very little business benefit, I probably wouldn't care ... it doesn't affect how I work or the business I work in. If I worked as an internal resource, I have every right to ask what the benefit is to the business that I work in.



  • @dhromed said:

    @ObiWayneKenobi said:
    (I was told once there was a requirement from a judge who wanted every document mailed to his office to be printed on salmon-colored paper; if it wasn't, he wouldn't even read it).
    No, fucking judge, you can't have your goddamn salmon paper, you crazy nutjob.
    The only thing that will accomplish is it will get you fired.  And the judge will keep firing people until he gets his salmon-colored paper. And since people need to make a living, eventually someone will get him his salmon-colored paper.@dhromed said:
    The problem is people catering to lunatics like that because "client is king" and such bollocks.
    Sure, you can tell the occassional client to fuck off if they are exceptionally nutty, but you can't run a business that way.  There's a very simple reason why businesses put up with so much bullshit from customers -- without clients/customers there is no business.

     



  • I'm pretty sure you can copy the judges ludicrous salmon-paper instructions to your nearest daily tabloid paper.



    Then, simply comply with the instructions while the media rips him a new one for being an obviously brain-damaged and vindictive fuckwad in a position of power.



    He'll either get removed or have to back the fuck down.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    So which industries as a developer/IT pro should we avoid like the plague?  In my experience I'm adding both any kind of law and medical/healthcare to my list; these places almost always seem to be full of WTFery and hacks upon hacks because of the outright crazy amount of legal things they need to be able to address and stop on a dime if some new wacky requirement comes.

     

    Healthcare isn't that bad (from my point of view) though yes, government requirements can be all over the spectrum from "it's about time" to "dude, wait, what?".  It's really a mixed bag.

     

    My favorite was some testing scenarios the government provided to illustrate how certain required statistics were to be calculated.   One of their test patients was admitted to the hospital, died, ... and then was readmitted a few days later for another hospital stay.  Now, maybe our competitors are better at serving the unique needs of the Undead-American population, but for some crazy reason our software believes you generally don't intend to admit a dead man.



  • @Cat said:

    ...but for some crazy reason our software believes you generally don't intend to admit a dead man.

    What kind of death? Brain death? Legal death? Information-theoretic death?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Heat death of the universe.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Information-theoretic death?
     

    Spontaneous existance failure.



  • @Cat said:

    My favorite was some testing scenarios the government provided to illustrate how certain required statistics were to be calculated.   One of their test patients was admitted to the hospital, died, ... and then was readmitted a few days later for another hospital stay.  Now, maybe our competitors are better at serving the unique needs of the Undead-American population, but for some crazy reason our software believes you generally don't intend to admit a dead man.

    It does sort of make sense to allow admissions of a dead person, especially if you want to harvest their organs. E.g. that guy that died at the scene in a car accident won't have been admitted in the first place.


    Something like that takes up an operating theatre slot and surgeons, nurses, equipment, etc - so that dead guy needs to be in the system to be able to record all the operation details.


    I worked in healthcare too for quite a few years, and I remember having to allow this situation in our theatre management product.


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