Why I Like My Current Job



  •  So a little while ago I got an e-mail from my University's CS newsletter and in it was a job listing that...well...made me die a little on the inside.

    Wanted: Computer science major with linear algebra skills for a maximum 6
    month project working part time for a startup business.



    Project: Build a robot prototype database system comprising patented
    solutions for managing health care practitioners, medical events and
    outcomes. Primary focus and context for development is to the provision
    of remote health care services within networks. This project has
    applications ranging from everyday aspects of managing health care to
    disaster planning, response and mitigation.



    Minimum Requirements:

    -Experience with building and managing a SQL database such as Microsoft Access or Oracle

    -Strong programming skills-preferably two of the following: Python, Perl, VBA, C, C++

    -Appreciation for issues of User Interface design

    -A fearless relationship with Excel, an indispensable tool for moving data around, and ad hoc manipulations

    -An appreciation of deadlines, and the habit of following through on commitments

    -Website savvy and be capable of integrating project work to same

    -Computer capable of supporting the development



    Compensation and Other: Compensation is consistent with University
    published ranges for skill and academic level. The work is part time
    with hours flexible to known and unknown academic demands in relation to
    contracted upon developmental timelines and modular objectives to
    realize the project.

     So, how many issues can you point out? I found seven.



  • Outcomes for mitigation and disaster for care applications care health system networks managing planning primary medical events aspects services from of practitioners prototype and database the project health is build to health focus to ranging everyday development patented this context managing and remote response of robot provision within solutions a care has comprising.



  • @HuskerFan90 said:

    A fearless relationship with Excel, an indispensable tool for moving data around



  • @Ronald said:

    @HuskerFan90 said:

    A fearless relationship with Excel, an indispensable tool for moving data around

    If it involves Excel in some way, no, not really.



  • @HuskerFan90 said:

    @Ronald said:
    @HuskerFan90 said:

    A fearless relationship with Excel, an indispensable tool for moving data around

    If it involves Excel in some way, no, not really.

    Don't worry. Excel will reveal itself to you when you are ready. Right now it would blow your mind, that's why it's giving you the cold shoulder.

    @The Book said:

    In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no Excel.”
    -Psalm 10:4


  • @HuskerFan90 said:

     So, how many issues can you point out? I found seven.

    I only got up to six, but I'm in a good mood.

    Honestly though? This is a great project for a student. Flexible hours, part-time (so you can do it next to your study), possibly relevant experience for future work, and just maybe a fair wage rate.

    Now they seem pretty clue-less, so the way I see it, it can go two ways: either you are trusted with choosing technical implementation details (or have a large influence in said), or they are the stubborn-do-it-my-crappy-way-or-leave-types who do not listen to their developers. In the first case, you should have little trouble getting rid of the excel junk and using a real database in lieu of Access, possibly in a more suitable programming language than VBA, and by the end of the project you will be a valued developer with contacts in the health-care industry (not to be sneezed at, where I'm from). In the latter case, well, at least you can get a free coffee out of the interview process.



  • @FragFrog said:

    you should have little trouble getting rid of the excel junk and using a real database in lieu of Access, possibly in a more suitable programming language than VBA

    You have exactly zero information about the project, yet you already make technical recommendations. You must be one of those people who salt their food before tasting it.

    What if they have to exchange Excel documents with other organizations, or if they have an expensive proprietary application that works with an Access database and all you can use to extend it is VBA? I'm sure you would suggest doing things "properly", such as running a Ruby on Rails webapp connected to a CouchBase data store and exporting stuff in Excel using a Lua script, or something similar which would indicate that your personal ideology in IT trumps the business requirements.

    Making technical decisions without knowing the business requirements is the hallmark of incompetence and hubris.



  • @Ronald said:

    What if they have to exchange Excel documents with other organizations, or if they have an expensive proprietary application that works with an Access database and all you can use to extend it is VBA? I'm sure you would suggest doing things "properly", such as running a Ruby on Rails webapp connected to a CouchBase data store and exporting stuff in Excel using a Lua script, or something similar which would indicate that your personal ideology in IT trumps the business requirements.

    I would hardly call RoR with CouchBase the proper way for a medical application to be honest. And that's just it: there are reliable, well-tested platforms out there that can ensure data consistency and availability. And last I checked, Excel-spreadsheets is not one of them.

    Now I appreciate that you have trouble with comprehensive reading, that much has been made clear by pretty much all of your posts on here, but there actually is much more than "zero" information available: you know they have a demand for proper data storage, as well as a way to extract information from that store, and interface with it through a (partially) web-based GUI. Furthermore, since the scope of the project spans at least six months, you know that this is not a simple static entity with a few forms attached to it. Even without extrapolating on that information (to the inevitable conclusion that they want a knowledge-base of sorts with restricted access) you can already predict that having a data-driven website run on an excel sheet is suboptimal in terms of speed, availability and reliability. At least, I can, but then again, I also know how to extract more than zero information from a bulleted list, so maybe things are harder for you.

    Now, fair enough, my original comment is based on the assumption that this is a more or less new or stand-alone project with little need to work with an existing solution. It is likely that a certain amount of excel forms and access databases already exist, produced by someone else. But then the question becomes, why do they need you? If they have the knowledge to build spreadsheets and access database, why would they need a C++ programmer? And the answer is almost certainly that they wish to expand on their current implementation exactly because it is no longer sufficient in fulfilling their business needs.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Sounds like they've got exactly one candidate in mind who already knows what really needs to be done, but have a legal requirement to advertise. Minor HR WTF; everyday stuff.



  • @FragFrog said:

    Now I appreciate that you have trouble with comprehensive reading, that much has been made clear by pretty much all of your posts on here

    I wish I could make a conclusion based on all your posts but the truth is that I don't remember any of them, except that one when you made stupid technical recommendations like "not using Excel" based on a job posting that includes "A fearless relationship with Excel, an indispensable tool for moving data around" in the list of requirements.

    As I already stated: incompetence and hubris.



  • @dkf said:

    Sounds like they've got exactly one candidate in mind who already knows what really needs to be done, but have a legal requirement to advertise. Minor HR WTF; everyday stuff.

    What about this job? I just saw that on a corkboard at the Employment Center:

    @Job Posting said:


    The ideal candidate:
    -must have joined TDWTF in the second quarter of 2008 and posted between 500 and 1000 messages at the time of hiring
    -must live in or come from the Manchester, UK area
    -must hide behind a username that has no more than 3 letters
    -is a registered sex offender

    We are an equal opportunity employer.

    I wonder if it's a targeted posting?



  •  Well, at least it doesn't mention MUMPS.



  • @FragFrog said:

    @HuskerFan90 said:

     So, how many issues can you point out? I found seven.

    I only got up to six, but I'm in a good mood.

    Honestly though? This is a great project for a student. Flexible hours, part-time (so you can do it next to your study), possibly relevant experience for future work, and just maybe a fair wage rate.

    Now they seem pretty clue-less, so the way I see it, it can go two ways: either you are trusted with choosing technical implementation details (or have a large influence in said), or they are the stubborn-do-it-my-crappy-way-or-leave-types who do not listen to their developers. In the first case, you should have little trouble getting rid of the excel junk and using a real database in lieu of Access, possibly in a more suitable programming language than VBA, and by the end of the project you will be a valued developer with contacts in the health-care industry (not to be sneezed at, where I'm from). In the latter case, well, at least you can get a free coffee out of the interview process.

    If they had said "Must have experience with Excel, Access, and VBA to integrate with other medical systems" I would've seen that the other medical systems were TRWTF. It was after classifying Acess as a SQL database that I understood that TRWTF lays with the company who posted the opening. I took a look at the company's website and I can tell you that it is a bare-bones Wordpress site with most of its information on the founder's page describing all the crap he has done. Doesn't talk about his education at all, just where he has worked.

     



  • @alegr said:

     Well, at least it doesn't mention MUMPS.

    Yeah, well, [url=http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Diseased.aspx]not all jobs reference MUMPS at first[/url] and [url=http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/How-Can-You-Expect-This!.aspx]it could be a bait-and-switch[/url].

     



  • @HuskerFan90 said:

    it could be a bait-and-switch
    "PHP? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only do ColdFusion here."

    I am shocked. SHOCKED!!!



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @HuskerFan90 said:

    it could be a bait-and-switch
    "PHP? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only do ColdFusion here."

    I am shocked. SHOCKED!!!

    About as shocked as when I wrote my first SQL query and it didn't work?

     



  • @dkf said:

    Sounds like they've got exactly one candidate in mind who already knows what really needs to be done, but have a legal requirement to advertise. Minor HR WTF; everyday stuff.

    They want somebody to create an Access frontend that uses a whole bunch
    of tables to store data from an Oracle database using VBA which is
    populated by a nightly script that pulls data in from a series of Excel spreadsheets on an unsecured Windows share. Oh yeah, I also forgot that the logic in the Access database doesn't have any logic to clean up the temp tables if an error occurs so one must manually do the cleanup.



  • @HuskerFan90 said:

    Doesn't talk about his education at all, just where he has worked.

     

    It's a well-known fact that no successful IT company was ever founded by a college drop-out [1] or that college drop-outs never make more money than people with a Phd [2]. Ergo, validating the education credentials of the founder of an IT company is a must.

    As we can see in this thread, college education frequently provides people with a smug attitude but unfortunately does not automatically provide them with good judgment or common sense.

    [1] except of course Microsoft, Facebook or Apple.

    [2] except of course if you consider the fact that the average net worth of billionaires who dropped out of college is 3x higher than that of billionaires with Ph.D.s



  • @Ronald said:

    @dkf said:
    Sounds like they've got exactly one candidate in mind who already knows what really needs to be done, but have a legal requirement to advertise. Minor HR WTF; everyday stuff.

    What about this job? I just saw that on a corkboard at the Employment Center:

    @Job Posting said:

    The ideal candidate:
    -must have joined TDWTF in the second quarter of 2008 and posted between 500 and 1000 messages at the time of hiring
    -must live in or come from the Manchester, UK area
    -must hide behind a username that has no more than 3 letters
    -is a registered sex offender

    We are an equal opportunity employer.

    I wonder if it's a targeted posting?

     

    Dang. If only I had used a 0 or a 3 in my name... The "registered sex offender" thing is also problematic, but I'm hoping I did something really stupid as a younger person and simply forgot about it, but it still remains on file somewhere.

     



  • The Excel stuff may not be as bad as it sounds like (hahaa, yeah, right). They don't seem to be asking actual integration with it, but require you to be pretty familiar with it. Personally, I have never done any Excel integration, but I use it pretty much weekly for data cleanup, matching for migrations, ad-hoc reports and such (the data source is generally LDAP). I could see that project requiring something similar during the implementation phase.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Outcomes for mitigation and disaster for care applications care health system networks managing planning primary medical events aspects services from of practitioners prototype and database the project health is build to health focus to ranging everyday development patented this context managing and remote response of robot provision within solutions a care has comprising.

    That actually made more sense than many of your other posts...



  • I've seen this whole drama unfold already. If you take the job, you will get paid. Mr. Entrepreneur will crash and burn and blame you. But if you've got a thick skin and the ability to hide contempt, this could be a rewarding opportunity.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I've seen this whole drama unfold already. If you take the job, you will get paid. Mr. Entrepreneur will crash and burn and blame you. But if you've got a thick skin and the ability to hide contempt, this could be a rewarding opportunity.

    That's what I thought at my last job. Too bad I was denied the transfer I asked for. Now I'm back in school and have an amazing internship. Sure, it pays less than my previous job, but you can't put a price on freedom (and free MSDN licenses).


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