Oh for farks sake



  • Well, this job gets better and better every day. I'm an Engineer, and I write embedded C code for DSPs. One of the key pieces of equipment that I must have is an emulator. For those that don't know, the emulator is a programmable device (a physical box) that pretends to be an embedded processor. I can switch out the programming almost instantly, and do debugging with it. It's much easier than burning a chip each time and testing the code. It's almost, but not quite, as important to my job as the monitor.

    Previously, I made a post about how I have little to do. When I complained, I got to read 3000+ pages of patent documents. On Monday, the head of the department finally said, "Okay, stop working on the patent stuff." (Finally!)

    So, the project manager, apparently under the impression that I'm a junior co-op student, said, "write this function: void DoSomething( char *data, int type, int target )" It's a quick assignment, and at least it's something productive to do. Lest you think that I have a problem with a specific assignment, it's not a problem to write code which interfaces with someone else's code. The problem is that I already wrote it for a slightly different purpose.

    In the meantime, someone has borrowed/commandeered my emulator. It should be a simple matter of getting it back, right? Well, it was borrowed by a group working on a new board that just came in, and they want it until "the end of the month". I had the following email conversation with the project manager. (Anonymized)

    (Note that Outlook top-posts, so you may want to read from the bottom.)
     

    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: G
    To: [themagni]
    Subject: RE:
    Test equipment</font>

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Yes. Thank you.</font>

     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Regards,</font>
    <font face="Arial" size="2">G</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">G</font>


     
     


    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: [themagni]
    Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 8:58 AM
    To: G
    Subject: Resend: Test equipment
    </font>
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">G:</font>
     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">I guess you didn't get my first email. I'm still waiting for a response.</font>
     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Could you please clarify  your earlier suggestion ? It sounds like you're seriously suggesting I email you my rough first draft of the code. </font>
     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">I haven't been able to run this at all; it is not in any condition to be run by anybody else. I haven't had an emulator for a few weeks.</font>
     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Thanks.</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">[themagni]</font>
     


    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: G
    Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 3:54 PM
    To: [themagni]
    Subject: RE: Test equipment
    </font>
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">R [a person] and the emulator will be borrowed for [new board] testing until the end of this month.  What we can do is that email your code and I will arrange time for integrating and testing depending on the priority of the tasks.</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Regards,</font>
    G

    G

     

    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: [themagni]
    Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 3:48 PM
    To: G
    Subject: Test equipment
    </font>
    <font face="Arial" size="2">G:</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Do you know when I'll get my rack and emulator back? It's rather tricky to test code without anything to run it on.</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Thanks.</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">[themagni]</font>



     



  • [quote user="themagni"]

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Yes. Thank you.</font>

    [/quote]

    OK.... You're welcome :S

    What kind of an answer was that? G is a perfect candidate for level one support in a large corporation... Don't read the question, just skim over it and reply with something fruity that mentions the product in question.



  • He's saying, "Yes, I'm seriously suggesting you email me your rough code"

    As though anything any one of us has ever written is worth emailing out after the first draft.
     



  • Awesome.  You should have titled this thread, "E-mail us the code".

    And I can't think of a single thing you can do about it, other than find employment elsewhere.

    "Tricky to test code without anything to run it on" ... heh heh.  Very diplomatic.  Maybe they expected you to do it like these guys.



  • It compiles, ship it!

    Might be a good way to clue in the boss.  Or a good way to get fired.

    If you do this, let me know what product it is, so I can avoid using it.



  • [quote user="VGR"]

    And I can't think of a single thing you can do about it, other than find employment elsewhere.

    [/quote]

     Is the emulator even in the same building?  Just head over in the evening and use it then is one suggestion.  They can't possibly be using it continually.  Or ask them when you can use it for an hour. If they can spare the time to download your code and report the results, they can spare the time to have you use the machine for awhile.

    This is seriously something your boss needs to work out. You can't have one project borrow equipment from another without asking, and any decent manager should be concerned when employees can't get work done because stuff wanders off.  If several projects or departments are all sharing the same piece of equipment, maybe more should be purchased.

    We occasionally have similar issues in getting access to prototype boards and parts, which is understandable.  But we always manage to share lab time.

     



  • [quote user="darin"]

     Is the emulator even in the same building?  Just head over in the evening and use it then is one suggestion.

    [/quote]

    Or if it's meant to be "owned" by you/your department, go and steal it back (assuming your boss didn't actually authorise them to take it).



  • Since you seem to be fairly new to embedded development, let me introduce you to the proper protocol here.  You will never get your emulator back by asking for it.  Complaining to your boss won't help either.

    Tonight, after everyone leaves, you're going over to the desks of the dudes that jacked your stuff.  You are going to take their board power supplies.  All of them, every single one.  You're going to take all of the probes from their logic analyzers.  You're going to take other vital stuff you can find (interface cables, flash programmers, eprom erasers, ...).  You will also take your emulator back.  Place all of these items, excluding your emulator, in a cardboard box.  Label the box "Molex connectors - broken", and place it on a high shelf in a back room.  Your emulator, you will leave on your desk in plain view.  If anyone asks you regarding the emulator, thank them for getting it back to you.  If someone asks you about the other missing stuff, deny any knowledge.

    It's kind of like prison.  You have to beat up someone on your first day, or you will be someone's bitch.  If someone ever takes your emulator again (ie, they have not learned a valuable lesson), you are now cleared to start desoldering resistors from their board after they go home.  That will make their debugging a bit more of a challenge.



  • You're like the Bastard Programmer From Hell

    LOL



  • Dude, you are awsome. Can i come work for you?



  • You can have your own fun and send them a copy of Paulas wtf famous code, using your own name or maybe G's.  See what they make of that one :¬)



  • [quote user="themagni"]

    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: themagnialias
    To: [G]
    Subject: RE: Test equipment</font>

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Thank you too. Honestly, I never expected you to approve the request for my salary to be tripled. I was also excited about your offer regarding my double-promotion to be your boss. In fact, I've just forwarded this entire conversation to HR and they've already initiated proceedings to make me comfortable in my new position. I look forward to making your life miserable.
    </font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Your lovingly,</font>
    <font face="Arial" size="2">themagnialias
    </font>


    <font face="Tahoma" size="2">From: G
    To: [themagni]
    Subject: RE: Test equipment</font>

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">Yes. Thank you.</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Regards,</font>
    <font face="Arial" size="2">G</font>
     
    <font face="Arial" size="2">G</font>


    [/quote]


  • [quote user="joe_bruin"]

    Since you seem to be fairly new to embedded development, let me introduce you to the proper protocol here.  You will never get your emulator back by asking for it.  Complaining to your boss won't help either.

    [/quote]

    This much is true.

    Tonight, after everyone leaves, you're going over to the desks of the dudes that jacked your stuff.  You are going to...

    ...start a war.

    Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Imagine I am in the other department. As soon as I see the emulator on your desk, I will know it was you, I will just not be able to prove anything. But you've just borked up an entire team's day. I will tell my team all about it. You are now the enemy. My team will make your job an absolute hell. Trust me: embedded developers and testers are viciously creative, and frequently somewhat less than considerate of whether a prank might land you in the hospital.

    We don't want you to land in the hospital, we just might forget that human beings aren't as predictable as machines. So maybe you get a phone call while you're booting up, and now there's been a little too much hydrogen produced by the time you turn on the monitor... you get the idea. Do not meddle with DSP nerds, for we are not even remotely subtle and like to blow shit up.

    You could still pull this out by "finding" the stuff within an hour or two of the team discovering the problem. Ask if there are any broken molex connectors around because you need about a dozen of them. Then act surprised and give their stuff back, saying "after being without an emulator all that time, I know what it's like". That's just joke territory. Take my stuff for an hour or two, okay, point taken. I may actually admire you for having the stones to do it. But once I have to escalate it to management, you've embarrassed me in front of my superiors, and you'll suffer for it.

    It's kind of like prison.  You have to beat up someone on your first day, or you will be someone's bitch. 

    You don't seem to get the purpose of that. You have to beat someone that everyone else fears. That's not the case here. Everyone's essentially equal. You have to be fraternal and prankish. It's a schoolyard thing. You score a much bigger win by being part of the gang. You have to be a dick, then fix it, then share a laugh about it. The important part is to get in there and fix it while it's still funny.



  • I got my emulator back.

    I went around and found it, then I grabbed the labelmaker and put my name on it.

    Over lunch, the other team borrowed it to run a quick test. When I came back, it was sitting on my desk.

    Problem solved - my idiotic project manager didn't bother to ask about it after I explicitly asked him. I didn't go out looking for it, assuming that ... well, I assumed, and that's the end of the story.
     


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