Positive WTF

  • Has anyone ever started a new job or inherited a new system and been pleasantly suprised by how well it was done?

    To date I haven't, but I'd like to think that it can happen!

  • Maybe that time when...


    Or when...

    hm, no.


    oh wait.


    I'm sorry.

    Currently all systems and conventions I work with have undergone revisions and upgrades from a state of Suck.

    That in itself can be considered a positive WTF. Everything used to suck, but not anymore!

  • Nope. Never

    Every system I've ever seen the innards of  has been quite messy,
    thought not as bad as some of the things highlighted on this site.

  • I can say that I have.  Here at work I switch between working on the Payback system, which is one big WTF, and working on another system that is for the most part very well written.  Sure, it has a few little minor WTFs here and there, but since it's a rather large and somewhat complicated system, that's fairly understandable.  Also, most of those minor WTFs can attributed to the fact that the during the last few months the previous two developers worked on it they had discovered that management had somehow forgot to get funding for them for the next fiscal year.  For some reason management  thought it'd be a fantastic idea to get rid of the only two developers who knew anything about the system literally days after a huge update to the system launched.  If I were in their shoes, I'm sure I wouldn't care too much about de-WTF-ing my code either.

  • Yes, but definitely not the norm.  As a consultant, I once inherited a system (that I successfully passed off to the new permanent CIO) that was immaculately documented and the documentation was updated every single time a change was made in the environment.  Needless to say, the service level this company's employees experienced was very low because the IS staff did nothing but document miniscule changes to the systems.

    Normally, there exists no documentation that is up to date.  That is why I am so practiced at systems assimilation.[:P]

  • One or two open souce projects. That's about it.

  • @gondalez said:

    Has anyone ever started a new job or inherited a new system and been pleasantly suprised by how well it was done?

    To date I haven't, but I'd like to think that it can happen!

    Well, it must have happened to someone -- at the very least, to those who get to maintain the code I made when I leave a company.

    (sorry, couldn't resist hehehe 🙂


  • I've had pleasant experiences in a few vendor products where they gave
    us all the code. Back in CICS COBOL days we inherited an architecture
    from a vendor that was bought out because a mega-company wanted two
    guys. At first glance the whole structure was counter-intuitive and
    sounded nuts, but it really worked out beautifully. I took the concepts
    even further afield next time I got to do a system from scratch.

    I sometimes think the vendor framework I'm using now is over engineered
    or designed to make really nice sales brochures, but once in a while
    the flexbility pays off big.

    So, yeah, there are at least two better coders than me out there.

  • The current project I've inherited (about 100k SLOC, ~900
    classes) was built off of a vague high level design with no solid
    requirements.  The sr. architect, who also wrote a lot of the code, had 2
    years of java experience and 5 years total programming experience.  Parts
    of the system are so bizarre that he even admitted he doesn't understand how
    they work.  Other parts of the system were written by someone with more
    java experience and appear to be proof of concept (read: abuse) for the java
    reflection classes.  Simple task like an importer which decodes a certain
    data type are so obscure that even the sr. java developers in my office give it
    the WTF stamp of approval.  And my personal favorite, comments like "<st1:date year="2003" day="5" month="6">06/05/2003</st1:date> - added this line"
    really makes the system a joy to work on.


    The projects before this one have been of equal or greater craptasticness. 
    I've been impressed by the layout/thought/design of some of the internal tools
    we've developed for testing, automation, etc. but never by a project I've
    inherited from another company/office.

  • @gondalez said:

    Has anyone ever started a new job or inherited a new system and been pleasantly suprised by how well it was done?

    No exactlty, but, and I really don’t want to toot my own horn, I delved into some of my own old code from a while back, thinking I was “going to clean it up,” but was pleasantly surprised to find it was much better than I remembered.

    I don’t consider myself a master in the least, but clearly, I’m not quite completely clueless, either. That was a pleasant shot of ego.

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