Advisor WTF

  • I am doing some research work, and I need to make a new file reader for a binary data file that this sensor produces.  My advisor tells me to use his post-doctorate student for any information because he pays most of his salary.  So I ask him for documentation for the file type... he doesn't know it.  I ask him for some source code in other languages so I could port it to C... he doesn't have any.  He keeps referring me to this other student for information.  So, now that I am about done, my advisor reiterates to me that I should be using HIS post-doc, not the other guy.

     So, my advisor would rather I get nothing done, so long as I am using his money?


  • You should write down everything you asked to that guy, without getting any valuable answers. I you asked via email, keep them.

    Then next time, just give your boss the list.

    You're supposed to get the job done, not to cover the ass of an useless peer.






  • Make your situation (i.e. the fact that you have no information about the format available) clear to your boss, and ask him if he wants you to try to reverse-engineer the file format.

    It's not that hard, if you're fairly clever and have a decent binary file viewer.  I managed to work out the format of a binary file without any docs using 010 editor in an afternoon (granted, it was a fixed record-length file without any sort of metadata -- e.g. an internal index -- so it was relatively simple)

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