I see dead minds



  • In the company I work we have a simple logging application which we use to log our work. It's LAMP setup; a few pages with a form to add entries.

    Some of these tasks happen on a weekly basis. Someone goes to client x for y hours every z weekday and so on and so forth. As such we have certain empty entries that are generated automatically each week and serve as a reminder of the appointment. When someone does the work he fills in the appropriate entry.

    The PHP script that creates these entries every week is built by a programmer my boss hired a few months ago with "several years of experience". He was in fact featured in an old post of mine a while back since he has consistenly failed when it comes to programming practices. The fact that I had to actually ask him to use things like indentation and make use of our version control system speaks voumes.

    In any case I got an email from him today. He'll be gone for the next week so I had to use the script. Apparently on Monday I had to change a hardcoded date to the current day and run the script. You read that right. He's been running this script by hand every week for months now. Why you ask? Because he doesn't know how to set it up in linux's "scheduler".

    And I ask you... how difficult is it to learn to use crontab? And even if he doesn't have a clue why the hell doesn't he ask? What kind of muppet does grunt work for months instead of taking 30 minutes to automate the process? 

    </rant> 



  • @DOA said:

    And I ask you... how difficult is it to learn to use crontab?
     

    Maybe he couldn't figure out how to change his editor to (emacs|vim|joe|whatever).



  • Crontab? wtf?

     Couldn't you just use date() to get the current date or something?



  • @Masiosare said:

    Crontab? wtf?

    Couldn't you just use date() to get the current date or something?

    He means to schedule the task to run at a specified time.  Jesus. 



  • @DOA said:

    What kind of muppet does grunt work for months instead of taking 30 minutes to automate the process? 

     

    Answer: the average developer



  • Maybe he's paid by the hour and this is just scheduled (manually scheduled) maintenance?



  • The phrase "Creating Job Security" comes to mind. When your job can be replaced with a simple shell script, you want to give the perception that you are, in fact, irreplacable.



  • @DOA said:

    The PHP script that creates these entries every week is built by a programmer my boss hired a few months ago with "several years of experience". He was in fact featured in an old post of mine a while back since he has consistenly failed when it comes to programming practices.
    I've worked with several of these.  At my last job, I was completely new to PHP and SQL.  Within 3 months, I was teaching both my employer and the other engineer, both of whom had "years of experience" with PHP/SQL, about simple things like "JOIN", indexing, temporary tables, XSS, SQL injection, etc.

    Hell, the "CTO/lead engineer" at my current gig didn't know you could create a multiple column primary key until after he'd built our initial database schema.

     

    That's the difference between a an actual programmer, and someone who's just managed to tinker with a programming language for a few years.

    Hell, my old boss still thinks that anyone can become a decent programmer if you give 'em a copy of "learn C in 24 hours" and a few weeks.  There's so much more to programming than understanding the syntax of a for loop.



  • @merreborn said:

    Hell, the "CTO/lead engineer" at my current gig didn't know you could create a multiple column primary key until after he'd built our initial database schema.

     <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>
    I wish that less people knew this.  It's hard to put into words the frustration I feel when I need to link child records (or soft-link records in another system entirely) to a table where someone has thoughtfully provided a cute little "natural" key that spans 4 fields.

    Whatever reasons you have for doing this - they're not good enough.  Make a damn identity/sequence/rowguid so the people who maintain your crummy database don't feel compelled to run over you repeatedly with their cars. 



  • @Aaron said:

    I wish that less people knew this.  It's hard to put into words the frustration I feel when I need to link child records (or soft-link records in another system entirely) to a table where someone has thoughtfully provided a cute little "natural" key that spans 4 fields.

    Whatever reasons you have for doing this - they're not good enough.  Make a damn identity/sequence/rowguid so the people who maintain your crummy database don't feel compelled to run over you repeatedly with their cars.

    I generally agree, but there are also times it is useful.  The fact that the guy didn't know it is pretty WTFy, though.



  •  It would be an interesting study to see the educational backgrounds on these "programmers."  Simple things, like did they obtain a 4 year degree?  If not, did they obtain a 2 year associates?  Was it a fly-by-night programming degree? Was it just simply on-the-job experience?  

    I've more or less ceased to be amazed about ignorance in IT.  It is a job that pays well so a lot of people want to get in to IT.  Which spawns a lot of "Bob's school of programming" where your text book is C# in 24 hours. At which point, you learn Visual Studio 2008, not programming.  This is further compounded by the fact that for many years companies have needed an IT department but didn't see the need in hiring IT professionals.  Instead, they turn the keys over to someone who has an IT aptitude.  The demand for IT professionals and the small supply has created this kind of problems.

     Many of these kind of things can be chalked up to pure ignorance.  There isn't a problem with ignorance.  It's when one remains willfully ignorant that I get frustrated.

     


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