Real Life Conversation with Friend - Solid Gold



  •  Hi Guys,

     

    Been a big fan for a long time, and recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that was 100% pure solid gold.

    So good infact, that i have to air it in public. He has come back from a gap year travelling the world, after getting a 1st in comp-sci, and is in his first job since he got back. So here we go.....

     

    Him says:

    hmm

    Him says:

    im sooooo unproductive at work, boss has noticed

    Him says:

    but thats because for the life of me i cannot concentrate on boring crap like this

    Me says:

    uhhh

    Me says:

    That's your problem and you're going to have to deal with it

    Him says:

    well i know that

    Me says:

    But you can't not do something because it's boring

    Me says:

    unfortunately

    Me says:

    you'll have to do periods of it in any job, anywhere

    Me says:

    regardless of how much you like it

    Him says:

    yes

    Me says:

    So just do the work

    Him says:

    but i dont see a light at the end of the tunnel on this one

    Me says:

    and stop browsing face book

    Him says:

    my job is boring code

    Me says:

    Code is boring...

    Me says:

    Solving is fun

    Him says:

    theres nothing to solve

    Me says:

    Refactoring is fun

    Me says:

    Have you got work?

    Him says:

    yes

    Him says:

    its been taking me weeks to do one class

    Me says:

    what is it?

    Him says:

    (i had to start again - external format)

    Him says:

    effectively a website scraper

    Me says:

    so one project?

    Him says:

    not really

    Him says:

    just one class

    Him says:

    fits into the system

    Me says:

    ok

    Me says:

    so what's the problem?

    Me says:

    It's a simple task...

    Me says:

    you're chewing through XML

    Him says:

    because its simple i cant concentrate

    Him says:

    well not

    Me says:

    ....

    Him says:

    not XML this time (was before)

    Him says:

    its a properitry format coming back async

    Him says:

    not XML based

    Him says:

    not a problem

    Me says:

    It's a web site....

    Him says:

    the point is building scrapers is boring

    Me says:

    So?

    Me says:

    It's your job.

    Him says:

    i know

    Him says:

    but i hate it

    Him says:

    i want to be working on the other systems

    Me says:

    But your not

    Me says:

    so make the class

    Me says:

    as you said

    Me says:

    it's simple

    Me says:

    it'll take you about 2 days

    Him says:

    I know that

    Him says:

    its taking me ALL The time since ive been here(i had to stat again as website changed) a week ago

    Him says:

    the point is

    Him says:

    i _CANNOT_ concentrate

    Me says:

    Then leave the job, or wait till they fire you.

    Him says:

    if i had options i would consider it

    Me says:

    You CAN concentrate, you just don't want to.

    Get over yourself, it's a simple project as you said. If you work in any company someone will come along with some small task, and as you to do it, and what are you going to tell them? Fuck off, it's boring?

    Him says:

    hire a codemonkey

    Him says:

    point is

    Him says:

    a mix is ok

    Him says:

    doing tihs day in and day out is not

    Me says:

    When did you start?

    Him says:

    13th oct

    Me says:

    So, in over a month, you haven't achieved the simple project they set you?

    Me says:

    (Regardless of the re-start)

    Me says:

    the ONLY project they set you?

    Him says:

    no

    Him says:

    i did another

    Me says:

    And what was that?

    Him says:

    added search to a django platform we use

    Me says:

    Ok, how was that?

    Him says:

    easy

    Him says:

    but crap

    Him says:

    its webdevelopment

    Him says:

    also

    Him says:

    i have to learn this backwards undocumented api

    Me says:

    Yep

    Me says:

    Welcome to the real world.

    Me says:

    What's the problem with that?

    Him says:

    nothing its taking ages

    Me says:

    Why is web development bad?

    Him says:

    when your goals are high performance distributed system

    Me says:

    But would you hire someone to work on your high performance distributed system if they couldn't write a screen scraper?

    Him says:

    i can

    Him says:

    i just cant bring myself to do it

    Him says:

    its too simple

    Him says:

    its laborous

    Him says:

    im an architect

    Him says:

    i dont just fill in a gaps in a function

    Me says:

    Oh please

    Me says:

    Until you can prove you can handle the simple stuff, you're just a code monkey.

    Him says:

    is a advanced professor in history going to enjoy teaching 5 year old history .. no

    Me says:

    If you can't bring yourself to do it, then you can't handle anything bigger than a web page.

    Him says:

    my problem is i did all the basic shit when i was young

    Me says:

    Your problem is you think all the day to day stuff is beneath you.

    //END

     

    It went on a bit after this, but i lost the rest, he was explaining how he wanted to work on big distributed server systems. You can guess the direction that took. :)

     

    Enjoy!


    Regards

     

    Tristan

     

     



  • And here is the kernel of the WTF:

    @Tristan said:

    im an
    architect

    In my experience, nearly anyone who refers to themselves as an "architect", when not actually being architects (y'know, of the physical building kind), is totally full of themself, and needs a serious boot to their ego.

    Similarly for "engineer", especially when they do not possess an engineering degree or certification.  (Not that the degree/certification makes them any less full of themselves, but at least they're legally entitled to be full of themselves at that point.)



  • Wow, reminds me of a certain ex-coworker.

    "Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things and I'll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things."



  • I love workforce noobs.  I could snicker over them all day except that I'm getting on with whatever project/work assignment I was given.

    And when the guy gets fired it's going to be because "They were intimidated by my level of knowledge and they knew I was right when they were wrong." or some similar whiny self-justifying excuse.

    When you're hired to write code, you write code.  You perform the task required.  It is mostly boring and rarely offers a chance to do something really fun and elegant but that's how I pay the mortgage.  I treasure the assignments that let me stretch and learn new things.  But I know that I have to slog through the rest of it to get those.  And because I take on whatever needs to be done and get it done with a minimum of fuss I'm considered a valued employee.

    As I've told my boss with a complete straight face and perfect honesty:  "I'm a tool.  I'm a happy tool but a tool nonetheless."  And I'm good with that.  I'm a tool to get the job done.  And not 'tool' in the derogatory way some people use it.

    Bravo for trying to get him to understand that he needs to do what's in front of him.  It won't work because he seems convinced of his own superiority but at least you tried.

    Please let us know when he gets fired.  Do you have a pool going on it yet?



  • <font size="7">HERE IS A SLIGHTLY-LESS-MANGLED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL POST:</font>

    @Tristan said:

    Him: I'm sooooo unproductive at work.  The boss has noticed.   But that's because for the life of me I cannot concentrate on boring crap like this.

    Me: Uhhh, that's your problem and you're going to have to deal with it.

    Him: Well i know that.

    Me: But you can't not do something because it's boring, unfortunately.  You'll have to do periods of it in any job, anywhere, regardless of how much you like it.

    Him: Yes.

    Me: So just do the work and stop browsing Facebook.

    Him: But I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel on this one.  My job is boring code.

    Me: Code is boring, solving is fun.

    Him: There's nothing to solve.

    Me: Refactoring is fun.  Have you got work?

    Him: Yes, it's been taking me weeks to do one class.  I had to start again: external format.

    Me: What is it?

    Him: Effectively a website scraper.

    Me: So one project?

    Him: Not really, just one class.  It fits into the system.

    Me: Okay, so what's the problem?  It's a simple task; you're chewing through XML.

    Him: Because it's simple i can't concentrate.  And it's not XML this time (was before), its a proprietary format coming back async.  Not XML based, but not a problem.

    Me: It's a web site....

    Him: The point is that building scrapers is boring.

    Me: So?  It's your job.

    Him: I know, but i hate it.  I want to be working on the other systems.

    Me: But you're not, so make the class. As you said: it's simple. It'll take you about 2 days.

    Him: I know that.  It's taking me all the time since I've been here; I had to stat again as website changed a week ago.  The point is,I cannot concentrate.

    Me: Then leave the job, or wait until they fire you.

    Him: If i had options i would consider it.

    Me: You can concentrate, you just don't want to. Get over yourself, it's a simple project as you said. If you work in any company someone will come along with some small task, and ask you to do it, and what are you going to tell them? "Fuck off, it's boring?"

    Him: Hire a codemonkey.  A mix is OK, but doing this day in and day out is not.

    Me: When did you start?

    Him: October 13th.

    Me:So, in over a month, you haven't achieved the simple project they set you (regardless of the re-start)?  The only project they set you?

    Him: No, I did another.

    Me: And what was that?

    Him: Added search to a Django platform we use.

    Me: Ok, how was that?

    Him: Easy, but crap.  It's web development.  Also, I have to learn this backwards undocumented API!

    Me: Yep, welcome to the real world.  What's the problem with that?

    Him: Nothing, but it's taking ages.

    Me: Why is web development bad?

    Him: When your goals are a high-performance distributed system.

    Me: But would you hire someone to work on your high-performance distributed system if they couldn't write a screen scraper?

    Him: I can.  I just cant bring myself to do it. It's too simple; it's laborous.  I'm an architect, I don't just fill in gaps in a function.

    Me: Oh, please.  Until you can prove you can handle the simple stuff, you're just a codemonkey.

    Him: Is a advanced professor in history going to enjoy teaching 5-year old history?  No.

    Me:If you can't bring yourself to do it, then you can't handle anything bigger than a web page.

    Him: My problem is I did all the basic shit when I was young.

    Me: Your problem is you think all the day-to-day stuff is beneath you.

     

    And here is a summary if that's still too long:

    Him: Wahhhh!  I'm a whiny bitch!



  • Nope, no Pool.

    The real irony is, he worships TDWTF. :D

     

    I was a little upstart in my first job too, but that was a myriad of WTF's in itself and i think i was just rebelling.

    Now i have an account, i may write some stuff up on it... the 750 page load function or the copy and pasted SQL queries built with string replacement....

     



  •  Thankyou bstorer, i was going to replace my origional post with that but can't.



  • I'd have fired him already.

    I so want to hit the quote button like 30 times.



  •  And this, my friends, is why most companies do worse when they get really big.  They hire HR departments.  The HR department employees have never started their own company, nor run one.  The HR deparment believes that every qualification has a certain university degree/college diploma/high school education attached to it, and that is all that is looked at, because it's easy.  Why would you want to hire the guy with the 35 year old degree in Physics and 30 years field experience as a programmer when you can get the not-yet-even-graduated 2nd year University student instead?

     The original owner of the company hired based on useful abilities, like:  Comes to work every day, on time.  Has proven skills that show he can complete the job (This is the ONLY part where your education comes into play when you're talking to the small/medium business owner, and that education can easily include street education).  Excited by new career (No, your education doesn't prove this anymore.  It used to, back when people went to university to learn, not to get a job.).  Cares about the company and it's product.  Has necessary experience to fall back on should things get rough (No, your university education doesn't prove this at all).  Can dress appropriately and doesn't act like a fool.  etc...  Oh well, c'est la vie!



  • @shepd said:

     And this, my friends, is why most companies do worse when they get really big.  They hire HR departments.  The HR department employees have never started their own company, nor run one.  The HR deparment believes that every qualification has a certain university degree/college diploma/high school education attached to it, and that is all that is looked at, because it's easy.  Why would you want to hire the guy with the 35 year old degree in Physics and 30 years field experience as a programmer when you can get the not-yet-even-graduated 2nd year University student instead?
    And if you hire people that HR shoves down your throat without interviewing them yourself, you deserve to Worse Than Fail.

    @shepd said:

    No, your education doesn't prove this anymore.  It used to, back when people went to university to learn, not to get a job.
    Wait, what?  People still do that.  They end up getting Philosophy/Religion/Anthropology degrees and become professors.  Seriously, what the hell are you talking about?



  •  Good lord, what a spoiled brat, and you can tell him I said so.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    And if you hire people that HR shoves down your throat without interviewing them yourself, you deserve to Worse Than Fail.

    Are we working Worse Than Fail back into the lexicon?  Sweet! 



  • @Tristan said:

    Been a big fan for a long time, and recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that was 100% pure solid gold.

    But was it 24-karat? 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Tristan said:

    Been a big fan for a long time, and recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that was 100% pure solid gold.

    But was it 24-karat? 

     

    And unadulterated? 



  •  

    Wait, what?  People still do that.  They end up getting
    Philosophy/Religion/Anthropology degrees and become professors. 
    Seriously, what the hell are you talking about?

     

    [wrath] AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!111111

    I am currently quadruple-majoring in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.  I am doing so because I don't want to "just get a job."  I immensely enjoy gathering new knowlege and the whole of college life.  I find it to be quite rather disheartening to hear people talk about a college education as a means to an end rather than a means to better oneself.  However, I suppose that once the mindset of "I must make as much money for myself as I can before I die" has thoroughly entrenched itself into a people, there is little hope of showing people the better side of education.

    As a footnote, in the seven years that I have been in college (including one year in medical school), I have had five different jobs- including two as a web programmer (one in Java the other in C#/ASP.NET).

    [/wrath]



  • @communist_goatboy said:

    I am currently quadruple-majoring in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.

     

    Are you [i]trying[/i] to kill yourself?



  • @communist_goatboy said:

    I am currently quadruple-majoring in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.
    MacGyver is that you?



  • @bstorer said:

    Him: Wahhhh!
     

    QFT.



  • @communist_goatboy said:

    I am currently quadruple-major<wbr>ing in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.  I am doing so because I don't want to "just get a job."  I immensely enjoy gathering new knowlege and the whole of college life.  I find it to be quite rather disheartening to hear people talk about a college education as a means to an end rather than a means to better oneself.  However, I suppose that once the mindset of "I must make as much money for myself as I can before I die" has thoroughly entrenched itself into a people, there is little hope of showing people the better side of education.
     

    Seriously, that's totally awesome.  I live in a university town (there's three within 20 minutes of my house, two of them are world renowned for their respective specialties in agriculture and computer science) and I have yet to speak to a single person here either finished or in university for the love of education/love of their subject.  All of them are in it for the money, plain and simple.  Not a single one.  I do meet them on the internet whenever the topic comes up, so there is still hope!  If only you would study here!  sigh  This is less bad for our college (we have one of those, too, although where you are I expect you'd call it a trade school/technical institute), since it is understood (here) you go to college because you want a better career (and that's fair).

     @communist_goatboy said:

    As a footnote, in the seven years that I have been in college (including one year in medical school), I have had five different jobs- including two as a web programmer (one in Java the other in C#/ASP.NET).

     That's also good!  The side effect of being a university town to the extent we are is that a many students don't have any opportunity to actually ply their trade, since the limited opportunities for that are used up pretty quickly.  Generally CS students don't have too many problems, simply because we're the most high-tech of the country's mid-size towns, but past that...  :-(

    Now, personally, I went to college because I wanted schooling just for the purpose of a job...  But I don't consider myself too much of a hypocrite because, as I say, college here is designed for just that purpose.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    And if you hire people that HR shoves down your throat without interviewing them yourself, you deserve to Worse Than Fail.

    There's plenty of WTFs (one of which is on this site) that explain how you could interview a hundred people HR sends you and they'll all be turds.  Eventually, you have to hire one of them.

    @belgariontheking said:

    They end up getting Philosophy/Reli<wbr>gion/Anthropolo<wbr>gy degrees and become professors.

    Could you help me?  I've lost my crystal skull!



  • @Fred Foobar said:

    @communist_goatboy said:

    I am currently quadruple-majoring in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.

     

    Are you trying to kill yourself?

    Well, seeing as he is a Communist, we can at least hope he succeeds.



  • @shepd said:

     And this, my friends, is why most companies do worse when they get really big.  They hire HR departments.  The HR department employees have never started their own company, nor run one.  The HR deparment believes that every qualification has a certain university degree/college diploma/high school education attached to it, and that is all that is looked at, because it's easy.  Why would you want to hire the guy with the 35 year old degree in Physics and 30 years field experience as a programmer when you can get the not-yet-even-graduated 2nd year University student instead?

    And this is why I refused to let HR filter any of the resumes that came in for open positions when I was a hiring manager.  Sure, I would get a stack of them and about 90% ended up in the Rejected stack but I was able to make that determination.  Several of the people I hired would never have made it past the HR department but were great employees.  Because I was looking for things besides a laundry list of degrees/certs/etc.  And you can't put that judgement call into an area that doesn't do the job.

    BTW - I'm going to digress slightly here in hopes of helping other hiring managers who might read this site.  Here's how I went about hiring new members of my teams.

    1. Filter the resumes to at most 6 per job opening.
    2. Put out copies of the resumes for the team members to read.
    3. Have each team member pick the top three candidates.
    4. Discuss and come up with the list as a team.
    5. Interview in sections - manager, then the entire team (Note 1), then HR.
    6. Have a meeting with manager, the entire team and HR.  Vote on who to hire.

    Yes, this sounds like a bit more work but if you're hiring to add to a team then that team really should have some kind of say in the new person.  If you happen to like someone who isn't going to mesh, then you're not adding to the team.  HR was amazed both by the process and the quality of hires we got out of it.  Next time you need to hire someone think about trying this, if practical.

    Note 1 - Make sure you go over the interview basics with your team, as in what you can and can't ask.


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