The programmer is not available



  • I just got off the phone with a new client who needs some help with a custom inventory control system that was written by some local 1 man shop (who had delusions of grandeur). Its a Linux/apache/php/mysql based system that looks like it was custom written for this one company, but with ideas of selling it as a commercial product.

    From my initial looks at the documentation the client sent me, my first impressions were "cowboy coder" as it was peppered with really bad capitalization, lots of exclamation marks and not very clear descriptions. Then I saw things such as when you imported a CSV file, one of the columns always had to contain the value "NULL". This software is a genuine found-in-the-wild-WTF .

    I had found this client from a advert on a job board which mentioned that the original coder was no longer available. Not being sure what this meant one of the first questions I had was:

    Q: Is the programmer really not available?
    A: Yep - he's in jail.
    


  • @OzPeter said:

    Not being sure what this meant one of the first questions I had was:

    Q: Is the programmer really not available?
    A: Yep - he's in jail.

     

    Did you ask why?



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @OzPeter said:

    Not being sure what this meant one of the first questions I had was:

    Q: Is the programmer really not available?
    A: Yep - he's in jail.

     

    Did you ask why?

    While I would love to know why, I was already having a hard time not laughing out loud as it was (and the moment I put the phone down I started laughing really hard). Plus for all I knew the crime was defrauding the client or mooning the clients wife, so I didn't want to appear unprofessional and ask an awkward question. I'm sure I'll find out eventually.



  • Criminally bad code. Finally, someone is punishing this...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @OzPeter said:

    I'm sure I'll find out eventually.
    Will we? I ask merely out of interest....



  • @PJH said:

    @OzPeter said:
    I'm sure I'll find out eventually.
    Will we? I ask merely out of interest....

    I intend to fully report when there is some distance between the work and me banking the cheque!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @OzPeter said:

    @PJH said:
    @OzPeter said:
    I'm sure I'll find out eventually.
    Will we? I ask merely out of interest....
    I intend to fully report when there is some distance between the work and me banking the cheque!
    You do realise that's not fair don't you?


    I'm sure you could report while waiting for the cheque to bounce from ceiling to wall to out-of-the-door...



  • @OzPeter said:

    Q: Is the programmer really not available?
    A: Yep - he's in jail.
     

    I googled that and got Conan O'Brien as the 2nd result (first of course was this post).



  • Maybe the original programmer was Hans Reiser... :p

    As for the delusions-of-multiple-clients thing - one of the systems we maintain also suffers from it. Every table, index and stored procedure has a "CompNo" (company number) column. Since the product was never used by anyone else, CompNo is always 1.

    TRWTF there, of course, is simply not using different databases for different companies - although given that there are over 5,000 stored procedures and 1,000 tables in the DB, and everything is normalized to the nth degree, and they don't have any table create scripts... recreating the DB might have proved tricky.



  • @BlueKnot said:

    Criminally bad code. Finally, someone is punishing this...
    Amen @The_Assimilator said:
    there are over 5,000 stored procedures and 1,000 tables in the DB
    Damn, whar are you running, reality?


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