The status column



  • I've been asked to do some data analysis for some new tables to be added to our db. The designers created a column call, simply enough: status. Normally, you'd expect one letter abbreviations for the various statuses, or at least sensible words (e.g. NewTxn, InProgress, Canceled, Complete, ...).


    On first look at the new data to be imported, this is what I found:



    I'm working on it

    Shiela called and said not to <details omitted>

    Finished

    Complete

    Done

    Done at 7:23PM

    Almost finished

    Note: we still need information from Tom

    and so on. Now I have to build some melange of logic that finds all possibilities and map them to sensible values. Then the user chimed in: No, we need to preserve the status information as-is. Um, ok, we'll have an importedStatus column to preserve it. No, we need to USE the status that is provided to us.

    All atempts to explain that computers need programmatically (ideally easily) identifiable sequences for this purpose failed. So now the status field is essentially a free format notes field, and the status is being stored elsewhere (but in a field NOT named status so the users (who look at the schema) won't notice it).

    Why won't managers ever listen to technical people about technical things?

    Sigh.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    but in a field NOT named status so the users (who look at the schema) won't notice it
     

     There's your problem right there. What do the users care about the database schema?! I'm assuming this isn't FileMaker...



  • Listen, he manages IT so he must know more than you...  I mean, if you think about it, all you really do is just work with this stuff everyday.

     
    Also, as soon as they start talking about technical implemenation (schema, "SOA", etc.), I switch off and put the pen down.  I'll listen to what they need or want, but how it's actually done, just leave that part to me.  If you knew so much about this stuff, you wouldn't have hired me to do it for you, right?


  • @reverendryan said:

    @snoofle said:

    but in a field NOT named status so the users (who look at the schema) won't notice it
     

     There's your problem right there. What do the users care about the database schema?! I'm assuming this isn't FileMaker...

    They shouldn't care, but in this place, the users call the shots - not the tech folks. These folks are highly educated (in another field), but think that they can design systems because "it's not that hard".

    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it; and when we finally hit a brick wall, then they'll have a very long wait while we refactor/redesign for that next feature.

    Sadly, it's been going this way for a couple of years now, and the code looks very much worse for wear because of it.

    OTOH, I try to spend an hour or so each day writing some throw away system in which I force myself to do things right to not let my good habits get infected by this wtf'ery.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    I try to spend an hour or so each day writing some throw away system in which I force myself to do things right to not let my good habits get infected by this wtf'ery.
    Now THAT'S a WTF if I've ever heard one... And sad too...



  • @snoofle said:

    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?



  • @bertram said:

    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?

    I tend to see my job as "recommend the right way to do stuff and then strive to do it the best way I can, or at the very least, try to warn them away from the wrong way. If I blindly do what I'm told, I'm not really adding any value to justify my rate.

    If your goal is to skin a cat, you can start at the snout, the tail or any of the paws, and as long as you go slowly, you'll wind up with some sort of skinned cat. But if you start with a live cat, the only thing getting skinned is you.

    There are many ways to succeed. Some ways are guaranteed to fail.

    My experience lets me see the skinng-a-live-cat-is-going-to-be-a-problem long before the bean counters can see it. Sometimes they listen. When they don't, I write about it here.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    They shouldn't care, but in this place, the users call the shots - not the tech folks. These folks are highly educated (in another field)
    They're either accountants or scientists... amiright?

    '



  • @snoofle said:

    @bertram said:

    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;
    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?
    I tend to see my job as "recommend the right way to do stuff and then strive to do it the best way I can, or at the very least, try to warn them away from the wrong way. If I blindly do what I'm told, I'm not really adding any value to justify my rate.

    If your goal is to skin a cat, you can start at the snout, the tail or any of the paws, and as long as you go slowly, you'll wind up with some sort of skinned cat. But if you start with a live cat, the only thing getting skinned is you.

    There are many ways to succeed. Some ways are guaranteed to fail.

    My experience lets me see the skinng-a-live-cat-is-going-to-be-a-problem long before the bean counters can see it. Sometimes they listen. When they don't, I write about it here.

     

    Well if you sedate the cat you can skin it alive



  • @bertram said:

    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?

    As a professional software developer/engineer/consultant/whatever it should be part of your job to deliver a well working, maintainable system. Don't bend over and let some manager have his way with you just because he's a manager. If you let the users make technical decisions you are bound to end up with a ton of wtfery and an unsustainable system, which will cost the company far more in the long run than a little effort up front to deliver the proper solution. If they can't be convinced by technical reasons perhaps you can convince them with monetary reasoning on why it's a terrible to deliver bad code.



  • @bertram said:

    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?


    Well trolled, sir.



  • my sarcasm detector is busted



  • @CaptainCaveman said:

    @bertram said:
    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?

    As a professional software developer/engineer/consultant/whatever it should be part of your job to deliver a well working, maintainable system. Don't bend over and let some manager have his way with you just because he's a manager. If you let the users make technical decisions you are bound to end up with a ton of wtfery and an unsustainable system, which will cost the company far more in the long run than a little effort up front to deliver the proper solution. If they can't be convinced by technical reasons perhaps you can convince them with monetary reasoning on why it's a terrible to deliver bad code.

    This is true, but I'm giving snoofle the benefit of the doubt and assuming he tried that already.

    My company recently took over another company wherein the head of IT was the CFO - an accountant by training.  Their system is as fucked up as a system can be and still be called a "system".  Over one million lines of COBOL code.  Which translates to about 10kloc in C# I bet, but still - way too complicated.



  • [quote user=""]

    [quote user=""]
    As a professional software developer/engineer/consultant/whatever it should be part of your job to deliver a well working, maintainable system. Don't bend over[/quote]This is true, but I'm giving snoofle the benefit of the doubt and assuming he tried that already.

    [/quote] I did. I failed. I continually try to minimize the damage. Sometimes I get my way, sometimes I don't. When I don't, you read about it here.

    It's sad.



  • Status: The system is completely fucked up. Why doesn't anyone listen to me?



  •  I say you populate the database with not only every status value you can find already in use, but such goodies for future use as "Partially gnawed by capybaras", "Sucking mud", and "Awaiting further instructions from the mothership".



  • @da Doctah said:

     I say you populate the database with not only every status value you can find already in use, but such goodies for future use as "Partially gnawed by capybaras", "Sucking mud", and "Awaiting further instructions from the mothership".


    LOL. This reminds me of the SNL Tom Brokaw pre-tape skit. Tom was going on vacation, so they were taping stuff just in case...
    @Dana Carvey as Tom Brokaw said:
    "Tragedy today, as former President Gerald Ford was eaten by wolves. He was delicious."


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bertram said:

    @snoofle said:
    As a consultant, I've been instructed to make all possible efforts to give them what they want, the way they want it;

    Seriously, you really had to be instructed to do that? You don't see that as, y'know, your job, at all?

    Should doctors go around giving everybody antidepressants just because they asked?

     

    ....Waitafuckingminute.



  • @snoofle said:

    If your goal is to skin a cat, you can start at the snout, the tail or any of the paws, and as long as you go slowly, you'll wind up with some sort of skinned cat. But if you start with a live cat, the only thing getting skinned is you.

    If you start with one of Schrödinger's cats, then both you and the cat can be simultaneously skinned and not-skinned at the same time.



  • @Kittemon said:

    @snoofle said:

    If your goal is to skin a cat, you can start at the snout, the tail or any of the paws, and as long as you go slowly, you'll wind up with some sort of skinned cat. But if you start with a live cat, the only thing getting skinned is you.

    If you start with one of Schrödinger's cats, then both you and the cat can be simultaneously skinned and not-skinned at the same time.

    Don't bump a thread a month old



  • @dtech said:

    Don't bump a thread a month old

    Why not? What's the point of not auto-deleting or auto-locking them when you mustn't post in them once they've reached a certain age?

    I never really understood that.



  • @derula said:

    @dtech said:
    Don't bump a thread a month old

    Why not? What's the point of not auto-deleting or auto-locking them when you mustn't post in them once they've reached a certain age?

    I never really understood that.

     

    I agree.



  • @dtech said:

    @Kittemon said:
    @snoofle said:

    If your goal is to skin a cat, you can start at the snout, the tail or any of the paws, and as long as you go slowly, you'll wind up with some sort of skinned cat. But if you start with a live cat, the only thing getting skinned is you.

    If you start with one of Schrödinger's cats, then both you and the cat can be simultaneously skinned and not-skinned at the same time.

    Don't bump a thread a month old

    How else could I tell whether or not the thread had died?



  • @dhromed said:

    @derula said:

    @dtech said:
    Don't bump a thread a month old

    Why not? What's the point of not auto-deleting or auto-locking them when you mustn't post in them once they've reached a certain age?

    I never really understood that.

     

    I agree.

    It is much better to be proactive.... bump a thread a month before it is posted!!!!



  • This is again a social problem with an easy technological solution. If the board "rules" are to not bump old threads, then change the code of the board to make it impossible to bump old threads. Since that hasn't been done, the assumption is that it's fine to bump threads-- so I agree, bump away. I've done it myself to update threads based on news stories, like the Bitcoin one.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    This is again a social problem with an easy technological solution.

    Any technological solution involving Community Server is not easy.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    This is again a social problem with an easy technological solution.

    Any technological solution involving Community Server is not easy.

    True. But here's the car analogy: if Bad Company 2 lets you stick 3 sticky-mines on the front of a jeep and drive it into a tank, then it's legal and there's no use bitching about it. Maybe BC2 considers that a "bug", maybe they don't-- we don't know. But as long as the game engine allows it, knock yourself out.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If the board "rules" are to not bump old threads, then change the code of the board to make it impossible to bump old threads.
    The real problem is that it's not a "board rule" but rather a few self-appointed dictators who insist that bumping "old" threads (with no clear definition of "old") is somehow bad.@blakeyrat said:
    I've done it myself to update threads based on news stories, like the Bitcoin one.
    Sometimes there's something worthwhile to be added to a previous discussion and there's nothing wrong with that.   What if I'm new here and there was a post from a couple months ago that deals with a topic I am intimately familiar with?  It's off limits just because it has passed some arbitrary date of oldness?  Seems pretty stupid to me.  Right now this forum has 236 pages going back to January of 2005.  As long as that continues to be the case, people need to STFU about bumping old threads.



  • @da Doctah said:

     I say you populate the database with not only every status value you can find already in use, but such goodies for future use as "Partially gnawed by capybaras", "Sucking mud", and "Awaiting further instructions from the mothership".

    Don't tell me: the app has a field saying "Status" into which people type in what they want. That's your problem right there.



  • What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?



  • @Xyro said:

    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?

    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings.



  • How about top posting?

    @boomzilla said:

    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings.
    @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?

    TPTFY



  • @Xyro said:

    How about top posting?

    @boomzilla said:

    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings.
    @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?

    TPTFY

     

    That one annoys me more than anything else, because I read top-to-bottom like I was taught in elementary school. So I always read the post and find myself wondering what the hell he's talking about until I finish it and find the quote, and by then I've already forgotten his post and have to re-read it.

     



  • @Xyro said:

    How about top posting?

    @boomzilla said:

    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings.
    @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?

    TPTFY

     

    That is the worst thing.

     



  • U mad?

    @mott555 said:

    That one annoys me more than anything else, because I read top-to-bottom like I was taught in elementary school. So I always read the post and find myself wondering what the hell he's talking about until I finish it and find the quote, and by then I've already forgotten his post and have to re-read it.

    @Xyro said:
    How about top posting?

    @boomzilla said:

    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings.
    @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?



  • I read from top to bottom also, however, I read all threads as they are posted and updated, and have fantastic recall of anything I have read before. Top posting is by far the most efficient methodology.

    One thing I have seen in a few forums, is a keeping of structure, rather than just "pasting" quotes. This allows for dynamic ordering, showing, etc. all based on preferences.



  • Or randomly changing the topic?

    How about side posting?

    @derula said:
    U mad? @mott555 said:
    That one annoys me more than anything else, because I read top-to-bottom like I was taught in elementary school. So I always read the post and find myself wondering what the hell he's talking about until I finish it and find the quote, and by then I've already forgotten his post and have to re-read it. @Xyro said:
    How about top posting? @boomzilla said:
    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings. @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?


  • @fatbull said:
    How about side posting?

    This is spectacular!!

    +2+1i internets for you!!

    (I would have given you +3+0i but we all know rightside posting is superior to leftside posting.)



  • @fatbull said:

    Or randomly changing the topic?

    How about side posting?

    @derula said:
    U mad? @mott555 said:
    That one annoys me more than anything else, because I read top-to-bottom like I was taught in elementary school. So I always read the post and find myself wondering what the hell he's talking about until I finish it and find the quote, and by then I've already forgotten his post and have to re-read it. @Xyro said:
    How about top posting? @boomzilla said:
    It's not so much a rule as an invitation to beatings. @Xyro said:
    What about the "rule" about fully quoting the OP?

    Nice! That definitely is an interesting topic flow.



  • Alternate sides.  Best of both worlds. @Xyro said:
    @fatbull said:
    How about side posting?

    This is spectacular!!

    +2+1i internets for you!!

    (I would have given you +3+0i but we all know rightside posting is superior to leftside posting.)




  • Nah, all around!

    @Justice said:

    Alternate sides.  Best of both worlds. @Xyro said:
    @fatbull said:
    How about side posting?

    This is spectacular!!

    +2+1i internets for you!!

    (I would have given you +3+0i but we all know rightside posting is superior to leftside posting.)




  •  

    @derula said:
    Nah, all around!

    @Justice said:

    Alternate sides.  Best of both worlds. @Xyro said:
    @fatbull said:
    How about side posting?

    This is spectacular!!

    +2+1i internets for you!!

    (I would have given you +3+0i but we all know rightside posting is superior to leftside posting.)


    I think this is spiraling out of control.
     


  • I think this thread needs to be nuked from orbit.



  • F
    T @Someone You Know said:
    I think this thread needs to be [b]mini-[/b]nuked from orbit.
    F
    Y

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