But you said to do this



  • There is a developer on our team who thinks he is an expert in a particular third party tool we use. As part of a change I'm making, I needed him to make a fairly invasive change to the output of that tool (Xml). Since I don't know the particulars of how that tool works, I sent instructions: Please make changes in the "Tool" way to achieve the following effect: change all static function references from: TheClass.staticMethod() to: new TheClass().instanceMethodOfTheSameName(). My boss replied to both of us that the correct way to do this was to change a different template so that the static references would be changed automatically by the program. Great!

    The guy spent 3 days blindly manually editing over a thousand files (sed anyone?) to brute force change the static to instance references before trying to load the files back into the program. When he finally did try, the program puked because you can't instantiate objects at that point (it has to be done at a different point, specifically, the one my boss stated). Now he's flustered, and sends out mail that he's getting errors. My boss fired back that he was instructed to use the other template, that he should roll back his changes and start over, and why did he do it like that when my boss told him to do it the other way? He replied: But the original email said to change all of the static references...

    Rather than rolling back, the guy commits the whole mess to source control.

    Now he has to revert over 1,000 files before he can move forward. He starts reverting them, manually, one at a time.

    I spent ten minutes writing a script to get the revisions from source control, and to programmatically do the rollback. Then I spent 30 minutes figuring out what my boss was talking about and got it done. Today, my boss and I are going to sit with this guy and try and explain the concepts of a) following directions, b) asking if there's a better way if something seems repetitive, and c) doing small tests before making major changes

     



  •  If he is out of school less than 2 years, then meeting with him is a good plan. Otherwise...



  • @snoofle said:

    He starts reverting them, manually, one at a time.

    I spent ten minutes writing a script to get the revisions from source control, and to programmatically do the rollback. Then I spent 30 minutes figuring out what my boss was talking about and got it done. Today, my boss and I are going to sit with this guy and try and explain the concepts of a) following directions, b) asking if there's a better way if something seems repetitive, and c) doing small tests before making major changes

     

    If this guy doesn't even know what source control does, I have to wonder about what kind of training he got. Sounds like you give commit access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door.

     



  • You work with Nagesh?



  • @Rick: he's got 30 years as a developer - he's just clueless

    @Zolcos: he's a developer on the team and was committing files on which he was supposed to be working - he just ignored directions to rollback; sort of like he ignored directions on what to change and how

    @C-Octothorpe: this guy isn't quite up to Nagesh's wit and abilities

     



  • So, he's twice done the exact opposite of what the boss told him to do.

    Sounds like he has a bigger problem than programming ineptitude...



  • @Xyro said:

    So, he's twice done the exact opposite of what the boss told him to do.

    Sounds like he has a bigger problem than programming ineptitude...

    You are so spot-on there.


  • @snoofle said:

    The guy spent 3 days blindly manually editing over a thousand files
    Maybe he thinks he is a script, albeit a very slow one.



  • @Zolcos said:

    Sounds like you give commit access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door.

    Nothing wrong with that.  We do that where I work.  We just make sure that the only coders we hire are people who actually know what they're doing, (enforced by having the senior developers participate in the hiring interviews and actually listening to their recommendations,) and AFAIK we've never had a commit disaster like the one mentioned here.

     



  • @Zolcos said:

    @snoofle said:

    He starts reverting them, manually, one at a time.

    I spent ten minutes writing a script to get the revisions from source control, and to programmatically do the rollback. Then I spent 30 minutes figuring out what my boss was talking about and got it done. Today, my boss and I are going to sit with this guy and try and explain the concepts of a) following directions, b) asking if there's a better way if something seems repetitive, and c) doing small tests before making major changes

     

    If this guy doesn't even know what source control does, I have to wonder about what kind of training he got. Sounds like you give commit access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door.

    I missed your post the first time through...  Question: If you were running a dev shop, which developers would you and which ones wouldn't you give commit access to?  From the developers that don't have commit access, why do they still have a job at your shop?  A developer who doesn't contribute to any project, to me at least, seems like just an expensive seat warmer, no?



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    I missed your post the first time through...  Question: If you were running a dev shop, which developers would you and which ones wouldn't you give commit access to?  From the developers that don't have commit access, why do they still have a job at your shop?  A developer who doesn't contribute to any project, to me at least, seems like just an expensive seat warmer, no?

    While I agree with you, some people make them send changes to someone else (in one form or another) and have that person review and check in the changes... perhaps until the person proves themself.



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    @Zolcos said:
    Sounds like you give commit access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door.

    Nothing wrong with that.

     

    Agreed. I thought the point of source control was.. erm.. precisely that - to be able to compare versions and roll back to a specific point in time (undo specific commits).


    Also echo Xyro's point: you said what to do, your boss said how to do it... he's stuffed.

     

    @snoofle said:

    @Rick: he's got 30 years as a developer - he's just clueless
     

    I've long argued that the length of experience in a field is not necessarily indicative of the level of expertise in that field.If anything, I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...



  • @snoofle said:

    Now he has to revert over 1,000 files before he can move forward. He starts reverting them, manually, one at a time.
    One at a time?  Okay, now he's just being a moron deliberately.



  • @Zolcos said:

    Sounds like you give commit access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door.
    You think so?  I dunno, it sounded to me like they gave access to, well, a programmer whose job was to modify code.  In fact, I can't think of anyone else who would need commit access.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...

    Personally, I've been promoted to management several times, and each time I hated it. Meetings all day. You never get to design or build anything. I invariably request to go back to my former position, and when denied, I leave for a different development job. I am fortunate that I discovered very early in my career that I am pretty good at doing something I also happen to enjoy. I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.



  • @snoofle said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...


    Personally, I've been promoted to management several times, and each time I hated it. Meetings all day. You never get to design or build anything. I invariably request to go back to my former position, and when denied, I leave for a different development job. I am fortunate that I discovered very early in my career that I am pretty good at doing something I also happen to enjoy. I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.
    This.

    The day that I get bored with actual design and/or development is the day that I'll take a management position.  Also something to note is that in order to be a manager you need to be FT.  I'm not sure about your position, but I won't be converting to FT for at least another 3-5 years.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @snoofle said:
    Personally, I've been promoted to management several times, and each time I hated it. Meetings all day. You never get to design or build anything. I invariably request to go back to my former position, and when denied, I leave for a different development job. I am fortunate that I discovered very early in my career that I am pretty good at doing something I also happen to enjoy. I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.
    This.

    The day that I get bored with actual design and/or development is the day that I'll take a management position. Also something to note is that in order to be a manager you need to be FT. I'm not sure about your position, but I won't be converting to FT for at least another 3-5 years.

    Maybe this is another "I work in the best area for tech in the universe" thing, but what the fuck kind of chintzy companies do you guys work for that don't provide an engineering career path (that doesn't involve moving into management)? Microsoft started that, oh... 20 years ago. Maybe you should get your company to join the 21st century.



  • @snoofle said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...


    I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.
     

    Except, you seem to hate your job.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Maybe this is another "I work in the best area for tech in the universe" thing, but what the fuck kind of chintzy companies do you guys work for that don't provide an engineering career path (that doesn't involve moving into management)? Microsoft started that, oh... 20 years ago. Maybe you should get your company to join the 21st century.

    It's more likely a small company thing. Most small companies don't really have any concept of career paths. Or enough varied positions to be able to justify them. Whatever the qualities of the tech industry there, the weather alone is enough that I'd never want to live there.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:
    @snoofle said:
    Personally, I've been promoted to management several times, and each time I hated it. Meetings all day. You never get to design or build anything. I invariably request to go back to my former position, and when denied, I leave for a different development job. I am fortunate that I discovered very early in my career that I am pretty good at doing something I also happen to enjoy. I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.
    This.

    The day that I get bored with actual design and/or development is the day that I'll take a management position. Also something to note is that in order to be a manager you need to be FT. I'm not sure about your position, but I won't be converting to FT for at least another 3-5 years.

    Maybe this is another "I work in the best area for tech in the universe" thing, but what the fuck kind of chintzy companies do you guys work for that don't provide an engineering career path (that doesn't involve moving into management)? Microsoft started that, oh... 20 years ago. Maybe you should get your company to join the 21st century.
    Well, that depends on when you ask that question because I start new contracts every 6-18 months...  Right now I'm at a massive corporation which does have this option.  I forget what they call it, but basically you become some kind of a subject matter expert.  Your salary keeps going up (as well as benefits like vacation, etc.), but you never actually have to be a manager.  From what I've seen, these career paths seem to be quite rare though.  HR likes to do this because it's easier for them to pigeon-hole you on their matrix and it's much less subjective, which means less complaints from other, lets say "less talented", employees.



  • @DOA said:

    Maybe he thinks he is a script, albeit a very slow one.

    Then offer him a pension or something if he'll reimplement himself in bash.



  • @aliquot said:

    Except, you seem to hate your job.
     

    I never got that impression.

    From his posts, I understood snoofle hated WTF aspects that crop up at his workplace, such as incompetent management, horrendous code, useless co-workers and decisions that are so obviously stupid to everyone except the decision-maker themselves.

    I could be wrong and snoofle hates every aspect of his work, using this forum as an outlet to vent his frustration and retain his sanity (scary devil monastery for coders?) whilst carefully concealing his rage from us all. Only he can answer (or maybe not, as the case may be).



  •  Talking to him private explaining to him where he went wrong so that he is able to LEARN from the experiance, as he is clearly not as wonderous as you snoufle babes, rather than posting stuff about it on public interwebs, is the way forward.

    But being a twat snoufly, rather than talking to him, you take the piss.

    You really would benefit from being beaten to a bloody pulp with a chair leg.

    I don't know if anyone has ever explained it to you, but working in the same company the idea is to work together.

     

     



  • @karly said:

    You really would benefit from being beaten to a bloody pulp with a chair leg.
     

    Why so aggressive? You're not the 30-year old programmer in question, are you?

    Or have I just gained a YHBT medal?



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    I missed your post the first time through...  Question: If you were running a dev shop, which developers would you and which ones wouldn't you give commit access to?  From the developers that don't have commit access, why do they still have a job at your shop?  A developer who doesn't contribute to any project, to me at least, seems like just an expensive seat warmer, no?

    My general rule is that developers do NOT get commit access until about a half dozen potential commits (different tasks, not file counts) have been reviewed.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @karly said:

    You really would benefit from being beaten to a bloody pulp with a chair leg.
     

    Why so aggressive? You're not the 30-year old programmer in question, are you?

    Or have I just gained a YHBT medal?


    The latter - karly is the latest anti-Snoofle troll here.



  • @Quietust said:

    karly is the latest anti-Snoofle troll here.

    Wait...there are more people here who don't like snoofle?! Let's get the posse together and go find them!



  • @Quietust said:

    The latter - karly is the latest anti-Snoofle troll here.
     

    Damn me and my noobishness. Should have researched first. Still, learn from the experience and all that.



  • @karly said:

    piss
     

    Woo, an actual troll!

    Fun!



  • @karly said:

    Talking to him private explaining to him where he went wrong so that he is able to LEARN from the experiance, as he is clearly not as wonderous as you snoufle babes, rather than posting stuff about it on public interwebs, is the way forward.


    @snoofle said:

    Today, my boss and I are going to sit with this guy and try and explain the concepts of a) following directions, b) asking if there's a better way if something seems repetitive, and c) doing small tests before making major changes

    So you mean he should do what he said he was going to do (and probably already has by now)? Just because snoofle chooses to post the stories of his daily WTFs doesn't mean that he ignores the source of the problem to let it happen again. I have yet to see a repeat story...

    EDIT: Multiple negative headache resolved.



  • @karly said:

    ...explaining to him where he went wrong so that he is able to LEARN from the experiance...
    What if he doesn't listen?  It is his style, after all.



  •  I just find it hard to believe that snoufle is a real person and not some eastern European performing arts collective which has deliberately created some  arsehole character as a joke,some kind of post modernist Dilbert.



  • @karly said:

    I just find it hard to believe that snoufle is a real person and not some eastern European performing arts collective which has deliberately created some arsehole character as a joke,some kind of post modernist Dilbert.

    Well, sure, but who cares what you believe? No one really believes in you, either. Is this another party line account like Nagesh? Or maybe a bridgett99 sockpuppet? You're not a Best Korean neighbor of serguey123's, are you? Are you a friend of Alex who's pissed off about getting suckered with crazy Finnish candy?

    Oh, my God! Snoofle ran over your dog, didn't he?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    While I agree with you, some people make them send changes to someone else (in one form or another) and have that person review and check in the changes... perhaps until the person proves themself.

    So commit to an experimental branch then let someone review that. If it checks out, push to default/mainline/whatever.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...

    A friend of mine had a nice viewpoint too: people usually get promoted once they are assumed to fit their role; as a result, people are usually in roles they are not fit for.



  • @Weps said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...

    A friend of mine had a nice viewpoint too: people usually get promoted once they are assumed to fit their role; as a result, people are usually in roles they are not fit for.

    Wow... that's very unique... did he come up with that all by himself?



  • @Weps said:

    @Cassidy said:
    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...
    A friend of mine had a nice viewpoint too: people usually get promoted once they are assumed to fit their role; as a result, people are usually in roles they are not fit for.

    ... so: 1) your friend takes credit for coming up with the Peter Principle? and 2) you're such an idiot you didn't instantly recognize the Peter Principle?

    That is a depressing anecdote in two ways.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Weps said:
    @Cassidy said:
    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...
    A friend of mine had a nice viewpoint too: people usually get promoted once they are assumed to fit their role; as a result, people are usually in roles they are not fit for.

    ... so: 1) your friend takes credit for coming up with the Peter Principle? and 2) you're such an idiot you didn't instantly recognize the Peter Principle?

    That is a depressing anecdote in two ways.

    You're not the first one that thinks I'm an idiot, so I guess, that makes you an idiot too.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    your friend takes credit for coming up with the Peter Principle?
    Maybe his friend IS Peter?!



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @snoofle said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I've got to ask why someone spends so long in the same job/role and never progresses...


    Personally, I've been promoted to management several times, and each time I hated it. Meetings all day. You never get to design or build anything. I invariably request to go back to my former position, and when denied, I leave for a different development job. I am fortunate that I discovered very early in my career that I am pretty good at doing something I also happen to enjoy. I hope to finish out my career at a keyboard. Geeky? Perhaps, but I'm happy.
    This.

    The day that I get bored with actual design and/or development is the day that I'll take a management position.  Also something to note is that in order to be a manager you need to be FT.  I'm not sure about your position, but I won't be converting to FT for at least another 3-5 years.

    FT == Full Time?



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    FT == Full Time?
    That's what I thought - though if it is, it's likely that it's in comparison to "contractor" (as opposed to "part time," which is the usual opposite.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    so: 1) your friend takes credit for coming up with the Peter Principle?
     

    I was gonna quote Peter Principle but Blakey beat me to it. Perhaps I'll throw the Dilbert Principle in for icing on the cake.

    Some organisations deliberately avoid Peter/Dilbert by recognising that the next step up requires skillsets the individual lacks, which is usually addressable by training programmes, but the promotion not only requires gaining new/different skills but the ability to unlearn/lose some current skills - a behavioural characteristic that some people lack. 

    For that reason, those organisations have a policy not of promotion but of pay increments, keeping the skilled employees in the position where they can be the most productive and rewarding their loyalty with a salary that could be in excess of their managers. I heard that EDS was one such company (discussing your salary with other employees outside of pay negotiations is a sackable offence).

    Thus, it's not unusual to spend quite some time in a specific role and not "career progress[1]" if that's what you're good at (as Snoofle mentioned in his situation).  Annoyingly, the converse is true - I've encountered many organisations where lack of any training programme means newly-promoted individuals initially flounder in their new role; it's just assumed that they magically inherit capabilities their level of seniority requires (e.g.: senior developer being an architect, new team leader having people and organisational skills).

    [1] is that the right term? I mean progress hierarchically up the doing<->thinking chain.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @karly said:

     I just find it hard to believe that snoufle is a real person and not some eastern European performing arts collective which has deliberately created some  arsehole character as a joke,some kind of post modernist Dilbert.

     And anyone who's worked in software development for any real length of time finds it hard to believe that snoofles is a real person and not someeastern European performing arts collective commenting on the nightmare that is our everyday life. 

     

    Frankly, I could do the same thing as snoofle - at least one WTF/day, but the tech stack we work with is absolutely unique in the world and I'd be identified in minutes. So I'll do it once I've left this place.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @aliquot said:

    Except, you seem to hate your job.
     

    I never got that impression.

    From his posts, I understood snoofle hated WTF aspects that crop up at his workplace, such as incompetent management, horrendous code, useless co-workers and decisions that are so obviously stupid to everyone except the decision-maker themselves.<

    I could be wrong and snoofle hates every aspect of his work, using this forum as an outlet to vent his frustration and retain his sanity (scary devil monastery for coders?) whilst carefully concealing his rage from us all. Only he can answer (or maybe not, as the case may be).

    The former. I'm a tinkerer; I like to fix things, and what better place to find stuff that needs fixing than a WTF-infested hellhole? Think about it: if everything was perfect, there'd be nothing for me, and frankly all of us, to do!

     



  • @snoofle said:

    The former. I'm a tinkerer; I like to fix things, and what better place to find stuff that needs fixing than a WTF-infested hellhole? Think about it: if everything was perfect, there'd be nothing for me, and frankly all of us, to do!

    Except make new and exciting* things.



  • @snoofle said:

    I spent ten minutes writing a script to get the revisions from source control, and to programmatically do the rollback.

    What kind of crazy source control won't let you just roll back to an old revision?



  • @boomzilla said:

    You're not a Best Korean neighbor of serguey123's, are you?

    That is impossible, I'm the only person from Corrupsylvania in this fora :)



  • @serguey123 said:

    @boomzilla said:

    You're not a Best Korean neighbor of serguey123's, are you?

    That is impossible, I'm the only person from Corrupsylvania in this fora :)

    I think what @boomzilla meant to say was best Uzbekistanian neighbor, right?


  •  @Sutherlands said:

    Except make new and exciting* things.

    This is gonna sound somewhat pedantic dickweedery, but fixing WTF-infested things is making something new in itself. I'm surprised at the number of times I've made a simple change to something I consider a minor WTF (such as pre-populating a date field with today's date or adding a table index) and users have viewed that change as a major exciting productivity-raising revelation - yet I thought TRWTF was that they tolerated that system's behaviour for so long (why buy a dog and bark yourself?)

    History has shown that many new and exciting things have been born from someone viewing current standards as a WTF, and figuring out fixes or alternatives. I'm thinking things like remote control devices (even simple TV or household lights), mouse/pointer and touchscreen technology, flat-screen from CRT, having dedicated video/audio/controller chips outside of the CPU, using microwaves to excite water molecules rather than applying heat via electrical/chemical means to cook foods...

    I understand snoofle's point. I have a boss that once told me "the day computers all work as intended is the day you're out of a job" - although my job involves more people stuff and less computer stuff these days, so for my situation his prediction is obsolete.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    What kind of crazy source control won't let you just roll back to an old revision?
    I was wondering the same thing; reverting should be easy.  CVS, maybe?  (Except that would only require a programmatic rollback if files were added/removed; it didn't sound like that was the case.)

    I could see if maybe other developers had since made changes that they needed to keep - it could be tricky to revert old changes and cherrypick new changes.  But it didn't sound like there were a lot of other developers working on that particular third-party tool.

    Maybe the guy just made a mess of things when he tried to revert one-by-one?


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