After years of mocking people's WTF jobs on this site, I finally got my comeuppance.
Today at work our graphic designer asked me to help her make a "little change" to our company's web site. She's the maintainer of the site, but as a graphic designer by trade, she doesn't really get into the code side of things. It turns out she wanted to rearrange an item in the menus -- move a subheading to the top menu. She wasn't sure how to do it, so thats where I come in.
I went to the site and hit 'View Source' and it looked like standard ASP stuff, lots of controls with dynamic gibberish for names. Definitely a master page with some dynamic menu controls and content sections. Should be no problem, so I ask her what the directory is so I can pull up the master page and show her what to change -- and that's where things got ugly.
There was no master page in this directory, just a ton of aspx files. That's odd. I opened one and found out that it was actually a completely static webpage. It ended in aspx, but you could've renamed it to html and been just fine. The strange thing is that it was full of ASP-ish looking HTML. Almost like someone had just hit "view source" from an ASP site and saved the output as an aspx file.
Oh, no. Tell me we didn't....
Every other ASP page -- 100+ -- was a different static copy of a page on one had once been a dynamic ASP site. This meant that common content that was once in the masterpage was now replicated 100 times... and completely unmaintainable.
It turns out that someone in management had a problem -- "When the graphic designer needs to make changes to the web site, she ends up burning developer hours. How could we solve this?"
And the solution to every problem is of course, an intern. This intern had been tasked with the job of browsing our entire site, saving the source of each page as its own aspx page, and then fixing up the links. I have no idea how long this took our intern, but it's a miracle he didn't kill himself. And now that we had a giant, static site, our designer could make changes to her hearts content using her WYSIWYG editor of choice. Brillant!
Unfortunately, this meant touching up to 100 files, depending on what she wanted to change. But at least there are no developer hours be wasted in this process! Apparently graphic designer hours do not have actual value.
The real test of the WTF-ness will be the response I get from management. I sent an email with an overview of the problem and the solution (switch back to a real ASP site and give our designer some training on how to update it, at the expense of some of those precious developer hours) and the repercussions if we don't (our designer quits her job in disgust or our site never gets updated). I'm not terribly confident that they'll let me spend the time needed to fix the problem.