PDA

View Full Version : What turds have you been asked to polish?



Gentile
18th October 2012, 17:45
Some threads recently on the general subject of unrealistic client expectations and inheriting disaster projects have got me thinking today about some of my own past "learning experiences".

The one that stands out for me was one chap from about ten years ago who'd designed the original version of his database schema in some cheapy desktop package apparently called "Dataworks". I know this, because although it'd moved on since then and had become an Access database by the time I was asked to look at it, the design still consisted of about three hundred tables that had all just been left with their default names of "Dataworks123", "Dataworks282", etc. To say it hadn't been normalised would be the understatement of the year. And he wondered why when he put customer data into "Dataworks157" the system wasn't smart enough to pick that up when he later tried to use a completely different table to populate a list of existing customers for some other part of his system. When I showed him that you can actually rename tables to something more meaningful, and establish relationships between them that enforced referential integrity it was like watching a drunk orangutan trying to understand an episode of Jeremy Kyle.

Which un-polishable turds that would have required more than merely being rolled in glitter to make them sparkle as desired have you encountered in your travels?

palatino winotype
18th October 2012, 18:09
I think you are being a little bit churlish.

I love Halloween, me.

Ok, its more of an American thing but any excuse for a knees up!

That's what I love about this time of year, lots of celebrations over the period. Christmas, my birthday, firework night.

Maybe I'll do diwali too!

Pondlife
18th October 2012, 18:14
I think you are being a little bit churlish.

I love Halloween, me.

Ok, its more of an American thing but any excuse for a knees up!

That's what I love about this time of year, lots of celebrations over the period. Christmas, my birthday, firework night.

Maybe I'll do diwali too!

Congrats on this one.

Gentile
18th October 2012, 18:17
I think you are being a little bit churlish.

I love Halloween, me.

Ok, its more of an American thing but any excuse for a knees up!

That's what I love about this time of year, lots of celebrations over the period. Christmas, my birthday, firework night.

Maybe I'll do diwali too!

Is your name "Jim", and did you once design a system called "Dataworks Magic", by any chance? :ohwell

bless 'em all
18th October 2012, 18:39
Back in my permie telecom days I was asked to test a shiny new in-house report to extract complaints data for statistical analysis. It promised all the whistles and bells you could ever wish for.

The very moment I launched the report, arriving at a very impressive title page, the developer was over my shoulder. "You won't find any issues in this, I've been through it a dozen times already. It's perfect." he says.

Really? Quoth I .... Who the f-ing hell is Ocfom then? It went downhill from there ..... :eyes

cojak
18th October 2012, 18:48
Is your name "Jim", and did you once design a system called "Dataworks Magic", by any chance? :ohwell

:laugh

suityou01
18th October 2012, 19:39
Donkeys years ago I took a permie role with a firm that did visual inspection systems. They had a homemade system that was metal tube carcass, kitchen worktop, cupboard doors etc. The reason they could get away with this is because they were so niche.

Anyhoo, the code was VB6 and this very odd developer had basically worked on this code on his own for years and years. I was to assist him. His code was awful, had no grasp of object orientation. It was spaghetti code. I hated it for months.

But I found myself learning to think the way he though, and when I figured it out, his code made sense if you applied the fooked-up-thought filters accordingly.

I look back and laugh, but it taught me to respect code that is in and working and take my time in understanding it. Badly written code in production systems is more of a challenge than a royal PITA since this experience. And if you think about it, you're more likely to come across shite code than brilliant code as you move from gig to gig.

A wise person said to me this year, if everything in life was perfect, nothing would move.

Gentile
18th October 2012, 20:00
...Badly written code in production systems is more of a challenge than a royal PITA since this experience. And if you think about it, you're more likely to come across tulipe code than brilliant code as you move from gig to gig....

I don't know whether it's unusual, but I'd say I've more often been exposed to examples of good work than bad on average. A huge irony I've found, though, is that those people that write the worst stuff are usually the most arrogant and blinkered to the fact that they've produced crap.

E.g., on my last job I was literally working with people that between them had PhDs in Mathematics, advanced post-graduate degrees in automated search algorithms, and one particularly bright Polish guy that had every problem sorted out in his head before most of the rest of us had even understood what the problem was. Every single one of them was completely grounded and down to earth. You never heard them big up any of their considerable achievements. They didn't have to - the quality of their work spoke for itself.

By contrast, the place I worked before that had a "Chief Technical Architect" who was also their sole and only developer at the time I came along. (It was that kind of place: everybody was a Director of Printing, Manager of Filing or some other inflated title). This guy was easily the most incompetent buffoon I've ever encountered in 22 years in technology. He'd come in without telling anyone else at 4am and break the code base trying out some nonsense that had occurred to him in his sleep. He'd talk at everyone from the CEO to the marketing people to me for hours about how he thought we should do our jobs, despite being demonstrably and grossly incompetent in his own limited responsibilities.

One day, he brought the database server down by applying an untested patch. He should have tried applying it to the backup first, but he hadn't. (Rules were just there for other people to follow you see). So, we decided to bring the backup up to be the main server whilst we worked out what had gone wrong. He went off to do that, and next thing we knew the backup was broken as well. He'd applied the exact same patch to the backup before he brought it online, unable to believe that it was his patch that had caused so much trouble. Of course, he never learned from any of these mistakes, because he was deluded enough to believe that he never made any. I didn't stick around there for very long.

SimonMac
18th October 2012, 20:23
None, because I'm not a code monkey

darmstadt
18th October 2012, 20:26
Lots more here (http://thedailywtf.com/)

escapeUK
18th October 2012, 20:49
He'd talk at everyone from the CEO to the marketing people to me for hours about how he thought we should do our jobs, despite being demonstrably and grossly incompetent in his own limited responsibilities.

You just cant deal with intelligent men, can you?

d000hg
18th October 2012, 20:51
I think on balance she must be a bloody good developer because she sure doesn't charm herself into any gigs.

Gentile
18th October 2012, 21:02
You just cant deal with intelligent men, can you?

Just for clarity, those people with the PhDs, etc, that I mentioned were so good to work with before: they were all men. It's wee boys with big egos I've no time for. ;)

fullyautomatix
18th October 2012, 21:36
Just for clarity, those people with the PhDs, etc, that I mentioned were so good to work with before: they were all men. It's wee boys with big egos I've no time for. ;)

:facepalm:

Gentile
18th October 2012, 21:42
I think on balance she must be a bloody good developer because she sure doesn't charm herself into any gigs.


:facepalm:

Now, now boys. Do stop pulling my pigtails. :)

speling bee
18th October 2012, 21:46
Now, now boys. Do stop pulling my pigtails. :)

Looks like the remedial literacy set has taken a shine to you.

eek
18th October 2012, 22:00
Looks like the remedial literacy set has taken a shine to you.

:wave:

BP and MF will be back later once they've finished detention.

eek
18th October 2012, 22:05
Separately Louie appears to have found a good un,

http://forums.contractoruk.com/accounting-legal/83198-liability.html

Zippy
18th October 2012, 22:51
Well, here's the thing - I don't think I've ever had a job where there wasn't a turd to polish.

Oh, how I dream of somebody saying "Hey Zip, our co is doing really, really well and we're so organised and on top of things. Why don't we give you a few hundred quid a day so you can bugger about with whatever you fancy?"

If there were no feck-ups, we wouldn't be making any money.

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:00
Well, here's the thing - I don't think I've ever had a job where there wasn't a turd to polish.

Oh, how I dream of somebody saying "Hey Zip, our co is doing really, really well and we're so organised and on top of things. Why don't we give you a few hundred quid a day so you can bugger about with whatever you fancy?"

If there were no feck-ups, we wouldn't be making any money.

I don't think that's true at all. If you've always had a turd to polish in each of your jobs to date, does that mean you've never done any new builds? Never been asked to augment a system that's basically sound with some new functionality, or to re-implement a proven but aging design in a newer technology?

You'll know when you're dealing with a true turd. It'll be a turd before you arrive, it'll be a turd long after you're finished or you decide to decline the work, and it'll be a turd until the day they put it in the bin and start over again. And at all points on that timeline someone with influence (usually its amateur author) will believe it to be the best thing since sliced bread despite all available evidence to the contrary.

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:00
Well, here's the thing - I don't think I've ever had a job where there wasn't a turd to polish.

Oh, how I dream of somebody saying "Hey Zip, our co is doing really, really well and we're so organised and on top of things. Why don't we give you a few hundred quid a day so you can bugger about with whatever you fancy?"

If there were no feck-ups, we wouldn't be making any money.

Its a fair point. I get my money from fixing the occasional screw up that no one else has a clue about.

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:01
I don't think that's true at all. If you've always had a turd to polish in each of your jobs to date, does that mean you've never done any new builds? Never been asked to augment a system that's basically sound with some new functionality, or to re-implement a proven but aging design in a newer technology?

You'll know when you're dealing with a true turd. It'll be a turd before you arrive, it'll be a turd long after you're finished or you decide to decline the work, and it'll be a turd until the day they put it in the bin and start over again. And at all points on that timeline someone with influence (usually its amateur author) will believe it to be the best thing since sliced bread despite all available evidence to the contrary.

bollocks

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:03
bollocks

Which particular parts were "bollocks" and why, EO?

Or were you just exercising your Tourette muscle?

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:10
Which particular parts were "bollocks" and why, EO?

Or were you just exercising your Tourette muscle?

oh deary deary me.
you seem to imply that just because a job is green fields , it cannot be a disaster waiting to happen. have you never seen changing requirements, bad spec, moving goal posts , project creep.
????

a sound sytem that has a new angle. cant possibly go wrong ???


well I may have been unlucky and had the same bad experiences as zippy.
but very few project run on rails in my experience


:rolleyes:

Zippy
18th October 2012, 23:17
I guess I've never been a bum on seat contractor, really. What's it like?

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:20
I guess I've never been a bum on seat contractor, really. What's it like?

well i dont know dear.

but anyone who denigrates another by using the term 'enforced referential integrity'
is a gobsh!te in my humble opinion




:rolleyes:

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:22
oh deary deary me.
you seem to imply that just because a job is green fields , it cannot be a disaster waiting to happen. have you never seen changing requirements, bad spec, moving goal posts , project creep.
????

a sound sytem that has a new angle. cant possibly go wrong ???


well I may have been unlucky and had the same bad experiences as zippy.
but very few project run on rails in my experience

No, not at all. What I am saying is that a "disaster waiting to happen" is materially different from being asked to polish a turd. The distinctive characteristics of the latter being that you have an existing awful product that the client is nonetheless convinced is 99% complete and wants to keep, when in reality it would take you longer to make it work as intended than it would to build something from scratch.

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:27
well i dont know dear.

but anyone who denigrates another by using the term 'enforced referential integrity'
is a gobsh!te in my humble opinion

I think I made it clear that the real WTF was the person's insistence on using hundreds of near-identically named tables in preference to any sort of coherent design, EO, not just that they'd missed a few steps in normalisation. However, I can see you're upset this evening for some inexplicable reason, so I'll leave it there. It's a shame, because you seem like a pretty decent guy most of the time. It's just occasionally that you have these outbursts like the one above, seemingly without provocation and at random, that honestly leave me mystified as to what's upset you. :shruggy shoulders smiley needed:

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:28
I guess I've never been a bum on seat contractor, really. What's it like?

If I ever find out what one is I'll let you know.

NickFitz
18th October 2012, 23:45
Back in the Eighties I was doing the Amiga conversion of Night Hunter:


http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/images/Night-Hunter-barn.png (http://hol.abime.net/972/screenshot)

One of the things that had to happen at the start of each level was that those five keys you see at the bottom right had to be distributed in a randomly-chosen subset of possible locations around the level. Of course, you couldn't put a key inside the room it opened, as then you couldn't get to it; and you couldn't have the key for room A in room B and for room B in room A, as then you couldn't get either, and so on. So, when distributing the keys around the level, the code had to check the graph of doors and previously-allocated keys to ensure that didn't happen; and that called for a nice recursive bit of code that could backtrack and try again until all the constraints were satisfied.

Now, the original game was written for the Atari ST, which like the Amiga had a 68000 processor, so you might think I could just use the original code; after all, nothing about that algorithm would change. As it happened, the creator of the original thought he'd been extremely clever and was frightened of giving away his secrets, and had thus refused to provide all of his source code to me (despite Ubisoft's attempts to persuade him). However I did have the bit which did the level initialisation, so I worked out which bit of code I needed to look at, printed it out, and sat down to work through it and make sure I understood it and could do the minor changes to make it work with my data structures.

Reading 68000 assembly language isn't particularly hard, but one problem was that the original creator was French. So all variables and labels were written in French; but more than that, they were in greatly-abbreviated French, and involved bits of French programmer slang. Think in terms of a label like "initialise-key-buffer" being translated into French, with slang words for "key" and "buffer", and then most of the vowels removed, along with other arbitrarily-selected letters: something like "inkbf", but in French.

Then there was the fact that, frankly, the chap's opinion of his own abilities was perhaps a little unjustified, judging by that code. It was spaghetti of a level I'd seldom seen before, and I was experienced at reading 6502 Commodore 64 code written by 15-year-olds. It ran to about twelve printed sides of A4; it recursed in multiple places; but better still, different places recursed back to multiple recursion-entry-points. It would decide something unintelligible was the case, and leap back six pages, where some other condition would be tested, whereupon it might jump forward a page or two, or go back a bit further, and I spent an entire day poring over it and drawing lines backwards and forwards and identifying bits of code that seemed to form some kind of functional unit, but no, this bit up here branches right into the middle of that, and…

And it was half past seven in the evening, and I'd had enough. I threw the printout in the bin, and picked up my notebook, and went to the pub and got a pint of Burton. Then I sat in a quiet corner and set to work. An hour later, halfway through my second pint, I'd got about a dozen pages of notes, and about thirty lines of code written, comprising two functions. I typed it in the next morning, and it worked straight off the bat.

I never again looked at any of the source code for Night Hunter ST in completing Night Hunter Amiga ;)


http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/images/Night-Hunter-1990-Ubisoft.png

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:49
heh heh.

a pint of Burton eh ?

Gentile
18th October 2012, 23:54
I'm seriously impressed, Nick. Not just at the discrete maths I know must have been involved in that key-placement algorithm (though Graph Traversal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_traversal) is a tricky subject), but at the fact you actually programmed games for the second-favourite machine of my youth (my absolute favourite being my old Speccy :)).

I've still got my old Amiga up in my loft in mint condition, along with a whole load of equally well-preserved "Crash!" magazines for the Speccy. :)

EternalOptimist
18th October 2012, 23:55
Back in the Eighties I was doing the Amiga conversion of Night Hunter:


http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/images/Night-Hunter-barn.png (http://hol.abime.net/972/screenshot)

One of the things that had to happen at the start of each level was that those five keys you see at the bottom right had to be distributed in a randomly-chosen subset of possible locations around the level. Of course, you couldn't put a key inside the room it opened, as then you couldn't get to it; and you couldn't have the key for room A in room B and for room B in room A, as then you couldn't get either, and so on. So, when distributing the keys around the level, the code had to check the graph of doors and previously-allocated keys to ensure that didn't happen; and that called for a nice recursive bit of code that could backtrack and try again until all the constraints were satisfied.

Now, the original game was written for the Atari ST, which like the Amiga had a 68000 processor, so you might think I could just use the original code; after all, nothing about that algorithm would change. As it happened, the creator of the original thought he'd been extremely clever and was frightened of giving away his secrets, and had thus refused to provide all of his source code to me (despite Ubisoft's attempts to persuade him). However I did have the bit which did the level initialisation, so I worked out which bit of code I needed to look at, printed it out, and sat down to work through it and make sure I understood it and could do the minor changes to make it work with my data structures.

Reading 68000 assembly language isn't particularly hard, but one problem was that the original creator was French. So all variables and labels were written in French; but more than that, they were in greatly-abbreviated French, and involved bits of French programmer slang. Think in terms of a label like "initialise-key-buffer" being translated into French, with slang words for "key" and "buffer", and then most of the vowels removed, along with other arbitrarily-selected letters: something like "inkbf", but in French.

Then there was the fact that, frankly, the chap's opinion of his own abilities was perhaps a little unjustified, judging by that code. It was spaghetti of a level I'd seldom seen before, and I was experienced at reading 6502 Commodore 64 code written by 15-year-olds. It ran to about twelve printed sides of A4; it recursed in multiple places; but better still, different places recursed back to multiple recursion-entry-points. It would decide something unintelligible was the case, and leap back six pages, where some other condition would be tested, whereupon it might jump forward a page or two, or go back a bit further, and I spent an entire day poring over it and drawing lines backwards and forwards and identifying bits of code that seemed to form some kind of functional unit, but no, this bit up here branches right into the middle of that, and…

And it was half past seven in the evening, and I'd had enough. I threw the printout in the bin, and picked up my notebook, and went to the pub and got a pint of Burton. Then I sat in a quiet corner and set to work. An hour later, halfway through my second pint, I'd got about a dozen pages of notes, and about thirty lines of code written, comprising two functions. I typed it in the next morning, and it worked straight off the bat.

I never again looked at any of the source code for Night Hunter ST in completing Night Hunter Amiga ;)


http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/images/Night-Hunter-1990-Ubisoft.png

what I want to know
is why the games were so much better with 128 k to work with, than they are now:frown

NickFitz
18th October 2012, 23:59
heh heh.

a pint of Burton eh ?

Yep, Ind Coope Draught Burton Ale :)

You can't get it now (http://www.beer-pages.com/protz/features/burton-ale.htm) :(

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 00:04
Yep, Ind Coope Draught Burton Ale :)

You can't get it now (http://www.beer-pages.com/protz/features/burton-ale.htm) :(

when I am working away, i try to solve problems in the pub. on a beermat.

but never writing functions.

ideas yes. actual code - no


that proves the supremacy of two pints of burtons over six pints of fozzies

NickFitz
19th October 2012, 00:09
what I want to know
is why the games were so much better with 128 k to work with, than they are now:frown

I think people worked harder to make the gameplay good because the technology itself was so limited.

Nowadays you can, to a certain degree, get away with fancy graphics, or make a game seem more than it is with loads of levels and big promotional budgets. There's also the fact that the industry is more like Hollywood in scale these days, so there's a tendency to make everything palatable to the mainstream.

There's still some originals out there though. Notch made Minecraft pretty much on his own (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft#Development) and has achieved huge success :)

NickFitz
19th October 2012, 00:12
I'm seriously impressed, Nick. Not just at the discrete maths I know must have been involved in that key-placement algorithm (though Graph Traversal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_traversal) is a tricky subject), but at the fact you actually programmed games for the second-favourite machine of my youth (my absolute favourite being my old Speccy :)).

I've still got my old Amiga up in my loft in mint condition, along with a whole load of equally well-preserved "Crash!" magazines for the Speccy. :)

The company I worked with did quite a few Speccy conversions, but I'd been a BBC guy. I started at the company doing PC games (think Amstrad PC1512). Then I moved on to the ST, then the Amiga.

NickFitz
19th October 2012, 00:15
when I am working away, i try to solve problems in the pub. on a beermat.

but never writing functions.

ideas yes. actual code - no


that proves the supremacy of two pints of burtons over six pints of fozzies

I'd worked everything out and put my notebook away, but my mind was still buzzing away thinking it through. In the end I pulled the notebook back out and wrote the code because it was the only way to stop myself thinking about it and relax :)

Gentile
19th October 2012, 00:22
The company I worked with did quite a few Speccy conversions, but I'd been a BBC guy. I started at the company doing PC games (think Amstrad PC1512). Then I moved on to the ST, then the Amiga.

That was the stuff that got me into programming. I'm sure that the type of computer games that were cutting edge back then would all seem very low tech to kids today, just as looking back at '60s technology seemed forever ago to me at the time, but games like those were exactly what I was trying to make when I was buggering about with Sinclair Basic and machine code on my Speccy. Of course, I never produced anything like the sort of commercial-grade games that were my inspiration, but I learned a lot along the way, and even managed to get one Speccy game working well enough to give it away to other geeks. Fun times. :)

Right, it's well past this nostagic geek's bedtime. Goodnight one and all. :)

Ignis Fatuus
19th October 2012, 07:15
... it was like watching a drunk orangutan trying to understand an episode of Jeremy Kyle.
I thought that was the target audience?

BrilloPad
19th October 2012, 07:23
Just for clarity, those people with the PhDs, etc, that I mentioned were so good to work with before: they were all men. It's wee boys with big egos I've no time for. ;)

I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.

aussielong
19th October 2012, 07:35
I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.

Writing good code is not hard- there are rules/idioms/patterns you can teach "code monkeys".

Identifying the correct code to write is hard , and takes many many years of experience.

Having nice hand writing does not make you Shakespeare.

alreadypacked
19th October 2012, 07:38
Lucky for me, most of my roles have involved trowing turds out :smokin

d000hg
19th October 2012, 08:23
what I want to know
is why the games were so much better with 128 k to work with, than they are now:frownPossibly because you were younger?

doomage
19th October 2012, 08:41
When I worked in the hospital lab we'd occasionally have to do a 48 (or 72) hours faecal fat test, which involved boiling up someone's tulip that had been collected over 48 hours to work out the fat content. So I have boiled turds but not polished them.

norrahe
19th October 2012, 08:57
Lucky for me, most of my roles have involved trowing turds out :smokin

I seem to start on one thing and then get asked to take on "project poisoned chalice" it gets done but not without a lot of political interference from the big knobs, meddling from minions and a lot of stress.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 09:13
I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.It can go either way - they can do that (I think as much for fun as showing off), or they can go the other way and just churn out wonderful work.

doodab
19th October 2012, 09:28
It's a question of intelligence and experience. Even the most intelligent amongst us require practice to master a complex skill.

0 0 = usually doesn't work anyway

1 0 = usually works, often complex and impossible for an outsider to follow, not designed for maintainability or extendibility and eventually ends up a mess

0 1 = usually works, mostly well structured with occasional inclusions

1 1 = this is the stuff you learn from

Many problems stem from "polyglots" who use C idioms when coding in a modern object oriented language, leaving a trail of null pointers & invalid objects in their wake and completely ignoring the standard libraries, although thankfully this seems to be dying out now. Another good one is people who implement components that deploy into a threaded framework, but because they have no direct interaction with the threading mechanisms they fail to understand the implications for shared data.

tractor
19th October 2012, 09:59
oh deary deary me.
you seem to imply that just because a job is green fields , it cannot be a disaster waiting to happen. have you never seen changing requirements, bad spec, moving goal posts , project creep.
????

a sound sytem that has a new angle. cant possibly go wrong ???


well I may have been unlucky and had the same bad experiences as zippy.
but very few project run on rails in my experience


:rolleyes:

Yes, it has a methodology all of its' own called.....Agile:eek:

Back in the early days of DBASE, I was called in to review a project that after a lot of effort, was going nowhere. It was sad but the guy had really been thrown in at the deep end and bear in mind that anyone who could spell i386 was a computer expert then and usually was a prime candidate for development jobs. Each form in his app had an individual program associated with each field to capture user input. I think there were about 2500 programs for a few screen forms. I think he had done his best but simply did not get it. I was a bit sad putting the report in but oh well....

Another contract, I was asked to review a prototype one of the permies had put together for a planning system. He had mocked up a load of screens in Publisher and demonstrated them as a prototype when in fact they were nothing more than glossy wireframes. He had spent every waking hour for 6 months on this little pet project. Project board actually assumed they were partial developments and gave him a budget to finish it off - Then he was pretty stumped! Funny thing was, they were quite surprised when I told them it had never done anything but looked pretty! Even funnier, they could have done exactly what he was trying to do in Project or Primavera.

Gentile
19th October 2012, 11:04
Indeed.

Heaven forfend that you try to maintain code produced by a "guru".

I've produced some turds of my own <preen>

One of 'em ended up selling in Argos. <preen>

It really was a gigantic POS.

Haven't we all, zeity? There's a difference, though, between people that recognise and learn from their honest mistakes like you, and those that make the same ones over and over again because they mistakenly believe everything they've ever done was 100% correct. I'm equally dubious of anyone that either believes they've never made a mistake, or who messes up consistently in the same way over and over again and never seems to learn from their past experiences.

aussielong
19th October 2012, 11:53
It's a question of intelligence and experience. Even the most intelligent amongst us require practice to master a complex skill.

0 0 = usually doesn't work anyway

1 0 = usually works, often complex and impossible for an outsider to follow, not designed for maintainability or extendibility and eventually ends up a mess

0 1 = usually works, mostly well structured with occasional inclusions

1 1 = this is the stuff you learn from

Many problems stem from "polyglots" who use C idioms when coding in a modern object oriented language, leaving a trail of null pointers & invalid objects in their wake and completely ignoring the standard libraries, although thankfully this seems to be dying out now. Another good one is people who implement components that deploy into a threaded framework, but because they have no direct interaction with the threading mechanisms they fail to understand the implications for shared data.

This is exactly the kind of w@nk that has got us into the situation we are in. These issues are trivial. Youre grasping at straws. Your "1 1" is noddy bob code. You wouldnt know proper stuff if it bit you on the nose.

Read my previous post on this thread and have a good think about it. You can learn from it.

NickFitz
19th October 2012, 12:18
I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.

Obligatory Brian Kernighan quote (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Brian_Kernighan):


Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?


- "The Elements of Programming Style", 2nd edition, chapter 2

doodab
19th October 2012, 12:35
This is exactly the kind of w@nk that has got us into the situation we are in. These issues are trivial. Youre grasping at straws. Your "1 1" is noddy bob code. You wouldnt know proper stuff if it bit you on the nose.

Read my previous post on this thread and have a good think about it. You can learn from it.

Oh do shut up you silly little man.

The code written by intelligent, experienced people is both the well written code and the right code, as per your earlier post. That's the point. The code monkeys taught rules turn out the 0 1 code.

Gentile
19th October 2012, 12:42
I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.

I agree with your second statement, but not the first.

I've worked with people that possessed abstract intelligence, and I've worked with people that weren't as academic. I found they were equally capable of using over-engineered anti-patterns in an effort to disguise the fact that they didn't really know what they were doing or why. But I've honestly never met an effective developer that wasn't also very intelligent.

I'd never treat someone merely having an advanced degree of learning as a red flag in and of itself, any more than I'd rule out someone with the right work experience but no academic background to speak of. At the end of the day it comes down to the person. You find out soon enough whether they're merely "book clever", or have the ability to apply what they know to practical problems.

doodab
19th October 2012, 12:46
This is exactly the kind of w@nk that has got us into the situation we are in. These issues are trivial. Youre grasping at straws. Your "1 1" is noddy bob code. You wouldnt know proper stuff if it bit you on the nose.

Read my previous post on this thread and have a good think about it. You can learn from it.

Given your lack of team working skills, the amount of noise you feel you need to make about how clever you are, and the fact you seem never to have met anyone better than you, i'd have you down somwhere in the (0.3,0.3) to (0.6, 0.6) range.

aussielong
19th October 2012, 12:50
Given your lack of team working skills, the amount of noise you feel you need to make about how clever you are, and the fact you seem never to have met anyone better than you, i'd have you down somwhere in the (0.3,0.3) to (0.6, 0.6) range.

Oh come on. I'm just bantering with youse.

You didn't used to take yourself this seriously at biology and genesis.

I have very little ego. I'm a martial artist.

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 12:53
I find that, beyond a certain point, the more intelligent the developer the worse the code.

Some people like to prove how clever they are by making things as complex as possible.

Lots of truth there.

There is something else as well though. maintainability.

quite often you are left with a mess on your hands because the coder has not considered who will come after him.
I worked with a highly intelligent (yet self-effacing) self taught visual basic coder. He worked his nuts off, one of the hardest working, effective guys you could ever meet.
If he had a bug, he could find it and fix it in minutes. seconds maybe.

I had absolutely no chance of working in it. it would have taken me days to find that bug. i didnt even bother trying after the first time.

on the other hand, a contractor working in a zillion different environments, and a zillion hand overs, will write stuff for the guy who will follow him . and not for himself

it's an effort and a seperate skill to be able to do this



:rolleyes:

eek
19th October 2012, 12:54
Oh come on. I'm just bantering with youse.

You didn't used to take yourself this seriously at biology and genesis.

I have very little ego. I'm a pi$$ artist.

FTFY but that was such an easy shot even suity could have done it.

tractor
19th October 2012, 12:55
Lots of truth there.

There is something else as well though. maintainability.

quite often you are left with a mess on your hands because the coder has not considered who will come after him.
I worked with a highly intelligent (yet self-effacing) self taught visual basic coder. He worked his nuts off, one of the hardest working, effective guys you could ever meet.
If he had a bug, he could find it and fix it in minutes. seconds maybe.

I had absolutely no chance of working in it. it would have taken me days to find that bug. i didnt even bother trying after the first time.

on the other hand, a contractor working in a zillion different environments, and a zillion hand overs, will write stuff for the guy who will follow him . and not for himself

it's an effort and a seperate skill to be able to do this



:rolleyes:

+1 also it is a frame of mind, you are either in it or not. If anyone on the team is not 'in the zone' any individual efforts to this end are largely wasted too.

sasguru
19th October 2012, 12:59
. But I've honestly never met an effective developer that wasn't also very intelligent.
.

Rubbish. Effective coding isn't rocket science, it just requires an IQ slightly above average.
As evidenced by how few good coders go on to do more difficult stuff.

Gentile
19th October 2012, 13:01
Rubbish. Effective coding isn't rocket science, it just requires an IQ slightly above average.
As evidenced by how few good coders go on to do more difficult stuff.

...and then of course you get the ones that merely think they are intelligent despite all available evidence to the contrary.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 13:04
Unless you tested them Gentile, you can't make the claim the good developers were all very intelligent. Maybe 'smart' is the right word.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 13:06
Rubbish. Effective coding isn't rocket science, it just requires an IQ slightly above average.
As evidenced by how few good coders go on to do more difficult stuff.I reckon you don't have to be a rocket-scientist to be an effective developer. However, I also genuinely think that being smart feeds into ANY job you do. Even in the 'dumb' jobs I did as a student like working in Tesco or pulling pints, you can use your brain to be more efficient and effective. So that would filter through into coding too... you'd see neater solutions instinctively.

sasguru
19th October 2012, 13:08
...and then of course you get the ones that merely think they are intelligent despite all available evidence to the contrary.

Quite.

aussielong
19th October 2012, 13:09
Rubbish. Effective coding isn't rocket science, it just requires an IQ slightly above average.
As evidenced by how few good coders go on to do more difficult stuff.

As I said, having neat hand writing does not make you Shakespeare , you arrogant narrow minded mental slob.

Which complex software problems have you solved?

Total charlatan. SAS macro editor with A-level maths.

Gentile
19th October 2012, 13:10
Unless you tested them Gentile, you can't make the claim the good developers were all very intelligent. Maybe 'smart' is the right word.

And you honestly wonder why people ignore you when 90% of your posts contain wilful pedantry like that, doogie?

sasguru
19th October 2012, 13:15
As I said, having neat hand writing does not make you Shakespeare , you arrogant narrow minded mental slob.

Which complex software problems have you solved?

Total charlatan. SAS macro editor with A-level maths.

Thanks for proving my point.
I've solved far more than complex software problems (although I did a bit of that in my time) - I've solved the problem of how to be financially secure at 40.
Now go back to work, you've got a renewal to work for. :laugh

sasguru
19th October 2012, 13:16
Oh and by the way, I'm about to complete my MSc in maths. Which I did for fun. :laugh

louie
19th October 2012, 13:18
I'm finding Computer Science to be more and more boring, I am planning to move into Maths or Physics, maybe a PhD and then hit the lecture circuit after a few high impact papers are published.

sasguru
19th October 2012, 13:19
I'm finding Computer Science to be more and more boring, I am planning to move into Maths or Physics, maybe a PhD and then hit the lecture circuit after a few high impact papers are published.

Maybe a Nobel AND a Fields along the way, eh? :laugh

louie
19th October 2012, 13:21
Maybe a Nobel AND a Fields along the way, eh? :laugh

Nah I wouldn't like the spotlight and fame, I will probably pleasantly decline it when they offer.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 13:21
And you honestly wonder why people ignore you when 90% of your posts contain wilful pedantry like that, doogie?You launched a pedantic attack on me in the professional forum for confusing IP Address with Domain, you hypocritical two-faced cow.

If you don't think there's a significant difference between being smart and being intelligent, you really are dumb. No wonder you have enjoyed working with seemingly bright people throughout your career, compared to you they ARE all smart.

I also see no evidence of people ignoring me, they keep replying to posts I make.

tractor
19th October 2012, 13:24
I'm finding Computer Science to be more and more boring, I am planning to move into Maths or Physics, maybe a PhD and then hit the lecture circuit after a few high impact papers are published.

I generally find that rolling them up quite tightly and using them like a baton has quite a high impact. Of course it doesn't matter what is written on them or indeed if anything is written on them at all..

Gentile
19th October 2012, 13:28
You launched a pedantic attack on me in the professional forum for confusing IP Address with Domain, you hypocritical two-faced cow.

If you don't think there's a significant difference between being smart and being intelligent, you really are dumb. No wonder you have enjoyed working with seemingly bright people throughout your career, compared to you they ARE all smart.

Oh change the record doogie, please. Get over yourself, realise that people don't give nearly as much of a toss about your uninformed opinions as you seem to think, and certainly aren't interested in entering into meaningless digressions about minutiae in every single conversation you participate in, such as your perceptions of the technical distinctions between "intelligence" and "being smart".

Have you noticed how many of your CUK conversations end in you attempting to nit-pick some irrelevant non-point that nobody's interested in, and everyone else just giving up and ignoring you? There's a reason for that. So learn from your repeated experiences of being ignored FFS and stop acting like a pointless pedant.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 13:32
Get over yourself, realise that people don't give nearly as much of a toss about your uninformed opinions as you seem to thinkThat's just beautiful. I couldn't have planned that better if I'd tried.



It's nice of you to pay such close attention to all my posts, but a bit worrying you seem to be wasting so much time on them when telling us what YOU think.

Cue an overly long, elaborately argued riposte filled with long words and unprovable suppositions

Gentile
19th October 2012, 13:45
That's just beautiful. I couldn't have planned that better if I'd tried.



It's nice of you to pay such close attention to all my posts, but a bit worrying you seem to be wasting so much time on them when telling us what YOU think.

As I say, get over yourself. My comments relate to the representative sample of your compulsive-obsessive pedantry I've observed in those threads I've participated in. I bet this is the most interaction you've had with anyone since someone else gave you a slap a few weeks ago for the same pedantic behaviour.

Anyway, this moment is over now, I hope you enjoyed the brief 'attention' your pedantry brought. Next time you participate in a conversation, maybe you'll bring some ideas and opinions of your very own to the party, rather than latching onto some non-point in the hope that someone will be interested in debating it with you. But I doubt it.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 13:49
You're keeping records back several weeks of what I said? A little scary. Especially since we had no interaction on CUK until the last week or two, and suddenly you jump on me. You must have been stalking me all this time, waiting for your chance.

I wasn't around when L**y was, is this how it started?

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 14:09
You launched a pedantic attack on me in the professional forum for confusing IP Address with Domain, you hypocritical two-faced cow.



Harsh, yet having the merit of being fair.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 14:11
Harsh, yet having the merit of being fair.She complained I was being 2-faced when I called her a cow in a rep comment so I thought I'd placate her by doing it in public this time.

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 14:11
I think SasGuru used the right word. effective.

it's nothing to do with how brainy you are, it's all to do with how effective you are.

hitting the nail on the head, and all that


:rolleyes:

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 14:15
She complained I was being 2-faced when I called her a cow in a rep comment so I thought I'd placate her by doing it in public this time.

That's nothing.
A few months ago I was having a perfectly civilised debate with a third person. swapping ideas and such and a few other posters were truly interested

then I get negged by some eejit I had never heard of. She hadnt even contributed to the debate.

Then she whines like a whiney thing when I negs her back.

passive aggro if you ask me


:rolleyes:

Gentile
19th October 2012, 14:37
That's nothing.
A few months ago I was having a perfectly civilised debate with a third person. swapping ideas and such and a few other posters were truly interested

then I get negged by some eejit I had never heard of. She hadnt even contributed to the debate.

Then she whines like a whiney thing when I negs her back.

passive aggro if you ask me


:rolleyes:

Careful now, if you remember anything more than a few minutes ago Doogie The Goldfish will think you're stalking him.

As for you, EO: honestly, I think you're an OK guy a lot of the time. You make me belly laugh in a good way on occasion. At least in your interactions with other people. For some reason though (perhaps because of that first interaction between us that you've mentioned above) you've not taken a shine to me. I can live with that. Really I can. If I have one criticism of you, though, it's that just about every thread you participate in contains gratuitous filth. I'm no prude, but it's simply a predominant theme with you. You can be discussing any subject you like, and you'll managed to squeeze some schoolboy innuendo about lesbians, your penis, fellatio or some such into it. After a while, reading your posts is like reading a Carry On script written on a typewriter with a broken shift key.

Your posts are often funny, and from what I can see you're well-liked on here, so I'm sure you'll continue to be able to make the sort of comments on here that would get you chucked out of Christmas dinner at your mum's house. (Hey, they let Jimmy Saville host children's TV programmes for thirty-odd years: that's proof-positive that a modicum of charm and a larger than life effected personality will let you get away with anything, even when you do it in plain sight). However, that's how you come across to me. <- I left that one hanging there for you to latch onto in your usual predictable style; don't say I'm not considerate. ;)

DodgyAgent
19th October 2012, 14:40
Careful now, if you remember anything more than a few minutes ago Doogie The Goldfish will think you're stalking him.

As for you, EO: honestly, I think you're an OK guy a lot of the time. You make me belly laugh in a good way on occasion. At least in your interactions with other people. For some reason though (perhaps because of that first interaction between us that you've mentioned above) you've not taken a shine to me. I can live with that. Really I can. If I have one criticism of you, though, it's that just about every thread you participate in contains gratuitous filth. I'm no prude, but it's simply a predominant theme with you. You can be discussing any subject you like, and you'll managed to squeeze some schoolboy innuendo about lesbians, your penis, fellatio or some such into it. After a while, reading your posts is like reading a Carry On script written on a typewriter with a broken shift key.

Your posts are often funny, and from what I can see you're well-liked on here, so I'm sure you'll continue to be able to make the sort of comments on here that would get you chucked out of Christmas dinner at your mum's house. (Hey, they let Jimmy Saville host children's TV programmes for thirty-odd years: that's proof-positive that a modicum of charm and a larger than life effected personality will let you get away with anything, even when you do it in plain sight). However, that's how you come across to me. <- I left that one hanging there for you to latch onto in your usual predictable style; don't say I'm not considerate. ;)


That's told him :happy

d000hg
19th October 2012, 14:53
Careful now, if you remember anything more than a few minutes ago Doogie The Goldfish will think you're stalking him.Ah, crap-debating-101: "distract people from what you said by distorting the other person's statement to something silly so people will laugh at it". Commonly used by creationists... "you're saying our relatives were monkeys".

For someone who prides herself on reasonableness you sure know how to bend the facts.

moggy
19th October 2012, 14:54
So... EO has now been likened to Jimmy Saville...

doomage
19th October 2012, 14:56
So... EO has now been likened to Jimmy Saville...

now then, now then

d000hg
19th October 2012, 14:57
She really knows how to get people on her side.

NotAllThere
19th October 2012, 15:14
Nah I wouldn't like the spotlight and fame, I will probably pleasantly decline it when they offer.

Bye Russell. Don't drop in next time you're in the area.

tractor
19th October 2012, 15:19
Stop press, turd polishing thread turns into turd throwing thread.....

:fight:

:popcorn:

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 15:21
tis true
if I am an expert on something I will make a point, if not I will make a joke. often silly and often rude.
There are not many things I am expert in, so you just have to pay the price for that




:rolleyes:

Gentile
19th October 2012, 15:21
Stop press, turd polishing thread turns into turd stirring thread.....

:fight:

:popcorn:

FTFY :tongue

tractor
19th October 2012, 15:24
FTFY :tongue

It wasn't broke :D

MarillionFan
19th October 2012, 15:38
Careful now, if you remember anything more than a few minutes ago Doogie The Goldfish will think you're stalking him.

As for you, EO: honestly, I think you're an OK guy a lot of the time. You make me belly laugh in a good way on occasion. At least in your interactions with other people. For some reason though (perhaps because of that first interaction between us that you've mentioned above) you've not taken a shine to me. I can live with that. Really I can. If I have one criticism of you, though, it's that just about every thread you participate in contains gratuitous filth. I'm no prude, but it's simply a predominant theme with you. You can be discussing any subject you like, and you'll managed to squeeze some schoolboy innuendo about lesbians, your penis, fellatio or some such into it. After a while, reading your posts is like reading a Carry On script written on a typewriter with a broken shift key.

Your posts are often funny, and from what I can see you're well-liked on here, so I'm sure you'll continue to be able to make the sort of comments on here that would get you chucked out of Christmas dinner at your mum's house. (Hey, they let Jimmy Saville host children's TV programmes for thirty-odd years: that's proof-positive that a modicum of charm and a larger than life effected personality will let you get away with anything, even when you do it in plain sight). However, that's how you come across to me. <- I left that one hanging there for you to latch onto in your usual predictable style; don't say I'm not considerate. ;)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw0YzBFmxIw

:eek:

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 15:41
and it's affected btw

doodab
19th October 2012, 15:43
and it's affected btw

You pedant you :tongue

tractor
19th October 2012, 15:43
and it's affected btw

And it's Savile...

EternalOptimist
19th October 2012, 15:58
And it's Savile...

:eyes

if you want to have a Savile row, get over to the clothes thread




:rolleyes:

mudskipper
19th October 2012, 18:22
I also see no evidence of people ignoring me, they keep replying to posts I make.

I don't reply to your posts.

Oh.

MarillionFan
19th October 2012, 18:55
I don't reply to your posts.

Oh.

We all respond to his posts. It's like watching a mangy dog sniffing around your bins, you knows its unloved, a little bit smelly and probably got fleas but you've got a take a kick at it when it comes sniffing around, but the problem is that arching foot that you aimed at its head is the only attention it's had for ages so it keeps coming back.

NickFitz
19th October 2012, 19:00
We all respond to his posts. It's like watching a mangy dog sniffing around your bins, you knows its unloved, a little bit smelly and probably got fleas but you've got a take a kick at it when it comes sniffing around, but the problem is that arching foot that you aimed at its head is the only attention it's had for ages so it keeps coming back.

Pot & Kettle Department is busy again, I see :rolleyes:

MarillionFan
19th October 2012, 19:05
Pot & Kettle Department is busy again, I see :rolleyes:

Woof woof beg beg.

d000hg
19th October 2012, 20:38
Pot & Kettle Department is busy again, I see :rolleyes:It probably took MF all afternoon to decide which of us he was going to have a go at and which he was implicitly going to side with.

aussielong
19th October 2012, 22:17
Thanks for proving my point.
I've solved far more than complex software problems (although I did a bit of that in my time) - I've solved the problem of how to be financially secure at 40.
Now go back to work, you've got a renewal to work for. :laugh

I am indeed already financially secure you tedious bore.

If you haven't spent many years building nontrivial systems you simply are not qualified to comment on what is required. Dismissing the entire development community merely shows what an uninformed windup merchant you are.

SAS implementations don't cut it. The maths you've used may be complex but I doubt you've authored anything original there, if you're just now completing an MSc. That doesn't add up does it?

Who are you trying to kid? Please go away and don't embarrass yourself further by confusing coding up a few numerical analyses with building serious pieces of software. You have touched the tip of the iceberg, but you don't even realise that , do you dumbo?

MarillionFan
19th October 2012, 23:20
It probably took MF all afternoon to decide which of us he was going to have a go at and which he was implicitly going to side with.

Dont you worry yourself sweetheart, you got no more thought from me than how many pieces of toilet paper I was going to use to wipe my ample arse with for my morning constitutional. In fact.... slightly less thought.

eek
19th October 2012, 23:28
It probably took MF all afternoon to decide which of us he was going to have a go at and which he was implicitly going to side with.

Why? I thought he would adopt his usual scattergun approach and insult everyone in turn. Its the safest option around here really.