Been working on a new project for the last couple of weeks. New client with a big name, probably lots of money for the company I work for, plus a nice bonus for myself.

But our technical referent....... Goddammit. PhD in computer science, and he probably. approved our project outline. 3 days in development, the basic features of the applications are there for him to see (yay. Agile.), and guess what? We need to change the user roles hierarchy we had agreed on. Oh, and that shouldn't be treated as extra development, it's obviously a bug! Also, these features he never talked about and never have been in the project? That's also a bug! That thing I couldn't start working on before yesterday because I was still waiting the specs from him? It should've been ready a week ago, it's a bug that it's not there! Also, he notes how he could've developes it within 40 minutes and offered to sens us the code to implement directly in our application, or he may even do so himself.... Ah, I forgot to say, he has no idea on what language we are developing the app. He said he didn't care many times so far.

But the best part? Yesterday he signales an outstanding bug: some data has been changed without anyone interacting. It was a bug! And it was costing them moneeeeey (on a dev server)! Ok, let's dig in, it may really be a bug this time, I did update the code and... Wait, what? Someone actually did update a new file? ...Oh my Anubis. HE did replace the file a few minutes before and tried to make it look like a bug! ..May as well double check. So, 15 minutes later I answer to his e-mail, saying that 4 files have been compromised by a user account with admin privileges (not mentioning I knee it was him)... And 3 minutes later he answered me. It was a message full of anger, saying (oh Lord) it was a bug! If a user can upload a new file, it's the application's fault for not blocking him (except, users ARE supposed to upload files, and admins have been requestes to be able to circumvent any kind of restriction)! Then he added how lucky I was, becausw "the issue resolved itself and the data was back, and we shouldn't waste any more yime.on thos". Let's check the logs again.... It'a true! HE UPLOADED THE ORIGINAL FILES BACK! He... He has no idea that logs do exist? A fucking PhD in computer science? He still believes no one knows it was him....... But... Why did he do that? It couldn't have been a mistake. Was he trying to troll me? Or... Or is he really that dense?

I was laughing my ass of there. But there's more! He actually phones my boss (who knew what had happened) to insult me! And to threaten not dwell on that issue anymore because "it's making them lose money". We were both speechless....

There's no way he's a PhD. Yet it's a legit piece of paper the one he has. Funny thing is, he actually manages to launch a couple of sort-of-nationally-popular webservices, and takes every opportunity to remember us how he built them from scratch and so he know what he's saying... But digging through google, you can easily find how he actually outsurced the development to Chinese companies while he "watched over their work" until he bought the code

Wait... Big ego, a decent amount of money... I'm starting to guess how he got his PhD. I also get why he's a "freelance consultant" and none of the place he worked for ever hired him again (couldn't even cover his own tracks)....

But I can't get his definition of "bug".
If it doesn't work as intended, it's a bug (ok)
If something he never communicated is not implemented, it's a bug (what.)
If development has been slowed because he failed to provide specs, it's a bug (uh?)
If he changes his own mind and wants to change a process, it's a bug it doesn't already work that way (ffs.)
If he doesn't understand or like something, it's a bug (i hopw he dies by sonic diarrhoea)

I'm just glad my boss isn't falling for him... If anything, we have enough info to accuse him of sabotage and delaying my work....

Ah, right. He also didn't get how to publish our application we needes access to the server he wantes us to deploy it on. Also, he doesn't understand why we have acces to the app's database and admin users created on the webapp don't. These are bugs (seriously his own words). Outstanding ones.

Just..... Ffs.

Also, sorry for the typos.

  • 1
    Well this doesn't sound good. Clients like this one really can make someone cringe. The sad part is, even after refusing to develop the project any further, there will always be someone that will take the job and will suffer same if not worse faith.

    And wait a minute, the project is still in development, and the client has full access to it? Did he at least paid for part of it already? I'm very confused at this. Or is it still in development and live at the same time?

    Just always remember. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
  • 1
    Don't worry. You're not alone.
  • 2
    @EDWCode The client has acces to a technical preview.... Which he actually started using for production. We found out when he told us we couldn't wipe the db because it did not contain test data. Apparently, Mr. technical referent PhD told our client it was live already. So... Now I devel locally on my machine, run some tests, then it's straight to production!

    ...And yes, they are paying for a real production environment they will never use.
  • 1
    @soulsuke that's some bullshit. Where I work we specifically even mention in the contract that we are not responsable for any information loss if the client chooses to use application in production phase when the project is stored on our servers.

    Or I'm just misunderstanding things and project is already on client server?
  • 1
    @EDWCode The client provided us both testing and production environments, that's the sad part!

    And yes, if we wanted to we could wipe the testing and would not be held responsible due to contractual terms... But honestly, we don't want to stir the pot if possible
  • 1
    @soulsuke yeah, I get it, even tho there's no possible way that I personaly would even remotely agree to work that way.

    I guess only solution would be to suck it up this time, cringe a little bit and learn from this for future projects.

    Oh and btw. My standing on someone having a PhD is no bigger than on self thought junior. I don't care if someone is a school dropout, but learns on their own and is passionate about what they do or spends their years (or money) on some paper. Experience and hard work makes professionals.
  • 1
    @EDWCode I completely agree. TBH, we don't want to keep the client (unless they change referent) after this project.

    Truth to be told, I think the guy though we could be bullied to do some free work because of certain names involved, and accepted our project proposal because of that. Probably has a lot of pressure himself.... Still, he sucks at this. Big time. I guess that's why no company ever hires him twice (you just need to read his LinkedIn profile and send a couple of messages to find out...).

    At least we're getting paid well enough for a moderate amount of work.
  • 2
    The fact that he exists is a bug
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