Yesterday: Senior dev messages out a screenshot of someone using an extension method I wrote (he didn’t know I wrote it)..

SeniorDev: “OMG…that has to be the stupidest thing I ever saw.”
Me: “Stupid? Why?”
SeniorDev: “Why are they having to check the value from the database to see if it’s DBNull and if it is, return null. The database value is already null. So stupid.”
Me: “DBNull is not null, it has a value. When you call the .ToString, it returns an empty string.”
SeniorDev: ”No it doesn’t, it returns null.”
<oh no he didn’t….the smack down begins>
Me: “Really? Are you sure?”
SeniorDev: “Yes! And if the developer bothered to write any unit tests, he would have known.”
Me: “Unit tests? Why do you assume there aren’t any unit tests? Did you look?”
<at this moment, couple other devs take off their head phones and turn around>
SeniorDev:”Well…uh…I just assumed there aren’t because this is an obvious use case. If there was a test, it would have failed.”
Me: “Well, let’s take a look..”
<open up the test project…navigate to the specific use case>
Me: “Yep, there it is. DBNull.Value.ToString does not return a Null value.”
SeniorDev: “Huh? Must be a new feature of C#. Anyway, if the developers wrote their code correctly, they wouldn’t have to use those extension methods. It’s a mess.”
<trying really hard not drop the F-Bomb or two>
Me: “Couple of years ago the DBAs changed the data access standard so any nullable values would always default to null. So no empty strings, zeros, negative values to indicate a non-value. Downside was now the developers couldn’t assume the value returned the expected data type. What they ended up writing was a lot of code to check the value if it was DBNull. Lots of variations of ‘if …’ , ternary operators, some creative lamda expressions, which led to unexpected behavior in the user interface. Developers blamed the DBAs, DBAs blamed the developers. Remember, Tom and DBA-Sam almost got into a fist fight over it.”
SeniorDev: “Oh…yea…but that’s a management problem, not a programming problem.”
Me: “Probably, but since the developers starting using the extension methods, bug tickets related to mis-matched data has nearly disappeared. When was the last time you saw DBA-Sam complain about the developers?”
SeniorDev: “I guess not for a while, but it’s still no excuse.”
Me: “Excuse? Excuse for what?”
<couple of awkward seconds of silence>
SeniorDev: “Hey, did you guys see the video of the guy punching the kangaroo? It’s hilarious…here, check this out.. ”

Pin shoulders the mat…1 2 3….I win.

  • 93
    I read through the whole rant, so it deserves an increment in my book.
  • 6
    @mpotratz senior Dev and manager is not the same thing. Actually, senior is a very relative term ;)
  • 12
    Believe it or not, but I ran into EXACT the same problem a while ago
  • 25
    Sometimes senior means that somehow they didn't fire the guy for 5 years
  • 3
    @zfor agreed, I have + 12 in dev field and I don't like the senior term....
  • 0
    I did a great job past days in a Vue component and fully tested it, 100% tested and really a good component, day after I got in a corner with a simple dummy logic problem, so I just read the "back to the basic" again. I simple forgot. my mind was not in a good day.... Simple.
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