A long long time ago ( 2007 I think ) I worked for a company that made landing sites, so basically an email campaign would go out, users would be sent to a 1 page website with a form to capture their data, ready to be spammed even more. You know how it was back then.

So I worked with a guy who we had just hired, I didn't do the hiring but his CV checked out, so I gave him one of my tasks. Now most pages were made with js and html, with a PHP backend ( called with Ajax). Now this guy didn't know PHP so I was like all good, ASP works too at the end of the day we don't judge, we do like 2 or 3 of these a day and never look at them again. So he goes of and does is thing.

3 weeks later, the customer calls up to me they still haven't received their landing page. Ok so he probably forgot to email the customer np, I tell him to double check he has emailed the customer. Another week goes by end the customer calls back, same problem. At this point I'm getting worried, because we're days away from the deadline and it was originally my task.

So I go back to the guy and I tell him I want that landing page so I can send it myself, half thinking to myself that we had a freeloader, that guy that comes in to companies for 3 weeks, doesn't work, but still cashes his pay. But no, this was much worse.

So he tells me he has finished yet. I ask him why, what's the blocker ? You had 4 weeks to tell me you were blocked and couldn't progress. And his answer was simply, because I wasn't blocked I have been working on it this whole time. So I tell him to zip his project up and email it to me. We didn't do SVN or git back then, simply wasn't worth it. So he comes back to me and says the email server is telling him attachments can't be bigger then 50mb. At this point I'm thinking he didn't properly sized the art or something, so I give him a flash drive to put it on.

When I then open the flash drive, the archive is 300mb, thinking to myself, the images weren't even that big to begin with.
So I open it up, and I don't even find any images, just a single asp page. About 500mb. When I opened that up and it finally loaded, I saw the most horrendous things ever.

The first 500 lines was just initializing empty vars. Then there was some code that created an empty form with an onChange event that submits the form. After that.. it was just non stop nested if's. No loops, no while, for, foreach, NO elseif's, just nested if's, for every possible combination of the state the form could be in. Abou 5000 of them, in a single file. To make matters worse, all the form ( and page ) layout was hardcoded in the if's. Includes inline css, base64 encoded images, nothing but as dynamic, based on the length of the form he changes the layout, added more background etc. He cut the images up for every possible size of the page and included them in the code.

I showed it to my boss, he fired the guy on the spot. I redid the work from scratch, in under 4 hours. Send it to the client. they had no ammends to make, happy as Larry. Whish I kept the code somewhere.

Morale of the story, allways do a coding test on interviews, even if small things just to sanity check.

  • 1
    500 Mega Bytes? What? That is huge.

    Was it generated code or something?
  • 2
    @Demolishun all the base64 encoded images, there were so many of them, and all in there original format, not cropped, not resized etc. It may have been less then 500mb it's been like 15 years, but it was really way to big, I remember it didn't even fit on my tiny usb stick unzipped
  • 1
    Say what you will, the guy clearly knew how to use control statements! lmao
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