Oh, man, I just realized I haven't ranted one of my best stories on here!

So, here goes!

A few years back the company I work for was contacted by an older client regarding a new project.

The guy was now pitching to build the website for the Parliament of another country (not gonna name it, NDAs and stuff), and was planning on outsourcing the development, as he had no team and he was only aiming on taking care of the client service/project management side of the project.

Out of principle (and also to preserve our mental integrity), we have purposely avoided working with government bodies of any kind, in any country, but he was a friend of our CEO and pleaded until we singed on board.

Now, the project itself was way bigger than we expected, as the wanted more of an internal CRM, centralized document archive, event management, internal planning, multiple interfaced, role based access restricted monster of an administration interface, complete with regular user website, also packed with all kind of features, dashboards and so on.

Long story short, a lot bigger than what we were expecting based on the initial brief.

The development period was hell. New features were coming in on a weekly basis. Already implemented functionality was constantly being changed or redefined. No requests we ever made about clarifications and/or materials or information were ever answered on time.

They also somehow bullied the guy that brought us the project into also including the data migration from the old website into the new one we were building and we somehow ended up having to extract meaningful, formatted, sanitized content parsing static HTML files and connecting them to download-able files (almost every page in the old website had files available to download) we needed to also include in a sane way.

Now, don't think the files were simple URL paths we can trace to a folder/file path, oh no!!! The links were some form of hash combination that had to be exploded and tested against some king of database relationship tables that only had hashed indexes relating to other tables, that also only had hashed indexes relating to some other tables that kept a database of the website pages HTML file naming. So what we had to do is identify the files based on a combination of hashed indexes and re-hashed HTML file names that in the end would give us a filename for a real file that we had to then search for inside a list of over 20 folders not related to one another.

So we did this. Created a script that processed the hell out of over 10000 HTML files, database entries and files and re-indexed and re-named all this shit into a meaningful database of sane data and well organized files.

So, with this we were nearing the finish line for the project, which by now exceeded the estimated time by over to times.

We test everything, retest it all again for good measure, pack everything up for deployment, simulate on a staging environment, give the final client access to the staging version, get them to accept that all requirements are met, finish writing the documentation for the codebase, write detailed deployment procedure, include some automation and testing tools also for good measure, recommend production setup, hardware specs, software versions, server side optimization like caching, load balancing and all that we could think would ever be useful, all with more documentation and instructions.

As the project was built on PHP/MySQL (as requested), we recommended a Linux environment for production. Oh, I forgot to tell you that over the development period they kept asking us to also include steps for Windows procedures along with our regular documentation. Was a bit strange, but we added it in there just so we can finish and close the damn project.

So, we send them all the above and go get drunk as fuck in celebration of getting rid of them once and for all...

Next day: hung over, I get to the office, open my laptop and see on new email. I only had the one new mail, so I open it to see what it's about.

Lo and behold! The fuckers over in the other country that called themselves "IT guys", and were the ones making all the changes and additions to our requirements, were not capable enough to follow step by step instructions in order to deploy the project on their servers!!!

[Continues in the comments]

  • 104
    More so, they would not give us access to said servers in order for us to remotely deploy the project!!!

    So the fuckers request for the guy that brought us the project and was also their CS guy and a member of our dev team to head over to their country and help them deploy it!

    Long story short, we accepted in the end and I went there as I was the project lead and knew every line in the codebase, and also wrote the deployment steps they were unable to follow.

    Once over there I had my first shock: they were trying to deploy on a XAMPP instalation on a Windows NT machine with less resources for a WordPress site!!! I was literally numb looking at it.

    I tell them, dude, WTF? Where's the real server? This is a joke, right? WTF?

    Nope, they were dead serious!

    [Continues in the comments]
  • 95
    OK, fuckers! Change of plans! I get the project manager guy (let's call him Guy, for short) to get on the phone with his local contacts and get us a real server on a local hosting partner of the Parliament, spin it up with a CentOS installation and give us SSH access to it.

    At this moment, the lead "IT" guys that was standing next to me turned pale. As it was, they NEVER worked on a Linux system!!! EVER!!! ANY OF THEM!

    They had ZERO experience with it and were afraid to let anyone else find out about this, as they were in their current job positions for more than a decade and were supposed to be experts in their fields.

    I told them I don't care! They either want the project up, or we leave!

    They accepted!

    We get our server and access, transfer the files and follow the step by step guid I wrote. 10 minute after the file transfer was ready, the project was up and running.

    I put on my best grin, stare them down and get ready for apologies and a clod one.

    [Continues in the comments]
  • 92
    In the mean time, the Guy (remember him?) that over the last few hours said most to nothing, letting me take over the situation, was in the other room in order to sign the delivery paperwork that would mean us getting the final share of the payment for the project.

    2 minutes later, he comes in, red of anger, yelling we are leaving and cursing at everybody else.

    The motherfuckers were not willing to pay the final share, blaming us for faulty deployment, project delays and other fucked up stuff they themselves were in fact responsible for!!!

    To this day (this was a few years back) he has not received the last payment. He payed us as we had a different agreement s subcontractors, but he was left a few thousand dollars in deficit after that project, and is still in legal battle with those fuckers over that money.

    So, the next time you face some shitty client or some crappy situation, just remember my story and realize: this could be worst!

    Have a nice day :)
  • 7
    Cmon cmon...
  • 14
    @apollotonkosmo Ture story, man. I shit you not!
  • 25
    This was a surprisingly good read. I always thought it's easy to work for the government. Sounds like your team really went through hell to do this

    I guess your client was some cheap ass country. Mine just spent over 1 billion € on a new national Healthcare database, and we're one of the least populated countries in Europe. Next time choose a government who's as reckless with money as mine so at least you'll be compensated well 😂
  • 9
    @vertti There wil NEVER be a next time! EVER!!! :)
  • 3
    Wow... That is insane!!
  • 2
    @laceytech This was the one I picked up smoking because of the stress of... :p
  • 8
    A government institution in my Country spent $72 million on a software which at the end, doesn't work.
  • 3
    @balaianu this is some crazy bs. Nda aside. You should let people know so we can protect our selfs. To ask the lead dev to come to the country to assist with a deployment that has step by step instructions. And than not pay after that step by step works. So much hate for that.
  • 2
    @skprog well, by naming names it could also hurt the Guy's chances of ever getting his money, and more importantly, justice.
  • 3
    I sincerely hope that guy is suing the living shit out of them.
    Also he should maybe more careful with his contract writing next time so it's self-evident that they will have to pay for any changes or delays caused on their side.
  • 0
    Makes me think it was my country lol. Damn, reminds me of some site technical managers we do front line support for. Guys don't even know how to ping their firewall.
  • 1
    @TheCapeGreek :))

    Yeah, the fuckers had only ever worked with old Microsoft tech, but they tried at the start of it all to explain the benefits of using said tech...because that was the only one they understood...

    I just couldn't take their bullshit, that's when I snapped, took over and asked for the dedicated server :p
  • 3
    I'm speechless! dafuq is this, gov should be pros and not bunch of people fooling around
  • 5
    @gitpush you don't get pros for the salary governments are offering. Unless the person has an interest in working in government, they're probably looking at half or less in pay
  • 1
    God fucking dammnit
  • 6
    @dfox writing this rant was cathartic, but also a bit frustrating because of the character limit. Any chance of a "long story" mode for adding rants? :)
  • 1
    Best rant I've ever read!

    How much time did the whole process take?
  • 0
    @Noob Over a year, we were a very small team, just 3 people, and each time we finished and sent the monster for review, it came back with feedback, new features and changes to the existing ones...
  • 0
    @balaianu Woah! Sounds scary.
    Was it the only project your team was working on?
  • 2
    @Noob Of course not :))))
  • 1
    Longest rant in maybe ever
  • 1
    @filthyranter Well, it is what it is... I had a lot to take out :p
  • 2
    Holy shit, deserves a stress ball!
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