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#3 Worst thing I've seen a co-worker do?
A 20-something dev, 'A', back in the early days of twitter+facebook would post all his extracurricular activities (drinking, partying, normal young-buck stuff). The dev mgr, 'J', at the time took offense because he felt 'A' was making the company look bad, so 'A' had a target on his back. Nothing 'A' did was good enough and, for example, 'J' had the source control czars review 'A's code to 'review' (aka = find anything wrong). Not sorting the 'using' statements, and extra line after the closing }, petty things like that. For those curious, orders followed+carried out by+led by 'T' in my previous rant.
As time went on and 'T' finding more and more 'wrong' with A's code, 'J' put A on disciplinary probation. 'A' had 90 days to turn himself around, or else.
A bright spot was 'A' was working on a Delphi -> C# conversion, so a lot of the code would be green-field development and by simply following the "standards", 'A' would be fine...so he thought.
About 2 weeks into the probation, 'A' was called into the J's office and berated because the conversion project was behind schedule, and if he didn't get the project back on track, 'A' wouldn't make it 30 days. I sat behind 'A' and he unloaded on me.
<'A' slams his phone on his desk>
Me: "Whoa...whats up?"
A: "Dude, I fucking hate this place, did you hear what they did?"
<I said no, then I think we spent an hour talking about it>
Me: "That all sucks. Don't worry about the code. Nobody cares what T thinks. Its not even your fault the project is behind, the DBAs are tasked with upgrades and it's not like anyone is waiting on you. It'll get done when it's done. Sounds like a witch hunt, what did you do? Be honest."
A: "Well, um...I kinda called out J, T, and those other assholes on facebook. I was drunk, pissed, and ...well...here we are."
Me: "Geez, what a bunch of whiney snowflakes. Keep your head down and you'll get thru it, or don't. Its not like you couldn't find another job tomorrow."
A: "This is my first job out of college and I don't want to disappoint my dad by quitting. I don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing. All J told me was to get better. What the fuk does that even mean?"
Me: "He didn't give you any goals? Crap, for someone who is a stickler for the rules, that's low, even for J."
Fast forward 2 weeks, I was attending MS TechEd and I was with another dev mgr, R.
R: "Did you hear? We had to let 'A' go today."
Me: "What the hell? Why?"
R: "He couldn't cut it, so we had to let him go."
Me: "Cut what? What did he do, specifically?"
R: "I don't know, 'A' was on probation, I guess he didn't meet the goals."
Me: "You guess? We fire a developer working on a major upgrade and you guess? What were these so-called goals?"
R: "Whoa...you're getting a little fire up. I don't know, maybe not adhering to coding standards, not meeting deadlines?"
Me: "OMG...we fire people for not forming code? Are you serious!?"
R: "Oh...yea...that does sound odd when you put it that way. I wish I'd talk to you before we left on this trip"
Me: "What?! You knew they were firing him *before* we left? How long did you know this was happening?"
R: "Honestly, for a while. 'A' really wasn't a team player."
Me: "That's dirty, the whole thing is dirty. We've done some shitty things to people, but this is low, even for J. The probation process is meant to improve, not be used as a witch hunt. I don't like that you stood around and let it happen. You know better."
R: "Yea, you're right, but doesn't change anything. J wanted to do it while most of us were at the conference in case 'A' caused a scene."
Me: "THAT MAKES IT WORSE! 'A' was blindsided and you knew it. He had no one there that could defend him or anything."
R: "Crap, crap, crap...oh crap...jeez...J had this planned all along...crap....there is nothing I can do no...its too late."
Me: "Yes there is. If 'A' comes to you for a letter of recommendation, you write one. If someone calls for reference, you give him a good one."
R: "Yea..yea...crap...I feel like shit...I need to go back to the room and lie down."
As the sun sets, it rises again. Within a couple of weeks, 'A' had another job at a local university. Within a year, he was the department manager, and now he is a vice president (last time I checked) of a college in Kansas City, MO.13
Worst fight I've had with a co-worker?
Had my share of 'disagreements', but one that seemed like it could have gone to blows was a developer, 'T', that tried to man-splain me how ADO.Net worked with SQLServer.
<T walks into our work area>
T: "Your solution is going to cause a lot of problems in SQLServer"
Me: "No, its not, your solution is worse. For performance, its better to use ADO.Net connection pooling."
T: "NO! Every single transaction is atomic! SQLServer will prioritize the operation thread, making the whole transaction faster than what you're trying to do."
<T goes on and on about threads, made up nonsense about priority queues, on and on>
Me: "No it won't, unless you change something in the connection string, ADO.Net will utilize connection pooling and use the same SPID, even if you explicitly call Close() on the connection. You are just wasting code thinking that works."
T walks over, stands over me (he's about 6.5", 300+ pounds), maybe 6 inches away
T: "I've been doing .net development for over 10 years. I know what I'm doing!"
I turn my chair to face him, look up, cross my arms.
Me: "I know I'm kinda new to this, but let me show you something ..."
<I threw together a C# console app, simple connect, get some data, close the connection>
Me: "I'll fire up SQLProfiler and we can see the actual connection SPID and when sql server closes the SPID....see....the connection to SQLServer is still has an active SPID after I called Close. When I exit the application, SQLServer will drop the SPD....tada...see?"
T: "Wha...what is that...SQLProfiler? Is that some kind of hacking tool? DBAs should know about that!"
Me: "It's part of the SQLServer client tools, its on everyone's machine, including yours."
T: "Doesn't prove a damn thing! I'm going to do my own experiment and prove my solution works."
Me: "Look forward to seeing what you come up with ... and you haven't been doing .net for 10 years. I was part of the team that reviewed your resume when you were hired. You're going to have to try that on someone else."
About 10 seconds later I hear him from across the room slam his keyboard on his desk.
100% sure he would have kicked my ass, but that day I let him know his bully tactics worked on some, but wouldn't work on me.7
I was away sick for a week. Come back to a chat log with messages about how the other dev team is trying to figure out a solution to a bug that they only show three services listed in the system.
Me couple of weeks ago on my second day in the project figured it out relating to a task I was doing. It's not a bug, it's a feature. It's a constant defined in the constants-file.
And the best thing: my team mate quoted me and said "Lankku figured it out last week". And it was passed down back to the team who had actually developed the whole feature and couldn't figure out why it was working so now. xD