AboutI like to try things.
Joined devRant on 6/22/2020
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"Most ignorant ask from a PM or client?"
I'm going to just say generally any ask with "a lack of effort".
1. Stuff like urgent / angry emails about stuff that already exists... like man if you're going to be a jerk in the email at least look first ...
2. Requests that aren't thought through. "I need X to happen." , "So you want X to happen?", "Oh gawd no, only when Y and Z and ... some other vague stuff!"
3. Requests with incomplete sentences... hard to do a thing without a verb or noun or both.3
Do reports actually make people dumber?
I write a lot of reports that output for our customers into excel. I'm starting to suspect that for many customers it doesn't actually help them, rather it might actually hurt them (also eat all my time).
If a user generates their own report via search options or etc to pull out some data, they usually SEEM to have put some thought into the actions required to find the data they want.
1. They immediately know what information is there, and why some information might be excluded.
2. They can do a little trial and error to solve their own problems / better understand what is going on.
3. They're a hell of a lot less likely to insist that something is "MISSING!!!" without seeming to actually know what the thing(s) are that are missing.
With auto generated spreadsheet that shows up in the email there's just little no critical thinking outside of some stray thoughts in their head when the spreadsheet showed up ...2
Rando Person: Also this doesn't work, and this, and thi----
Me: Wait, what doesn't work and where? Show me...
Rando Person: Here see-
Me: Stop ... see how that says 'beta' and not to use it?... and how did you find this / get access to this?
Rando Person: Yeah the customer is using it.
Me: For fucks sake....
I don't have a "most painful error".
The real pain for me is the
WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING
I'VE DONE THIS 1000 TIMES BEFORE
THIS ISN'T HARD
THIS SHOULDN'T TAKE THIS LONG...
It's just the worst combo of events / feelings / leads to the hopeless depths of imposter syndrome and etc.1
Customer: "Yeah we need <insert bonkers 12 step circular logic> to find a thing(s) in the database."
Me: "Ok let me diagram this out and I'll send it to you to review.... but man this seems like the 8th version of this we're doing right?"
Customer: "Yeah well <employee Y> says they can't do B, C without this."
Me: "Wait... can't they just <insert the most simple step in the history of time> in step A, and then later on they won't have to do all this hunting later? Like you have that data at step A right?"
Customer: "Yeah but <employee Y> doesn't want to do that."
Me: "She's your direct report ....."
Me: "Ok.... I'll send you the diagram and the cost estimate...."
Whatever reason sometimes it is a bit draining coding madness compared to making things actually efficient / people's jobs easier...3
Meetings would be better without people.
I mean I like the IDEA of meetings...
Honestly I'm the type of person who if I could would schedule lots of meetings to make sure we're all on the same page, and to be sure the thing is going to do the thing everyone wants / get their perspective, etc. I really want to KNOW what the folks who are going to use this thing need / want / what works best for them.
On the other hand I know that meetings are often more like:
Me: "Ok let's so here's our data, now tell me what fields they want to edit and so forth."
People: "All of them."
Me: "Uh, no you don't want that or they'll break everything ... X, Y and Z require those fields for A, B, and C to work."
Me: "Let's go field by field and you tell me if they need to edit it, and why."
People: "Yeah this first one they have to be able to change this one."
Me: "Wait no, that's the primary key for that table, I don't know why that's on this list but no you can't change that."
People: "Yeah we have to be able to change that."
Me: "No, you can't, do you even know what that number IS?"
People: "Um... no ..."
Control your searches like an ADULT damn it!!!
So we have records that can have any of a bazillion different reference numbers associated with them. No big deal. Everyone does right?
Our customer's love to run reports and so we have this one option for "just look at a hell of a lot of reference numbers". I call it the 'fuck all' search.
Really it is just there to find something that you don't know where a rando string or number might be in the record and just want to do a "fuck all" search across a number of likely fields to find it... and then presumably you'd be an adult and refine your search from there. LOL yeah right...
Customers get lazy and include that stupid option in their reports and we get a lot of.
Customer: "I always run this report (that includes the fuck all search) and now it isn't working. I want records that have ID 2222."
Me: "Yeah well that was only working because you were rando typing '2222' in like several fields and it would find those .... but now you quit doing that so it won't find them. If you want ID 2222, click the drop down and search by 'ID'. That will find it right away."
Customer: "But I want to just search by 'fuck all search' to find it..."
Me: "But then you get all these other records too right?"
Customer: "Yeah but I just delete them out of the spreadsheet ... "
Me: "Look watch this <screen share> there, look all records with an ID of 2222 and no more extra records you need to delete!!! How great is that?"
Customer: "But why do I have to do it this way now, I want to do it the old way..."
(granted I could add their ID to the fuck all search but we try to avoid adding too much because it gets out of hand / stops being useful the more fuck all it gets)3
"OMG I DON"T SEE THE NEW THING YOU SAID WAS THERE!?!?!!? OH GAWD WHY WHY WHY!!!!"
"Oh never mind I found it."
God damn people, put some minimal effort in before you fire up tickets and emails or whatever.2
I wanted to accomplish new things today.
Instead I'm swimming in:
"This worked before"
- No it never worked that way, you want it to, but it never ever ever has done that thing NOT EVEN CLOSE.
- Wtf is the god damn 'thing'? How could anyone possibly know what you're talking about? How do you go about life like this?
"How come we can't make it do X?"
- Because the code can't read your god damn mind, that shit isn't in the database, you don't update it and your laundry list of minor fixes for one time or non issues has resulted in you getting coded into a maze of stupid custom code so deep you're NEVER GETTING OUT!!!!
"Is your timezone before or after our timezone?"
- I DON'T FUCKING KNOW, I JUST TOLD YOU MY TIMEZONE, DO YOU EVEN FUCKING KNOW YOUR TIMEZONE?!?!?!? IF YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO LOOK UP YOUR FUCKING TIMEZONE I SURE AS HELL AM NOT!!!2
I worked for a company who supplied CERN with some ultra high end equipment.
At one point the guys at CERN email me "Problem, check this out."
The picture was of some burnt out ultra expensive cards that fit into a larger chassis... the cards looked like they had been exposed to a fire that was located exactly between the cards, but none of the cards themselves looked like they had been on fire. The chips and such looked burnt, but more so exposed to a very hot fire, not like they were on fire themselves.
It was weird. I sent them some crates to securely ship them to our QA folks, and ordered them up about $500k in replacement equipment.
QA later said they never got the equipment, someone "from another department" picked them up from the dock. And CERN never asked about what QA found, that was weird because they always asked.6
Worst recruiter experience wasn't mine, but it was one I overheard:
Buddy of mine who, like me, was older does a couple rounds of interviews at a nice place and gets a call back from the company recruiter. He puts the recruiter on speaker phone so I can hear too.
They are very nice and tell him they selected another candidate, bummer but no big deal.
Hey I the age of ghosting at least they called right?
He is still upbeat and asks if there was anything he could do better interview or technical stuff.
She tells him "We weren't sure you would fit into the culture."
This is a bit odd as this guy is outgoing and one of those folks that everyone loves being around and working with, just a naturally likeable guy.
He asks what she meant about culture fit and she responds "Well you're older..."
He thinks he misheard her and asks again "Your older and we don't think you will fit in that way."6