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Nov
12
comment What is the most egregious waste of money you have seen, and what did you do about it?
@Gary, they had some NT 3.51 based computers in their data centers. The story was that the software running on those servers was not certified for running on anything newer. The system I was part of was a huge unix/windows project, and they finally got off of SQL Server 2000 in 2008 (and replaced them with SQL Server 2005). Meh. Finance industry. For all the talk of modern technology, it would not surprise me to find abaci, clay tablets and punch cards tucked in back behind all the fancy blinkenlights.
Nov
11
comment How much time a week do you spend on extracurricular programming?
Yep, me too. I will have more time now that the side job has wound down.
Nov
11
comment Why do people say that VB gives you bad programming habits?
Flash is also like this. If you don't put the code in external actionscript files, everything is hard to find all tucked away inside event handlers.
Nov
11
comment Why do people say that VB gives you bad programming habits?
@Rook, it does indeed apply. Thank you.
Nov
10
comment What are some famous one-liner or two-liner programs and equations?
@Greg, just wait, APL uses more than the roman and greek alphabets because there weren't enough letters and symbols already; backspace (more properly called "overstrike") is also used because some characters need to be typed on top of other characters. One such was a divide symbol on top of a square, which represented matrix inversion (if unary operator, or multiplication by the inverted matrix if it was used as a binary operator).
Nov
5
comment Is it ever ok to have an empty catch statement?
Great point. In my logging code, I also like to add the InnerMessage for the exception. Many times this is null, so trying to add it would blow up the logging itself.
Nov
4
comment How do programmers quit a job?
@Guzica, I am 50 years old. I've seen a lot of stupid, bad, malevolent and broken things happen in my working career. RogueCoder, the guy asking the original question is 18 and probably hasn't met a wide array of idiocy yet. But to answer your question, many employers are quite "hardball" and escort you out the door when you give notice (it is nothing personal, just business). Financial companies (like banks) here have a tendency to discharge folks who have been overheard to say they are interviewing for a new job. Many companies are civilized - the ones that aren't can be problems.
Nov
4
comment “Overtime is part of the job” true but a bad attitude?
My advice is to read the book Death March. It should give you an idea of whether your boss is abusing you, or incompetent, and what options to take. rads.stackoverflow.com/amzn/click/013143635X
Nov
3
comment Questions to ask before someone leaves
We just retired a computer last year that was the last computer able to build a certain component for a shipping product (the .NET replacement for this VB4 app was finally released 3 years late). It used a 3rd party component with an aggressive copy protection scheme and the vendor went out of business 8 or so years ago. This guy quit 3 years ago, and all the other devs who had worked on the product had long since upgraded their machines making this machine more critical than it should have been.
Oct
28
comment Is it bad etiquette to ask a potential employer how they score on the Joel Test?
@Ryan: Many recruiters will take your resume and replace the contact information with theirs. This prevents the company from approaching you without the recruiter knowing. If you interview enough, you will find some recruiter pasted someone else's resume when they intended to paste yours, and that leads to an extremely tense situation when they ask you about something you never did. Sometimes, recruiters will add features to your resume because they want the commission and hope that you'll get the job anyway. There are enough bad apples out there that you'll take precautions.
Oct
27
comment What do you do with a heisenbug?
@SnOrfus: we try to include some logging in our application with the capability to add more details. Perhaps using MS' Enterprise Library for logging; one can configure what gets logged by level, so by changing a number in the config file, one can turn on/off debug code (off for deployment and general shipping code, with tech support telling the customer what entry to change to turn on the level of logging needed).