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Dizzying Intellect » Coding -101

Coding -101

Tweedledum was one of the many people who were cut in the latest round of layoffs — and I was actually feeling sort of bad about it. Until just now.

I found an unrelated error in a program that he wrote, back in November, when I moved a critical fix for the program to production. The next and previous buttons, to show each record, weren’t working correctly. They worked occasionally, but then failed randomly.

We couldn’t back out the critical fix, so I just added a new change request for the new issue. I got it back from him last week, saying that it was fixed, but didn’t have time to test it until today.

It still doesn’t work, in exactly the same way. The buttons work 90% of the time, but then do nothing at all on certain records. Since it’s so unpredictably sporadic and odd, I wondered what change he’d made, so I compared the code from test to prod.

This is the entire code change he made to the program, to fix the error:

* 12/11/08 CORRECT NEXT/PREVIOUS PROCESSING.

That’s it. A comment.

*bangs head on desk*

I can’t imagine why it still doesn’t work. Also? So glad that I wasted an hour generating data to test it. And now my conscience feels better about at least one person who’s on unemployment for Christmas, instead of me.

[We now return you to your standard non-nerd programming, already in progress]

3 Comments

  • By Matt, December 19, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

    To be fair, acknowledging that there’s a problem is half the battle.

  • By radix, December 20, 2008 @ 8:31 am

    There’s never just one roach. This may be an opportunity. Do some more paranoid checks. You may be able to resolve more issues that have been holding things back. Sometimes one pair of good hands can do a better job than a group of people of varying skills/integrity/effectiveness. (or put another way, without all the dead wood in the way, you should be able to produce a qualitatively better product)

  • By rammer, December 22, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

    OMG, that is pathetic. It is a shame he wasn’t fired before this, rather than laid off. Even a next line that said, “Hmm, this is tricky.” would get him into coding purgatory. Off to the fifth circle of coding hell with him.

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