6 Replies - 3829 Views - Last Post: 08 July 2015 - 11:02 AM Rate Topic: -----

#1 Orthoducks  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 27-June 13

His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:45 PM

One of my first assignments in this job was to make some enhancements to a task that monitored a message stream and issued commands to a device when it found certain types of messages. The message stream had a simple line-oriented structure.

Part of the assignment was to make the message stream processor handle a new type of message. I looked at the processor and realized that I would have to replace it. It treated the message stream as an unstructured stream of characters and handled every message as a unique case. For example:

  get a line;
  point to the first non-space character on the line;
  if (the next four characters are "set ") {
      point 4 characters forward;
      point to the next non-space on the line;
      if (the next two characters are "= ") {
          point 2 characters forward;


...and so on. The code appeared to have been written by someone who knew what a parser does, but hadn't a clue how to write one.

I wrote a simple table driven parser that broke down the data stream into tokens and then matched groups of tokens against a list of valid patterns. It took part of a day, and when I was done, adding the new type of message was trivial.

My boss was big on academic credentials, so he decided that because I don't have a CS degree I should be "mentored" by one of my co-workers who did. My mentor had a master's in CS, and he had previously been an adjunct instructor at a state university.

I soon learned that (1) he had written the original message stream processor, (2) he wasn't embarrassed by it, and (3) he knew what I did to it, and didn't mind, but didn't see why I had bothered.

I left the job after just a few months.

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: His last job was... WHAT?

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

  • Too busy for this
  • member icon

Reputation: 2330
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,381
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:48 PM

My very first job consisted of months of rewriting thousands of lines of code. The originator of the code was an academic coder. Someone whom knew everything about programming, except the trivial things like, security, dry, or anything really that isn't required in an assignment.

I feel your pain!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 depricated  Icon User is online

  • Nero


Reputation: 2304
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,965
  • Joined: 13-September 08

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 08 July 2015 - 07:13 AM

Man, DRY was something that was beaten into my head by one of my professors. He had a huge board on one wall with DRY in big letters and a bunch of little phrases like "If you write the same thing twice, it should be its own function" and such.

My first programming job was to take an Access Database, turn it into a workable tool with VBA, and then recreate it in VB.NET/MSSQL. Fun times.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

  • Professor Snuggly Pants
  • member icon

Reputation: 6552
  • View blog
  • Posts: 30,682
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 08 July 2015 - 08:24 AM

View PostOrthoducks, on 16 June 2015 - 10:45 PM, said:

My boss was big on academic credentials, so he decided that because I don't have a CS degree I should be "mentored" by one of my co-workers who did. My mentor had a master's in CS, and he had previously been an adjunct instructor at a state university.

A while back I got a job working with a good friend of mine. Both of us went to the same garbage college & got the same junk degree. Our JR developer had a masters in CS (or something, I don't recall) & yet constantly complained that though she had her masters, she couldn't code because her C/C++ was many years ago.

We were encouraged to show her tough love.

Once when she left her laptop unlocked (during a meeting), I wrote a cron-tab to eject her cdrom drive every minute. She eventually removed the drive. Even later she finally got with some of the Linux admins to troubleshoot the laptop & got the cron-tab removed.

I don't share your ex-bosses values of academics.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#5 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

  • Too busy for this
  • member icon

Reputation: 2330
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,381
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 08 July 2015 - 08:35 AM

Worthless anecdote:

One of the people that really gave me my boast if to doing this full time was a developer for a very large non-profit. When he was up for promotion, he was quickly passed over because he lacked "the skillset learnt through having a graduate degree." I managed to find a school that would let him CLEP through the majority of his classes, he had to take the ?upper level? programming courses.

The man had been a programmer in various languages for 2 decades. He took and passed all the courses without opening a single book [as far as programming]. I inherited those books from him when he switched from developer to BA and all of them were still in their original wrappers.

Now, he is has his PhD in some area of CS. And the same people that said he needed a degree for promotion are worried that he wants their job. His direct supervisor has a masters. So, not only does my friend have the experience behind him, but the degree higher than everyone else.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 AnthonyMcqueen21  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 5
  • View blog
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 04-July 15

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 08 July 2015 - 08:40 AM

First programming job can be weird and indifferent to many people cause you dont know what to expect from your superiors and what your future co workers think. Everyone thinks different and many ways how to get the job done also the fact of being nervous and worried if you make a mistake can be a constant thing in the back of your mind. I believe in thinking slow keep in real and you should do just fine.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

  • Professor Snuggly Pants
  • member icon

Reputation: 6552
  • View blog
  • Posts: 30,682
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: His last job was... WHAT?

Posted 08 July 2015 - 11:02 AM

View PostAnthonyMcqueen21, on 08 July 2015 - 11:40 AM, said:

First programming job can be weird and indifferent to many people cause you dont know what to expect from your superiors

This should be covered in great detail in the interview. If it wasn't, then the new employee isn't engaging with the interviewer well enough.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1