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Are the posted questions getting worse? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 2:37 AM


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dwain.c (3/20/2013)
Lynn Pettis (3/20/2013)
I am really wondering how some people manage to get into contracting when they have no idea how to write good, performing code and expect a free forum staffed by volunteers to help him write code to meet the clients requirements.


I can think of two reasons:

1. Nobody knows they write poor performing code until their contract is up.
2. They get paid for the time they spend posting questions to the forum.



I'm sure you've all seen this but anyway...

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The_Brillant_Paula_Bean.aspx



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Post #1433634
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:33 AM
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dwain.c (3/20/2013)
Lynn Pettis (3/20/2013)
I am really wondering how some people manage to get into contracting when they have no idea how to write good, performing code and expect a free forum staffed by volunteers to help him write code to meet the clients requirements.


I can think of two reasons:

1. Nobody knows they write poor performing code until their contract is up.
2. They get paid for the time they spend posting questions to the forum.



I have three stories of contractors I've worked with in the past who, when their contracts were nearly up and it was time to review their code (managers just let them go until then) they had nothing at all. One claimed her laptop broke, one claimed his laptop was stolen (naturally neither checked their code in or backed it up) and the third claimed his drive was corrupted. They then left the job, put it down as experience and got another contract.


--------------------------------------
When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
--------------------------------------
It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
Post #1433780
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:42 AM


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WayneS (3/20/2013)
Can you tell what days Steve featured one of my blog posts in the newsletter? Thanks Steve!


You are welcome. But it's not just me, some of the excitement is good writing about interesting topics.







Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Post #1433826
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:55 AM


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dwain.c (3/20/2013)
Lynn Pettis (3/20/2013)
I am really wondering how some people manage to get into contracting when they have no idea how to write good, performing code and expect a free forum staffed by volunteers to help him write code to meet the clients requirements.


I can think of two reasons:

1. Nobody knows they write poor performing code until their contract is up.
2. They get paid for the time they spend posting questions to the forum.


3. They quote far below what it would cost to do the job properly, so those who are both competent and honest are not competition.
4. Because they quote so low, the cost of writing off what they have been paid is not worth the hassle of suing them, so they get away with it.
5. their customers are managed by people who haven't a technological clue, so as long as they can create sensible-sounding waffle about "management" or "policy" it doesn't matter that there technological ability is zilch - firstly because to admit you hired people inferior to the internal people means accepting a loss of face and secondly because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence so they must be a better sort of grass than the company's employees.

edit: I omitted

6. because they haven't had to waste time acquiring competence in doing the job they've had plenty time to become expert at bullshit.


Tom
Post #1433835
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:05 AM
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L' Eomot Inversé (3/21/2013)
dwain.c (3/20/2013)
Lynn Pettis (3/20/2013)
I am really wondering how some people manage to get into contracting when they have no idea how to write good, performing code and expect a free forum staffed by volunteers to help him write code to meet the clients requirements.


I can think of two reasons:

1. Nobody knows they write poor performing code until their contract is up.
2. They get paid for the time they spend posting questions to the forum.


3. They quote far below what it would cost to do the job properly, so those who are both competent and honest are not competition.
4. Because they quote so low, the cost of writing off what they have been paid is not worth the hassle of suing them, so they get away with it.
5. their customers are managed by people who haven't a technological clue, so as long as they can create sensible-sounding waffle about "management" or "policy" it doesn't matter that there technological ability is zilch - firstly because to admit you hired people inferior to the internal people means accepting a loss of face and secondly because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence so they must be a better sort of grass than the company's employees.

edit: I omitted

6. because they haven't had to waste time acquiring competence in doing the job they've had plenty time to become expert at bullshit.


All the ones I mentioned were getting the same rate as others on the job. They're just good at pretending they know what they're doing and the managers hiring aren't technical people who refused assistance in the interview process.


--------------------------------------
When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
--------------------------------------
It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
Post #1433848
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:30 AM


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Stefan Krzywicki (3/21/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (3/21/2013)
dwain.c (3/20/2013)
Lynn Pettis (3/20/2013)
I am really wondering how some people manage to get into contracting when they have no idea how to write good, performing code and expect a free forum staffed by volunteers to help him write code to meet the clients requirements.


I can think of two reasons:

1. Nobody knows they write poor performing code until their contract is up.
2. They get paid for the time they spend posting questions to the forum.


3. They quote far below what it would cost to do the job properly, so those who are both competent and honest are not competition.
4. Because they quote so low, the cost of writing off what they have been paid is not worth the hassle of suing them, so they get away with it.
5. their customers are managed by people who haven't a technological clue, so as long as they can create sensible-sounding waffle about "management" or "policy" it doesn't matter that there technological ability is zilch - firstly because to admit you hired people inferior to the internal people means accepting a loss of face and secondly because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence so they must be a better sort of grass than the company's employees.

edit: I omitted

6. because they haven't had to waste time acquiring competence in doing the job they've had plenty time to become expert at bullshit.


All the ones I mentioned were getting the same rate as others on the job. They're just good at pretending they know what they're doing and the managers hiring aren't technical people who refused assistance in the interview process.


Around 10 years ago whilst on contract for a telecomms company in Central London, I was introduced to a newly-hired DBA who wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and fiddling with our servers. Two surprises rapidly followed. Firstly, he was candid about his salary, £70. Very good money back then. I figured he must be pretty good. The next surprise turned everything on his head. He asked me for help with a UNION query which he couldn't get to work properly. I had a look at the code he was working with and couldn't make any sense of it at all, until he pointed out that UNION joined the tables not vertically as I'd always thought but side by side to generate extra columns.
Rotten contractors are nothing new - neither are rotten permies.


“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

For fast, accurate and documented assistance in answering your questions, please read this article.
Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden
Exploring Recursive CTEs by Example Dwain Camps
Post #1433867
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:13 AM


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ChrisM@Work (3/21/2013)
Around 10 years ago whilst on contract for a telecomms company in Central London, I was introduced to a newly-hired DBA who wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and fiddling with our servers. Two surprises rapidly followed. Firstly, he was candid about his salary, £70. Very good money back then. I figured he must be pretty good. The next surprise turned everything on his head. He asked me for help with a UNION query which he couldn't get to work properly. I had a look at the code he was working with and couldn't make any sense of it at all, until he pointed out that UNION joined the tables not vertically as I'd always thought but side by side to generate extra columns.
Rotten contractors are nothing new - neither are rotten permies.

Only twice in rather more than 40 years in the business did I actually have to fire someone (both were permies - contractors were always introduced by senior management so I couldn't fire them, until I became senior enough to refuse to use contractors at all). I reckon if I'd come acoss that guy that twice would have been thrice. But had I been able to do it I can think of a dozen or more bullshit spouting contractors who would have been looking for a new contract, and I've had far more dealings with permies than with contractors.

I think that a greater proportion of contractors than of permies are incompetent for one simple reason: when you come across a permie whose average length of employment is less than 6 months you need an awful lot of convincing before you will hire him - so those guys end up asking if you want chips and ketchup with it instead of scewing up your development schedule; a contractor can say he prefers short term contracts so that every four or five months he can take a couple of weeks off, and you generally don't have any valid reason to disbelieve him 9at least not in the UK, where he can sue you and/or the company if you are asked for a reference and deliver a bad one). So most of the incompetent permies don't survive, while most of the incompetent contractors do.


Tom
Post #1433892
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:49 AM


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L' Eomot Inversé (3/21/2013)
ChrisM@Work (3/21/2013)
Around 10 years ago whilst on contract for a telecomms company in Central London, I was introduced to a newly-hired DBA who wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and fiddling with our servers. Two surprises rapidly followed. Firstly, he was candid about his salary, £70. Very good money back then. I figured he must be pretty good. The next surprise turned everything on his head. He asked me for help with a UNION query which he couldn't get to work properly. I had a look at the code he was working with and couldn't make any sense of it at all, until he pointed out that UNION joined the tables not vertically as I'd always thought but side by side to generate extra columns.
Rotten contractors are nothing new - neither are rotten permies.

Only twice in rather more than 40 years in the business did I actually have to fire someone (both were permies - contractors were always introduced by senior management so I couldn't fire them, until I became senior enough to refuse to use contractors at all). I reckon if I'd come acoss that guy that twice would have been thrice. But had I been able to do it I can think of a dozen or more bullshit spouting contractors who would have been looking for a new contract, and I've had far more dealings with permies than with contractors.

I think that a greater proportion of contractors than of permies are incompetent for one simple reason: when you come across a permie whose average length of employment is less than 6 months you need an awful lot of convincing before you will hire him - so those guys end up asking if you want chips and ketchup with it instead of scewing up your development schedule; a contractor can say he prefers short term contracts so that every four or five months he can take a couple of weeks off, and you generally don't have any valid reason to disbelieve him 9at least not in the UK, where he can sue you and/or the company if you are asked for a reference and deliver a bad one). So most of the incompetent permies don't survive, while most of the incompetent contractors do.

The problem with "permies," as you call them, is that they spend considerable part of their time thinking about the next empowering move and playing politics to make it possible, at least at big companies. Contractor is only as good as his last contract and that keeps them on their tiptoes.
Post #1433911
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:03 AM
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Revenant (3/21/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (3/21/2013)
ChrisM@Work (3/21/2013)
Around 10 years ago whilst on contract for a telecomms company in Central London, I was introduced to a newly-hired DBA who wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and fiddling with our servers. Two surprises rapidly followed. Firstly, he was candid about his salary, £70. Very good money back then. I figured he must be pretty good. The next surprise turned everything on his head. He asked me for help with a UNION query which he couldn't get to work properly. I had a look at the code he was working with and couldn't make any sense of it at all, until he pointed out that UNION joined the tables not vertically as I'd always thought but side by side to generate extra columns.
Rotten contractors are nothing new - neither are rotten permies.

Only twice in rather more than 40 years in the business did I actually have to fire someone (both were permies - contractors were always introduced by senior management so I couldn't fire them, until I became senior enough to refuse to use contractors at all). I reckon if I'd come acoss that guy that twice would have been thrice. But had I been able to do it I can think of a dozen or more bullshit spouting contractors who would have been looking for a new contract, and I've had far more dealings with permies than with contractors.

I think that a greater proportion of contractors than of permies are incompetent for one simple reason: when you come across a permie whose average length of employment is less than 6 months you need an awful lot of convincing before you will hire him - so those guys end up asking if you want chips and ketchup with it instead of scewing up your development schedule; a contractor can say he prefers short term contracts so that every four or five months he can take a couple of weeks off, and you generally don't have any valid reason to disbelieve him 9at least not in the UK, where he can sue you and/or the company if you are asked for a reference and deliver a bad one). So most of the incompetent permies don't survive, while most of the incompetent contractors do.

The problem with "permies," as you call them, is that they spend considerable part of their time thinking about the next empowering move and playing politics to make it possible, at least at big companies. Contractor is only as good as his last contract and that keeps them on their tiptoes.


There are many reasons I've stayed a contractor over the years. In general, I find that a person's status as perm or contractor has little bearing on their ability or work ethic. A compliment to the contractor nightmares I mentioned above are the many perm nightmares I've worked wiith. One guy had 10 years to go to retirement and it was his goal to just make it there while doing as little work as possible. I've had managers who were completely "upward facing" and as long as their boss was happy, they didn't know or care what the people reporting to them were doing. One project I inherited from a "permie" dropped and re-created every index in the database every time the product was started. He also had indexes on just about every column because he'd heard they were good once and he'd lecture non-tech people about this for hours, given the chance.

How you're employed has little bearing on what you do.


--------------------------------------
When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
--------------------------------------
It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
Post #1433915
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:09 AM


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Stefan Krzywicki (3/21/2013)
Revenant (3/21/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (3/21/2013)
ChrisM@Work (3/21/2013)
Around 10 years ago whilst on contract for a telecomms company in Central London, I was introduced to a newly-hired DBA who wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and fiddling with our servers. Two surprises rapidly followed. Firstly, he was candid about his salary, £70. Very good money back then. I figured he must be pretty good. The next surprise turned everything on his head. He asked me for help with a UNION query which he couldn't get to work properly. I had a look at the code he was working with and couldn't make any sense of it at all, until he pointed out that UNION joined the tables not vertically as I'd always thought but side by side to generate extra columns.
Rotten contractors are nothing new - neither are rotten permies.

Only twice in rather more than 40 years in the business did I actually have to fire someone (both were permies - contractors were always introduced by senior management so I couldn't fire them, until I became senior enough to refuse to use contractors at all). I reckon if I'd come acoss that guy that twice would have been thrice. But had I been able to do it I can think of a dozen or more bullshit spouting contractors who would have been looking for a new contract, and I've had far more dealings with permies than with contractors.

I think that a greater proportion of contractors than of permies are incompetent for one simple reason: when you come across a permie whose average length of employment is less than 6 months you need an awful lot of convincing before you will hire him - so those guys end up asking if you want chips and ketchup with it instead of scewing up your development schedule; a contractor can say he prefers short term contracts so that every four or five months he can take a couple of weeks off, and you generally don't have any valid reason to disbelieve him 9at least not in the UK, where he can sue you and/or the company if you are asked for a reference and deliver a bad one). So most of the incompetent permies don't survive, while most of the incompetent contractors do.

The problem with "permies," as you call them, is that they spend considerable part of their time thinking about the next empowering move and playing politics to make it possible, at least at big companies. Contractor is only as good as his last contract and that keeps them on their tiptoes.


There are many reasons I've stayed a contractor over the years. In general, I find that a person's status as perm or contractor has little bearing on their ability or work ethic. A compliment to the contractor nightmares I mentioned above are the many perm nightmares I've worked wiith. One guy had 10 years to go to retirement and it was his goal to just make it there while doing as little work as possible. I've had managers who were completely "upward facing" and as long as their boss was happy, they didn't know or care what the people reporting to them were doing. One project I inherited from a "permie" dropped and re-created every index in the database every time the product was started. He also had indexes on just about every column because he'd heard they were good once and he'd lecture non-tech people about this for hours, given the chance.

How you're employed has little bearing on what you do.

Gee, Stefan, I wish I could have slacked when I had 10 years to retirement. I am retirement age and I still have to work my *** off, 6 days a week.
Post #1433920
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