Tunnel Rat posted on December 27, 2006 18:31

I have to take a break while I get some things in my life in order. I am buying a new house and recently got back into the contract programming arena.

To give you an update, I landed a nice gig at an established dot-com survivor that went public in 1999, so it has a mature software shop that values specs, design, documentation, and QA. This is more than I can say for the Web 2.0 space, which is full of flipmeat and the code-and-load culture of open-source, anything-but-Microsoft, make-it-up-as-you-go MySpace wannabees.

Seriously, does anyone actually believe sites based on Ruby, running on a tag-based scripting language like PHP, and hitting a MySQL database can scale and be maintained and enhanced for years? Currently, I am working on some code that is on average five years old. But if it is encapsulated, documented, and done by someone other than a former Starbucks barista or Everquest junkie who downloaded ROR and reinvented himself as a web-developer, I can maintain it. Try that with the vaporware getting VC funding now.

When I look at these job postings for programming gigs at start-ups using PHP (which I used to think stood for Programmers Hacking Porn, because every adult site is written in PHP), Ajax, Ruby, MySQL, yada-yada-yada, I think of one thing: Hacker Sweatshop.

The minute I would try to create a class diagram, or properly model a database, or write a functional spec before banging out some code (all of which are SOP at mature Microsoft shops), I'd be called into an IKEA-decorated office of the so-called CIO. Now, this CIO would probably be nothing more than a twenty-something, Blackberry banging, iPod wearing, excessively-pierced dork who is working for promised stock options. He probably has a case of chronic ADD, mixed in with OCD, so he can never, ever, decide what to obsess over. In addition, he has a perpetually twitchy thumb from years of game-console operation that has progressed to PDA obsession. And most-likely, he has a Bluetooth earpiece that allows him to carry on conversations with his MySpace pals while he holds staff meetings.

And once he discovers that I haven't coded his MySpace/YouTube/Flikr rip-off in the 7 days he thought it would take, he would fire me and say some crap like "we need some heavy-hitters in here" or "we are a results based company" or "we don't have time for all this design stuff, you get paid to code, not design" or "we expect you to work more than 12-hours a day, because we need to launch the site to get mezzanine funding."

So that said, I've been too busy to devote adequate attention to this blog. I find that it takes me an hour or so to properly formulate a post, edit it, and update the blog. I don't feel comfortable posting a few random sentences with links to other sites, so when I do post, I want it to be worthwhile reading for my readers.

So stay tuned, I have a lot of topics to cover in the near future, such as:


  • Cheap I.T. Bastards
  • Why None Of Your Medical Data Is Confidential
  • Dumb Bitches Of The Computer Business
  • Most FTE Programmers Suck
  • Curry-Eating Wage Pirates
  • LAMP, Ruby, and the Code-and-Load Culture
  • Taking Things Up With HR



... And More!


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