The Internet Times Supplement

For Programmers Everywhere (and Project Managers too)

In Humour, Technology on May 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

I actually had this experience. A long time employee with a company had written their system in such a way as to (in theory) make his services indispensable. Every data field, every report format variable, screen mask (etc) was named something like “AaaaABbbAabB” or similar making it unintelligible to the average (and not so average) person. When there came a time to fire him he pulled the ‘but you cannot do without me’ wildcard. However, the company called his bluff and fired him anyway. I was brought in to untangle the mess. I started to disentangle it but it was going to be a long and arduous task. Then I tried ‘undelete’ on the computers the guy had used. Sure enough, after a lot of searching I recovered a deleted WordPerfect (yep, that long ago) file which was the code match between the randomised field names and their real names. After that it was a relatively ‘simple’ task to recode and present the data items in a meaningful manner. I got paid quite a bit of money for what was, in the end, a relatively simple task…



Dilbert - Coding


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