Tag Archives: technology

Fancy Frameworks and Trendy Tech

I wonder if in a few years coding to spec will come back in style and I’ll have to start wearing skinny jeans and using a Mac. I kinda hope not. Coding to spec instead of trying to fit the spec into a subset of pre-existing modules is a nice niche. MVC and such are nice conventions, but public conventions can be a security risk in and of themselves. Sure you can call them “standards” but having predated social media driven “standards” doesn’t mean we didn’t have “standards” we just had to understand them much better than the fanfare of today’s pretentious “guru” atmosphere. We had to actually code to spec.

I really gave “test-driven” development a shot… but what a laugh! It’s like having to do everything twice. I imagine that’s important for beginners, but after 20 years of coding I’ll just do it right the first time thanks. The first time you spend an hour debugging someone else’s “test” you’ll have to question if there really is a baby in that nasty bath water.

It’s amazing how lean and mean code written for the spec can be compared to the bloat of piles of libraries just to get started with some packages. JavaScript is super easy and super powerful, yet how many people import JQuery just because they can’t code a 5 line function? Or for some reason believe they can’t maintain browser compatibility? Don’t they know that compatibility bugs in JQuery can last months? Any that show up in your function should take less time to fix than installing a new version of JQuery.

Alas, I’m afraid we’re bound to come full circle. After the last just-another-web-framework comes along and the déjà vu is undeniable, someone with skinny jeans, dark rimmed glasses, and a shirt that ensures that he cannot tie his shoes without mooning someone; that guy will profoundly declare to his bazillion Twitter zombies that coding to spec is the new bleeding edge. We just need to wait long enough for everyone to forget that option ever existed.

Quality Assurance

As the cost of Sony’s failure to recognize a dysfunctional development team reaches estimates of over $4 billion we hope that corporations all over the planet are taking note. Among the the other winners of the most dysfunctional quality assurance processes Amazon’s cloud is also near the top. Amazon’s low standards are evident at just a glance, however ugly doesn’t always mean insecure. Then there are Apple developers who are being sued for using Apple’s toolkit. Doing it the way Apple told them to now makes them liable to monetary damages? Brilliant.

Being positioned the way we are VeraciTek regularly gets calls from recruiters. Most of them Asian, and many of them quite confused about what we do here. So the phone rings an average of 3 times a day with job offers from corporations using head hunter agencies to supplement their workforce. It has proven quite revealing. Not only are these folks confused, but they are in mass production mode. We decided to make the most of these calls to try to gauge some details about what process these corporations think will provide them with quality services. The result has been astounding.

Firstly, as we already mentioned, these “recruiters” are in mass production mode. They talk fast, and they are looking for keywords. Without exception they fail to answer correctly even the most simple IT questions, and often have requirements that are impossible. When was the last time you met someone with 15 years of .NET programming experience?

Secondly, almost without exception, these corporations reject the possibility of telecommuting. They want a warm body in a cube. Despite the indisputable fact that the office environment is counterproductive in almost every way for highly skilled programmers. I suppose if they don’t know what you’re doing they can at least watch you doing it. We exhausted this angle because we thought there may be potential of injecting our services in place of such a role, however this is not an option in what claims to be a “tech savvy” environment. At least not yet.

Finally, the projects usually range from 4-12 months but they call them “full time” positions. We are stumped as to how they have come to the conclusion that if they just hire a programmer that in 4-12 months their project will be done. Who exactly made that estimate? We did get asked to be on a team of 5 meant to conquer a request in 3 months. The titles of each of these members were very specific too. “Web Designer, with CSS experience.”, “Senior C# .NET programmer with experience in the health care industry.”, “2 Junior C# .NET programmers”, and the cornerstone role, “.NET Business Analyst”. What is a .NET Business Analyst?

Now back to Sony. Where did they get their “talent”? How many of those developers where actually capable of the keywords they put on their resumes? Again, where is the brilliant young guy who told them months or even years ago that the process was not working? Wherever you are we’d like to meet you. You’re just the kind of developer we want working with us. As for the rest of that team happily averaging a line of code per week through the BNDP (bureaucratic nightmare development process), wonder where they are? Hopefully not building your company’s next killer app.