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CodeSOD: Going on an Exceptional Date

Here‘s a puzzler for you: someone has written bad date handling code, but honestly, the bad date handling isn‘t the real WTF. I mean, it‘s bad, but it highlights something worse. Cid inherited this method, along with a few others which we‘ll probably look at in the future. It‘s Java, so let‘s just start with the method signature. public static void checkTimestamp(String timestamp, String name) throws IOExcep

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Classic WTF: The Developmestuction Environment

We continue to enjoy a brief respite from mining horrible code and terrible workplaces. This classic includes this line: It requires that Adobe Indesign is installed on the web server. Original --Remy Have you ever thought what it would take for you to leave a new job after only a few days? Heres a fun story from my colleague Jake Vinson, whose co-worker of three days would have strongly answered this. One of the nice thing about externalizing

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Another Immovable Spreadsheet

Steve had been working as a web developer, but his background was in mathematics. Therefore, when a job opened up for internal transfer to the Statistics team, he jumped on it and was given the job without too much contest. Once there, he was able to meet the other statisticians: a group of well-meaning businessfolk with very little mathematical background who used The Spreadsheet to get their work done. The Spreadsheet was Excel, of course. T

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CodeSOD: Dates Float

In a lot of legacy code, Ive come across integer dates. Its a pretty common way to store dates in a compact format: an integer in the form YYYYMMDD, e.g., 20200616 Its relatively compact, it remains human readable (unlike a Unix epoch). Its not too difficult to play with the modulus and rounding operators to pick it back into date parts, if you need to, though mostly wed use something like this as an ID-like value, or for sorting. Thanks to Katie

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Classic WTF: A Gassed Pump

Wow, its summer. Already? Were taking a short break this week at TDWTF, and reaching back through the archives for some classic stories. If youve cancelled your road trip this year, make a vicarious stop at a filthy gas station with this old story. Original --Remy ‘Staff augmentation,‘ was a fancy way of saying, ‘hey, contractors get more per hour, but we don‘t have to provide benefits so they are cheaper,‘ but Stua

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Error‘d: Take a Risk on NaN

Sure, I know how long the free Standard Shipping will take, but maybe, just maybe, if I choose Economy, my package will have already arrived! Or never, Philip G. writes. To be honest, I would love to hear how a course on guitar will help me become certified on AWS! Kevin wrote. Gerg writes, Hooray! Im going to be so productive for the next 0 days! I guess that inbox count is what I get for using Yahoo mail? writes Becky R. Marc W. wrote,

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Faking the Grade

Our friend and frequent submitter Argle once taught evening classes in programming at his local community college. These classes tended to be small, around 20-30 students. Most of them were already programmers and were looking to expand their knowledge. Argle enjoyed helping them in that respect. The first night of each new semester, Argle had everyone introduce themselves and share their goals for the class. One of his most notable students w

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ABCD

As is fairly typical in our industry, Sebastian found himself working as a sub-contractor to a sub-contractor to a contractor to a big company. In this case, it was IniDrug, a pharmaceutical company. Sebastian was building software that would be used at various steps in the process of manufacturing, which meant he needed to spend a fair bit of time in clean rooms, and on air-gapped networks, to prevent trade secrets from leaking out. Like a lot

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Error‘d: The Exception

Alex A. wrote, Vivaldi only has two words for you when you forget to switch back to your everyday browser for email after testing a website in Edge. So was my profile successfully created wrongly, wrongly created successfully? writes Francesco A. I will personally wait for next years show at undefined, undefined, given the pandemic and everything, writes Drew W. Bill T. wrote, Im not sure if Adobe is confused about me being me, or if they

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CodeSOD: locurlicenseucesss

The past few weeks, I‘ve been writing software for a recording device. This is good, because when I‘m frustrated by the bugs I put in the code and I start cursing at it, it‘s not venting, it‘s testing. There are all sorts of other little things we can do to vent. Imagine, if you will, you find yourself writing an if with an empty body, but an else clause that does work. You‘d probably be upset at yourself. You migh

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Error‘d: Fast Hail and Round Wind

Hes not wrong. With wind and hail like this, an isolated tornado definitely ranks third in severity, Rob K. writes. Upon linking my Days of Wonder account with Steam, I was initially told that I had 7 days to verify my email before account deletion and then I was told something else... Ian writes. Harvey wrote, Great. Thanks for the warm welcome to your site {AUCTION_WEBSITE} Peter G. writes, In this case, I imagine the art department did s

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CodeSOD: Classic WTF: Pointless Revenge

As we enjoy some summer weather, we should take a moment to reflect on how we communicate with our peers. We should always do it with kindness, even when we really want revenge. Original -- Kind regards, Remy We write a lot about unhealthy workplaces. We, and many of our readers, have worked in such places. We know what it means to lose our gruntle (becoming disgruntled). Some of us, have even been tempted to do something vengeful or petty to &l

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CodeSOD: The Data Class

There has been a glut of date-related code in the inbox lately, so it‘s always a treat where TRWTF isn‘t how they fail to handle dates, and instead, something else. For example, imagine you‘re browsing a PHP codebase and see something like: fmtedDate = data::now(); You‘d instantly know that something was up, just by seeing a class named data. That‘s what got Vania‘s attention. She dug in, and found a few thing

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Error‘d: People also ask ...WTF?!

Exactly which people are asking this question? Jamie M. wrote. More like a friendly reminder that for one solid day, 2000 years ago, I was insured, Kyle B. writes. Jordan R. wrote, Ok, Ill bite, how can NULL solve pain points of private clouds? Tell me Jira, is the undefined key anywhere near the any key? writes Gary A. Quentin G. wrote, 92% sales tax seems a bit high, but shipping? I dont live in Outer Mongoila! Mike S. writes, Only 1

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CodeSOD: Rings False

There are times when a code block needs a lot of setup, and there are some where it mostly speaks for itself. Today‘s anonymous submitter found this JavaScript in a React application, coded by one of the senior team-members. if (false === false){ startSingleBasedApp(); } else { startTabNavigation(); } Look, I know how this code got there. At some point, they planned to check a configuration or a feature flag, but during development

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Tales from the Interview: Classic WTF: Slightly More Sociable

As we continue our vacation, this classic comes from the ancient year of 2007, when used to being the only woman in my engineering and computer science classes was a much more common phrase. Getting a job can feel competitive, but there are certain ways you can guarantee youre gonna lose that competition. Original --Remy Today‘s Tale from the Interview comes from Shanna... Fresh out of college, and used to being the only woman in my engin

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