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Insert Away

Troy! Troy! Troy looked up from his keyboard with a frown as his coworker Cassie skidded to a halt, panting for breath. Yes? How soon can you get that new client converted? Cassie asked. Were at DEFCON 1 in ops. We need to be running yesterday! Troys frown only deepened. I told you, Ive barely had a chance to peek at their old system. The client was hoping to convert sometime in the next month-usually no big deal, as theyd just have to sche

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CodeSOD: Whiling Away the Time

There are two ways of accumulating experience in our profession. One is to spend many years accumulating and mastering new skills to broaden your skill set and ability to solve more and more complex problems. The other is to repeat the same year of experience over and over until you have one year of experience n times. Anon took the former path and slowly built up his skills, adding to his repertoire with each new experience and assignment.

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Representative Line: Tern Back

In the process of resolving a ticket, Pedro C found this representative line, which has nothing to do with the bug he was fixing, but was just something he couldn‘t leave un-fixed: categories = (isset(categoryMap[product[department]]) ? (isset(categoryMap[product[department]][product[classification]]) ? categoryMap[product[department]][pr

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CodeSOD: Encreption

You may remember ‘Harry Peckhard‘s ALM‘ suite from a bit back, but did you know that Harry Peckhard makes lots of other software packages and hardware systems? For example, the Harry Peckhard enterprise division releases an ‘Intelligent Management Center‘ (IMC). How intelligent? Well, Sam N had a co-worker that wanted to use a very long password, like ‘correct horse battery staple‘, but but Harry‘s

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CodeSOD: JavaScript Centipede

Starting with the film Saw, in 2004, the ‘torture porn‘ genre started to seep into the horror market. Very quickly, filmmakers in that genre learned that they could abandon plot, tension, and common sense, so long as they produced the most disgusting concepts they could think of. The game of one-downsmanship arguably reached its nadir with the conclusion of The Human Centipede trilogy. Yes, they made three of those movies. This asid

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Error‘d: Alphabetical Soup

I appreciate that TIAA doesnt want to fully recognize that the country once known as Burma now calls itself Myanmar, but I dont think that this is the way to handle it, Bruce R. writes. MSI Installed an update - but I wonder what else it decided to update in the process? The status bar just kept going and going... writes Jon T. Paul J. wrote, Apparently my occupation could be All Other Persons on this credit card application! Geoff wrote,

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Best of: 2017: Nature, In Its Volatility

Happy New Year! Put that hangover on hold, as we return to an entirely different kind of headache, back on the Galapagos. -- Remy About two years ago, we took a little trip to the Galapagos- a tiny, isolated island where processes and coding practices evolved a bit differently. Calvin, as an invasive species, brought in new ways of doing things- like source control, automated builds, and continuous integration- and changed the landscape of the i

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CodeSOD: The Least of the Max

Adding assertions and sanity checks to your code is important, especially when you‘re working in a loosely-typed language like JavaScript. Never assume the input parameters are correct, assert what they must be. Done correctly, they not only make your code safer, but also easier to understand. Matthias‘s co-worker doesn‘t exactly do that. function checkPriceRangeTo(x, min, max) { if (max == 0) { max = v

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Best of: 2017: The Official Software

This personal tale from Snoofle has all of my favorite ingredients for a WTF: legacy hardware, creative solutions, and incompetent management. Well be running one more Best Of on New Years Day, and then back to our regularly scheduled programming mostly--Remy At the very beginning of my career, I was a junior programmer on a team that developed software to control an electronics test station, used to diagnose problems with assorted components o

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Error‘d: Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton

Good news! I can get my order shipped anywhere I want...So long as the city is named Hamilton, Daniel wrote. I might have forgotten my username, but at least I didnt forget to change the email template code in Production, writes Paul T. Jamie M. wrote, Using Lee Hecht Harrisons job search functionality is very meta. When I decided to go to Cineworld, wasnt sure what I wanted to watch, writes Andy P., The trailer for System Restore looks goo

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In BANK We Trust

During the few months after getting my BS and before starting my MS, I worked for a bank that held lots of securities - and gold - in trust for others. There was a massive vault with multiple layers of steel doors, iron door grates, security access cards, armed guards, and signature comparisons (live vs pre-registered). It was a bit unnerving to get in there, so deep below ground, but once in, it looked very much like the Fort Knox vault scene i

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Error‘d: The Elephant in the Room

Robert K. wrote, Lets just keep this error between us and never speak of it again. Not only does this web developer have a full-time job, but hes also got way more JQuery than the rest of us. So much, in fact, hes daring us to remove it, writes Mike H. Come on and get your Sample text...sample text here..., wrote Eric G. Jan writes, I just bought a new TV. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. So much so that I might become a loyal custo

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CodeSOD: Dictionary Definition

Guy‘s eight-person team does a bunch of computer vision (CV) stuff. Guy is the ‘framework Guy‘: he doesn‘t handle the CV stuff so much as provide an application framework to make the CV folks lives easy. It‘s a solid division of labor, with one notable exception: Richard. Richard is a Computer Vision Researcher, head of the CV team. Guy is a mere ‘code monkey‘, in Richard‘s terms. Thus, everything

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Why Medical Insurance Is So Expensive

At the end of 2016, Ian S. accepted a contract position at a large medical conglomerate. He was joining a team of 6 developers on a project to automate what was normally a 10,000-hour manual process of cross-checking spreadsheets and data files. The end result would be a Django server offering a RESTful API and MySQL backend. You probably wont be doing anything much for the first week, maybe even the first month, Ians interviewer informed him.

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Legacy Hardware

Thanks to Hired, we‘ve got the opportunity to bring you another little special project- Legacy Hardware. Hold on tight for a noir-thriller that dares to ask the question: ‘why does everything in our organization need to talk to an ancient mainframe?‘ Also, it‘s important to note, Larry Ellison really does have a secret lair on a volcanic island in Hawaii. Once again, special thanks to Hired, who not only helped us produ

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CodeSOD: Warp Me To Halifax

Greenwich must think they‘re so smart, being on the prime meridian. Starting in the 1840s, the observatory was the international standard for time (and thus vital for navigation). And even when the world switched to UTC, GMT is only different from that by 0.9s. If you want to convert times between time zones, you do it by comparing against UTC, and you know what? I‘m sick of it. Boy, I wish somebody would take them down a notch. Why

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