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Discussion on: Describe the worst coding culture you've been a part of

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Joey Hernández

One place, people were nice but management was... I was hired with around the same level of experience as the one other developer and same salary. Straight from then start I was given a list of tasks with expected time. Things like five minutes, half an hour, three hours, ten minutes, etc. All based on how long he would expect the current developer to do things. That developer had build most of the code base over more than a year. They used the tools they were comfortable with, framework, etc. So I had a lot to pick up and learn. However, I wasn't given time to do this, I had to finish my tasks in the given time. I relented, made a lot of mistakes, had to cut corners, started to work at an insane pace and level of concentration. After a week in one area and gaining some familiarity I would get bounced onto another and this code was sprawling, convoluted, every feature in the book packed in, configurable to the extreme, etc. Back to the drawing board each time. A few months of that and I burnt out. A shame as it wasn't so bad otherwise.

Another time I joined this place and asked for some documentation. One dev had worked on this thing for years. They said they had a test plan, which they sent and I printed out. To my horror, when I went two the printer later there was a stack of paper five inches thick, with double sided print. This test plan consisted of some thousands of pages. The nightmare didn't end there. I tried to get the codebase running locally and despite what was supposed to be a fresh install it would bomb out taking minutes to load at times, if at all. It was next to impossible to get an account set up properly with the right permissions. On investigating the codebase I found things like a hundred thousand line God class yet also thousands and thousands of layers of objects that were largely pointless, entire legions of telescope Russian doll like classes. With crazy things like a try catch inside every method. Whatever this person did with their code or anything else, they have to do it over and over like a printing press churning out millions of lines of code where tens of thousands were needed. I started getting really stressed about this, not being able to hit the ground even crawling with this and making a couple mistakes. I was talking about obtaining testing database and accidentally said just take a dump, I don't know if that ever got noticed. Other things didn't help. Such as the developer being extremely quiet, inaudible. I missed an optional morning social meeting requiring me to come in an hour early, no extra pay. I had wanted to go but the stress left me barely able to get enough sleep. Shortly after that, being there only a week, I was fired and escorted out of the building. On the way down in the lift the manager angrily said next time you're asked to go to something you should go (they had merely suggested that I attend the optional meeting). I was glad I was fired to be honest. I escaped the Tsar Bomba of over inflated codebases.