How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy
t3knomanser

The Joys of Offshore

I designed an application recently. It's a really simple application, as such things go: Read a record from a database, send the record to the mainframe, and flip a flag on the record to mark it done. Tack on a little logging and error handling, and you've got a very basic project. So basic, in fact, that my boss decides that it's a waste of my time. I'll put the design together and we'll ship it to an offshore contractor.

Now, I've seen the way offshore fucks up projects. So I sit down, and try and figure out how best to prevent this sort of blow up. My solution? I write the program myself, mostly. I supplied design diagrams, documentation, and about 40% of the code, already implemented so that it matches the design. There are a bunch of blanks in the code marked with "TODO: Open the connection to the database and fetch the next record. Map the column values according to the tech spec, a la: 'rec.sMfgCode = dbrecord("sMfgCode")'*".

Now, it's entirely possible that the developer might screw up filling in those blanks. Mind you, this stuff is (theoretically) basic knowledge for a contractor, but hey- it could happen? But I was surprised by the scope of the offshore fuckup. The developer completely ignored the sample code I gave him. I did most of his job for him and he just pissed it down his leg and reimplemented the application. He ignored my design diagram, didn't create the classes I told him to, and generally fucked the entire thing up.

Also: no comments, bad coding practices, ignorance of key syntax elements, and a horrible horrible habit of doing lots of switching logic instead of using OOD and the config file to control app behavior.

I hate offshore.

*No, I didn't name the database columns. They really used Hungarian Notation. I hate Hungarian Notation
Tags: idiots, programming, vb.net, work
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