Category Archives: Fun

CodeSOD: The Generated JavaScript


Once upon a time, I discovered a bug in some JavaScript. I went off to investigate the source, only to find… the JS wasn’t coming from a file. It was being generated by a server-side method. Through string concatenation. It was a simple generation, something along the lines of: jsCode += "location.href = ‘foo?id=" + someIdField + "’;\n"; Bad, but

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CodeSOD: Delebation


When faced with an API or programming paradigm that requires repetitive, boilerplate code, a developer is left with two options. They may refine or adapt the API/paradigm, using the idioms of their language to make something tedious and verbose into something elegant and clear. Or they just automate it. If you have a mile of boilerplate that’s mostly the same

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The For While Loop


Alex R. was the architect of a brand spanking new system that was to read inputs from numerous other internal systems, crunch a whole bunch of numbers, record everything in a database and spew forth a massive report file. He spent months designing the major details of the system, and more months designing the various sub-components. From all this came

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CodeSOD: One’s Company


The more you learn about something, the less confident you often become in making statements about it, because you understand the complexities of the matter. If, for example, I asked you to help me refine my definition of how dates and times work, you know that many assumptions are wrong. Or if we tried to define what makes a string

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Theory Versus Reality


I went to college at the State University of New York at Albany, where back then, most of the Computer Science curriculum courses were entitled Theory of xxx. The programming assignments were the usual small-scope demonstrations of some feature of programming, typically something an experienced developer would code in 15-20 LOC. My Masters project was to modify the TeX typesetting

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CodeSOD: Lowest-Bidder Conversion


Circa 2003, or so, Annie’s employer contracted a lowest-bidder to produce a relatively massive .NET Web Forms project. The code was built, signed off, and chucked into production without any of the in-house developers being involved, despite being the team that would support it in the long term. There was no documentation, no knowledge transfer, and no code review.

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Replacement Trainwreck


There’s an old saying about experience in IT: Some people have 10 years of experience, and some have 1 year 10 times. Every day, someone learns the hard way how true this statement really is. Raquel returned from holiday, only to get a call from above saying her contract would not be renewed, giving her 2 weeks’ notice to

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