I am surrounded by geeks. Like bigger geeks than I have ever been around. I have been around MANY senior type developers and such, but never have I heard about them talk about things as detailed and specifically as they do here. Like they use lingo that I vaguely know what it means given the context, but some of the software coding methodologies are crazy.
“So this company interviewed me and asked me to write a recursive program that would create a unicorn for them. I wrote it only to have them look at my unicorn and say, ‘yeah, you made a unicorn but we expected you to use the Fibonacci sequence to make the golden unicorn – so you did it wrong.’ And I was like, but you never told me you had a preferred method.”
Yeah – some of that is made up because, well, I have no fucking idea what really came out of his mouth.
So I acted like the penguins from the cartoon Madagascar where one says to the others, “smile and wave, boys, smile, and wave.”
Today, I called a meeting after an oddball request came through the developers. This new company, like so many, has a problem where people come to developers with solutions that may or may not fix their problems. My goal is to shift that thinking, so when I heard what the ask was, I immediately called a meeting to get the right people in the room.
I successfully squashed their request in less than 5 minutes with proposing a better solution that was less money, can be done immediately, and is already functionality within the system. Score! My worth to the team has been shown in the first week.
The person requesting the thing made a comment like “gee, I wish we could get our hardware issue resolved as quickly.” The two developers immediately made it clear that those issues were someone else’s issues, then started asking what was happening. *shakes head* Yeah, these guys have a way to go. It was a printer related issue, to which my senior developer responded:
“Well, you see, when you print, the computer sends through the cable to the printer a string series and within that string are certain components that tell the printer how to format the item. When the printer gets the strings, it knows that the B means to send a break and the Q means left justify and the P means monkeys – and the printer generates what it should do. So, if someone hits the button on the screen and doesn’t see the printer print right away because it is doing that formatting and button comes back to fast than someone could hit it again thinking they didn’t do it the first time because the programmatic delay in the background isn’t functioning right.”
Follow all of that?
I did. But the two guys who work on the production line got glassy-eyed after the first few words because, well, they don’t care – they just need someone to fix it.
I followed that person’s lesson in how hardware and software talk with, “so they would talk to….?”
“Joe, they would talk to Joe.”
The answer to their question was Joe but they got a 5-minute explanation about how software, cables, and printers work. Uhm, okay – who cares.
As we were leaving, the developers were like, “so how are we going to get this scheduled?”
And they were serious. They were not just trying to get me to do it because they didn’t know. They seriously did not know how to get it done.
“You already have a meeting request in your email – just click “accept”.”
A look of relief crossed their faces as I tried hard not to laugh my ass off in front of them.
They program things more complicated than email. They explain the exact details as to how something works. But they don’t know how to click the “Schedule Meeting” button in email. Though I should have expected that after this morning’s fiasco where they were trying to explain to me how to get to the IT calendar. I kept saying, “no, this is how you do this” only to have them insist it didn’t work that way.
Yeah, I was right.
Despite all of the technical jargon and all, I ended my day hearing a story about how one of the senior developers accidently picked up a prostitute after he got a flat and overheard someone in, what he thought, was distress. I laughed my ass off.
Until my boss told his story about being in college and going out with his friends to pick up the legendary prostitutes in the city.
In that moment, I had the same thought that I had when I used to hear this shit 15 years ago…..
…..they had better thank the gods (new AND old) that I am not easily offended.
And internally, I was reminding myself to smile and wave……do NOT share your funny stories as they are funny to open and poly type people — but not to those out trolling for prostitutes…..