Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dawning horror tinged with self-loathing crept slowly over the face of claims adjuster Robert Pettlebaum, 42, as he described his job and by extension his life to others during a seemingly innocuous Tuesday lunch meeting. “Mostly what I do is I seek out discrepancies in the property appraisal versus the claimant’s estimate of worth and then I…then I defer outpays…with…oh, God…,

Increasingly Horrified Man Listens To Self Explain What He Does For A Living | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source

Let’s try this:

I am a lead web applications developer. My job is to read my customer’s mind to figure out what she really wants, which is usually different from both what she wrote in the email and what she told my boss she wanted. I then decide the proper course of action to deliver as close as possible to the request, well knowing that since my boss was told a different story, I will have to convince him that I am not retarded and that I am actually doing what the customer wants. Then I have to show it to the customer and convince her that this is what she wanted me to do and that yes, we can make that font bigger if needed. I will then spend the next 70% of my budget on providing the right functionality, only to be pushed on a side track because my customer’s boss didn’t like the look and feel and the whole thing has to be redesigned, regardless of how well the functionality actually performs. Finally, I have to orchestrate the transition from the current product to the new one, a comedy of horrors that involves a week of planning, dry runs, lots of CYA and about 15 minutes of pure horror.

And that is assuming that I am the only one doing the programming.

If there is more than one programmer, then it gets interesting. I have to worry about my own work, plus I have to worry that the right information is delivered to my coworkers so they can do their job, while at the same time making sure that the customer doesn’t confuse/annoy either my boss or my coworkers.

I also have to worry about blending all this work together, which thanks God is not that big of a deal because all of the programmers know what the hell they are doing, so it is mostly a traffic management exercise. Some of my peers at other companies don’t enjoy this luxury, so this step of the process is usually described as “herding cats.”

Many years ago I was told that in a software programming project, no more than 20% of the effort is spent writing code. I thought that was bullshit but now I know better. Am I horrified? No, but I know people elsewhere that are not going to make it long in this field simply because they can’t grasp this idea.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Today, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) released a letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail.  The JCT letter  makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.

House Committee on Ways & Means - Republican

Ouch, more change we can believe in.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Michael Grippo, a 95-year-old Bronx native, told reporters Wednesday that he is “worried sick” that he won’t live to see the Yankees win another 27 World Series titles. “We came so close in 1955, 1960, 1976, 2001, and 2004.

95-Year-Old Yankees Fan Afraid He’ll Never Get To See Team Win 27 More World Series | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The USS New York (LPD 21), built with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center wreckage, sailed into New York City on Nov. 2. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will be commissioned into the U.S. fleet at 11 a.m., Nov. 7, at Piers 86 and 88 in New York Harbor.

USS New York to be commissioned Saturday | American Legion

(via bing)

Fantastic homage to Stanley Kubric, it was awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Pinker Tones “Karma Hunters” (via Nacionalrecords)

A reminder that today is Election Day. GO VOTE.

Thanks to Alex Esoterica for reminding me about this song/video.

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
~Ann Landers

(via iwannotowidigdo) (via karlaakins)

I always assumed it was adoration, not admiration. In all my life I never felt like any of my dogs admired me much, but all of them loved me to death.

Let this serve as a warning to us all. Iceland has universal health care and now they have no more McDonald’s.

McDonald’s Abandons Iceland | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source