Lenovo Uh-Oh (and more!)

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"I get it that some apps need special permissions, but a GUID is the digital equivalent of 'just trust me - I know what I'm doing'," Kenneth M. writes.

Just The Fax, Ma'am

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Muirhead fax machine - MfK Bern

Gus had been working at his new job for a month. Most of his tickets had been for front-end work, making it easier and more efficient to manage the various vendors that the company did business with. These were important flags like "company does not accept UPS deliveries" or "company does not accept paper POs". The flags had been previously set via an aging web-based UI that only worked in Internet Explorer 6, but now they were migrating one at a time into the shiny new HTML5 app. It was tiring work, but rewarding.

Trimming the Fat

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There are certain developers who don’t understand types. Frustrated, they fall back on the one data-type they understand- strings. Dates are hard, so put them in strings. Numbers aren’t hard, but they often exist in text boxes, so make them strings. Booleans? Well, we’ve come this far- strings it is.

Tyisha has the displeasure of working with one such developer, but with a twist- they didn’t really understand strings, either. Tyisha only supplied a small example:

Awful On Purpose

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ExpoSYFY - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (8521128271)

Studying his new work contract, Stewart felt like he'd found a golden ticket. After 2 long and tedious years in the local university's IT department, he was happy for any opportunity to escape that hellhole. TLA Technologies looked like the Garden of Eden by comparison. Instead of being the only person responsible for anything vaguely computer-related—from putting up websites to plugging in power strips—he'd now be working with a "dynamic team of programmers" in a "rapidly growing company tapping into the web development market". Instead of dealing with tools and languages forgotten by history itself, he'd be using "modern, cutting-edge solutions" under "agile and customer-oriented methodologies". And instead of reporting to a pointy-haired supervisor who couldn't tell a computer from a toaster, he'd be working directly under Dave.


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Speaking with developers, I’m always surprised to find a surprising percentage are surprised and baffled by the “Fluent API”. This object-oriented convention is based on the Builder Pattern, and involves call chaining to construct a configured object. So, for example, if you needed to configure a SystemHandler object to have a series of LinkHandler objects, you might have something like this:

    Handlers = SystemHandler.builder()

Classic WTF: Illicit Process Improvement

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In celebration of Black Friday, also known as "Retail Hellscape", let's look at a retail-oriented classic WTF, which originally ran way back in 2007. We'll resume our regularly scheduled WTFs next week.--Remy

Christian R. was in trouble. Despite his experience across hardware and software, desktops and server clusters, thumb drives and SANs, he hadn't found any freelance work in weeks. It was clear that he'd have to figure something out to pay the bills.

In August, Christian applied at Drab's PCs, a large retail chain focused on computer hardware and software. He'd shopped there for years and had an impressive level of knowledge about their products, so he accepted a position in Technical Sales.

Classic WTF: Injection Proof'd

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It's Thanksgiving, in the US. Be thankful you're not supporting this block of code. --Remy

“When a ‘customer’ of ours needs custom-developed software to suit their business requirements,” Kelly Adams writes, “they can either ‘buy’ the development services from the IT department, or go to an outside vendor. In the latter case, then we’re supposed to approve that the software meets corporate security guidelines.”

“Most of the time, our ‘approval’ is treated as a recommendation, and we end up having to install the application anyway. But recently, they actually listened to us and told the vendor to fix the ‘blatant SQL-injection vulnerabilities’ that we discovered. A few weeks later, when it came time for our second review, we noticed the following as their ‘fix’.”

Actually, My Father was a Folding Chair

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It's a holiday week this week, so today is our Friday. Enjoy an Errord. - Remy

"I have to wonder what on earth posessed those parents to add that suffix to their kid's name," writes Mack C.