Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Java Sea

A couple of days ago I got one of those emails from my new manager that just makes my skin crawl. It boiled down to, "Why don't you do a couple of lunch time sessions for the other development team on Java." My thoughts on most brown bags / lunch 'n' learns being a bad idea aside, I don't particularly like this other group. As my teammate says, they're a bunch of obscurants. Good word. Mind you, this other group includes the person that said, if you know assembler, you know Java. Given my lack of eagerness, I tried to ignore the email.

The other manager decided to chime in and say that Mr. Assembler could also teach a session since he's "very strong with Java." Also, some other whiner on his team could do it since he's "pretty familiar." Could I be this lucky? Are these desperate retards bursting with a desire to prove they know something so much so that they'll willingly reject the opportunity to actually learn something? Oh, you bet our sweet ass they are. Part of learning is accepting that you are ignorant on some part of a subject (if not the whole thing). This is a feat well outside the repertoire of these pompous imbeciles.

The other manager then re-enters the fray and says he doesn't think they even need Java to work on this other internal product. The lead on the other product then replies that they actually do (since it's like totally written in Java), but doesn't get specific as to what they need. You might as well say they need to know how to "program and stuff" and leave it at that. The other manager then makes the statement that giving his team time to self study would be more productive than someone trying to teach them Java. With normal programmers I would agree. However, with this group it's more like thinking monkeys will eventually develop gunpowder, given enough time. Still, I don't want any part of it, so I keep my insults as to their disturbing lack of mental prowess to myself.

Mr. Assembler finally made his much anticipated entry into the fracas, to settle it once and for all. I'll paraphrase:

His hunch is that Java is the least of their worries. By the way, he's done heavy JSP, Java library, and Servlet programming. He's even converted an "organic Perl product" into J2EE. He's more concerned with learning the proprietary technology in the other product they're transitioning to. But even that is but a subset of the problem. No, no, the real problem is if "TLC (three letter customer) wants" our product then he needs to know the architecture and the API. "It is a container which will hold our value." (Done laughing? Ok, we'll continue.) His advice is to get the experts to start "spilling their guts into documentation. Commando programming works, but there is something to be said for actually engineering a product. Engineering requires knowledge, and if you can't touch the API documentation you don't have knowledge, you can't engineer--you hack. I believe it goes without saying it isn't in our best interest to sell TLC a hack job."

Bold statements. He may have inadvertently almost made a coherent point in there somewhere. To analyze his gobbledygook, he has a mighty Java penis, no really. If he wanted to, he could literally stab it straight through .NET with but a single thrust of his mighty pelvis. He transmuted an organic product (aka shit) to a better form of shit, depending on his exact definition of the overly nebulous term "J2EE." He has determined that to program on a product, he should know how it works first. I'll skip the container holding value bullshit and point you to the Mission Statement Generator instead. The comments on engineering are funny, because he's a notorious hack that intentionally obfuscates his code to make himself feel superior and indispensable. Qualities any organization would be lucky to have in a programmer. He sums up by saying we shouldn't sell our customers a crappy product. Now that...that is a bold statement. As with anything emanating from Mr. Assembler, I find the whole affair has sullied my delicate sensibilities.

On the plus side, after his half baked monologue, there has been no more mention of me having to teach a lunchtime Java session.


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