A software developer's version of the CIA's bureaucratic sabotage manual

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I liked the last two items on Charlie’s list, but this comment warmed my heart:

People will inevitably cry “single sign-on”. Burn them. They are witches.


Gah! It was like reading an outline version of my last job.

Pro tip for new developers: If the company you are applying at was founded by someone whose business background is in sales: RUN AWAY!


On the other hand, if you’re the one writing the code instead of managing, follow this guide: https://github.com/Droogans/unmaintainable-code/blob/master/README.md


Much of it is an eerily accurate description of life in video game development. It all makes sense now - the industry was infiltrated by anti-video game forces almost from the start, and they’ve been (semi-successfully) trying to destroy the industry from within rather than through failed legislation.


Seems to me there must be some policy that will subtly but deliberately foster a thoroughly toxic environment of harassment. Something along the lines of boosting morale by encouraging “witty” “banter” and “innocent” “games” ?


Does Charlie work at Amazon?

How about a compromise? We agree to burn the single-sign-on witches; but I get a vicious three-headed hellhound to use against vendors whose shoddy products fail the “LDAP, motherfucker, do you speak it?” test.

  1. All branches of the company are equally valuable in determining the user interface, design, and functionality of the product. Therefore require that every new feature receive unanimous agreement as to its user interface, design, and functionality, by every manager and department head. For the sake of efficiency, to avoid wasting people’s time at meetings, this will be done asynchronously by email, Skype, Slack and phone, until such a time as a unanimous agreement is reached (after an initial planning meeting, naturally).

And of course one mustn’t neglect the input of an outside observer on general usability and appeal – such that final approval must be obtained from the manager’s spouse, children, and in-laws.

I’d have to “sign up” to another service to post, so I’ll post here instead.

Everyone knows that developers like new hardware, and it’s good for the company that that they have the newest and fastest equipment.

Whenever a non-developer employee’s workstation needs to be replaced, a developer gets the new workstation and their old one goes to the other employee. The developer is responsible for loading their development environment and utilities on their new system, which may happen several times per year. The developer is also responsible for reloading the old system for the other employee, and for ensuring that all the employee’s data and settings are transferred over.

This will encourage camaraderie between the developers and other employees as they share the enjoyment of getting a new system!

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Well, I guess only having 2.5 of those apply at work means it could be worse.

One of these I actually agree with, though, in some cases.

I work on a giant supercomputer cluster with multiple distributed filesystems, and multiple ways of distributing jobs. I don’t have root, but it’s not my job to fix it when it breaks, and I like it that way. In the very rare event that I have to install something that I can’t easily do a local install of, I can get someone with root to do it within a day or so.

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This ensures that they will write code that runs extremely poorly and inefficiently (if at all!) on the older machines that everyone else in the company has, particularly those drones down in production who have the “hardened” factory floor systems that only get replaced when they have been accidentally entirely pulverised.


Exactly! I make a point of having a non-cutting edge development system. My current system is from 2007, older than most systems running my software.


ie6 is to be the only browser installed on the standard build, because the company’s intranet doesn’t work on anything else. This is vitally important, because all meeting rooms must be booked through an ActiveX component that we have used for a decade, which cannot be integrated into your calendar.


Yes, I just love getting those requests (not).

On the other hand, I sympathize, because I don’t want building master keys, and I constantly have people trying to foist them off on me. For the business, the church, the school, the remote offices… that last category I do usually accept, just because travel can be delayed, but I don’t want the rest of them!

I have made one such request in the last two years. Everything else I’ve needed to install had the sense not to assume that linux users have rood, and made it easy to do a local install.


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