4/04/2012

Java Coder

When I was a Visual Basic / Oracle / Crystal Reports developer back in the late 1990's, for some reason, I wanted to learn Java.

So my father, who worked for IBM at the time, gave me some software called IBM VA Java.

So I learned the basics.

And then asked my boss at the time if I could do some Java at work and attend a conference or training.

He said no.

So I left for another job.

Years went by, no Java.

My wife's friend was a manager who was looking for a Java programmer and asked me constantly to come work for her.

I explained I knew how to code, I knew some Java but never wrote a line of production Java code in my life.

Well guess what?

They were looking for a Java programmer who knew guess what?

IBM VA Java from late 1990's.

So I interviewed for the job.

When I got there, guess what?

I knew the hiring manager from before and he liked me.

So guess what?

I got the Senior Java Programmer position without writing a single line of production Java code.

And then I learned Java on the fly with  no training and minor assistance from another developer.

My task was to solve the problem that he could not solve.

Which was to get Cookies & Captcha working in production.

I stepped through the code and everything was okay.

It turns out the Middleware guy never disclosed the architectural structure of the servers.

And there were two internal servers and two external servers.

So the trick was to drop a cookie on each of the 4 servers.

Presto it worked.

I was able to solve the problem.

So all my bosses were happy.

Except I inadvertently made the other programmer look bad.

And I gained an enemy with the Middleware guy.

And for the rest of my 4 years working, not one of my deployments worked 1st time, or 2nd time.

There was always some issue.

And the Middleware guy blamed the coders.

It wasn't just me that had issues with the deployments, either the guy had no idea what he was doing or something fishy going on because the entire Java department of 20 people had issues with deployments, and I especially had them.

Yet it was a black box environment, we could not see production Websphere server, ever.

You would think that code that worked on a dev box, on the test server, would automatically work in production, but it never did, and we had to fix the issue every time.

They eventually got rid of that guy, although he was with the org for 30 years and nobody knew his job, they still let him go during the re-org.  And the problems with deployments disappeared immediately.

Although I survived all three downsizing, I left to get out of Java and into Microsoft Business Intelligence.

And haven't looked back.

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