Adequacy front page
Stories Diaries Polls Users

Home About Topics Rejects Abortions
This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
 Evolution of a Software Engineer in One Day

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jan 16, 2002
In the hour(s) between my arrival at work and lunch, my entire career was summarized.

More diaries by donkpunch
I am not tolerant
Libertarian geeks - patting their own pale backs
Credit Card Companies
My Stupid Shoulder (a multi-part saga)
My Stupid Shoulder (Part Two)
My Stupid Shoulder (Part Three)
Is this sexual harrassment?
Terrorism and root causes
Terrorism and root causes - clarification
It's all about the Benjamins.
What Sucks About Marriage
Random Taliban Musings
They put a new employee in the cubicle across from me today. Eager and bright-eyed with the promise of continuing employment, he immediately set about interrupting me.

One of his first questions caught me off guard. He sidled up to me and asking in a quiet, almost conspiratorial tone,

"Is anyone here using Linux?"

My first impulse was to reply, "Only the people who don't need to get anything done." But the question triggered a flashback. Indeed, it was only a few years ago I had been a new employee and asked the exact same question.

So I calmed my experience-taught instinctive dismissal of all fruits borne by the Stallman tree. Instead, I gave an honest answer.

And the honest answer was simple: A few people use it for small test and development projects. My young inquisitor was disappointed to learn that absolutely no one uses it as a primary desktop. For starters, our email/scheduling application is the core of our communication and there is no Linux client available. Beyond that, we face a daily deluge of Windows-friendly document formats -- Word, Excel, etc. Yes, I know some fropen sourcery products can do the conversion, but who really has time to mess with that?

The look on his face told me a small part of his new-career fantasy had just died. He undoubtedly came in expecting to do grand things with zero-cost software. Instead, a golfball-sized piece of reality had just dented the hood of his Electric Linux car. I knew exactly how he felt. I had been there before myself.

Turning back to my goal of actually getting something to run today, I found myself face-to-face with the other broken promise of my career.


No, not the write-once-run-anywhere thing. I'm talking about the whole easier-enterprise-development thing.

To be fair, it's not the fault of Java per se. It's the fault of the vendors making Java development tools. I have difficulty finding the words to precisely crystalize my opinion of the Java tools currently available.

However, "suck" comes pretty close.

Look, folks. This language has been public for almost a decade. Am I to believe in 7 years not one single decent, intuitive, stable IDE could be developed?

Oh, wait. One was developed. Sun sued the crap out of its maker.

How helpful.


Depends... (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Jan 16th, 2002 at 04:10:22 PM PST
It would depend on your field ( whether you used Linux or not ). A good number of hospitals now use Linux in all of their workstations, as well as some corporations in the Sears Tower, and the Wrigley Building now has Linux workstations ( I live in Chicago if you couldn't tell :p ). But it truely does depend on your job. If you were to program games, it would be quite stupid to use Linux at first. Why? Because no matter how I hate it, Windows DOES have most of the desktop market share and you gotta be realistic. But if you were to be making server applets, do it on Linux. ISP's use *nix based distributions and Linux on some machines.

But i do agree, JAVA is just crumby. SUN killed the only few distributions that were decent. Sometimes SUN's just as bad as Microsoft. :-(

Just wondering (none / 0) (#2)
by iat on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 02:21:47 PM PST
What happened to your stupid shoulder? I was enjoying your epic tale about pain and suffering in the USian healthcare system, but your storytelling was rudely interrupted by the DDoS attack. Does your story have a happy ending, or are you now an amputee? You've kept the readers of in suspense for several months now, and we demand to know the outcome. - love it or leave it.

Why, thank you (none / 0) (#3)
by donkpunch on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 02:31:53 PM PST
After the unfortunate downtime of Adequacy, I assumed everyone had lost interest. Thank you for remembering.

Suffice to say, I am typing with both hands right now. I'll pick up the narrative shortly.

Damn (none / 0) (#4)
by iat on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 04:37:50 PM PST
Suffice to say, I am typing with both hands right now.

I hate to admit that I was sadistically hoping that your arm had dropped off. Nothing personal, it just would have made a more exciting climax to your tale. Do you think you could somehow work an unexpected encounter with Natalie Portman into the final installment of your story, to make up for my disappointment at learning of your full recovery? - love it or leave it.

Funny you should mention that (none / 0) (#5)
by donkpunch on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 04:49:04 PM PST
Oddly enough, I could swear the nurse who shaved my armpit prior to surgery was Natalie Portman.

Of course, the anesthetic was starting to kick in, so she might have actually looked more like Sir Alec Guiness.

But I find the idea of Natalie Portman shaving my armpit appealing, so I prefer to keep my IV-administered hallucination.


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest ® 2001, 2002, 2003 The name, logo, symbol, and taglines "News for Grown-Ups", "Most Controversial Site on the Internet", "Linux Zealot", and "He just loves Open Source Software", and the RGB color value: D7D7D7 are trademarks of No part of this site may be republished or reproduced in whatever form without prior written permission by and, if and when applicable, prior written permission by the contributing author(s), artist(s), or user(s). Any inquiries are directed to