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the most incompetent person that ever worked with me had no proactivity, always waited for an explicit order to start to do anything and had absolutely no autonomy. this guy would frequently ask me stuff that he could find with a google search.
when the IT team was let go, the company lined me up for another job, and my boss actually told me "you work well so i can refer you, but i can't do the same for <that guy>". i honestly thought that was his first job, but no. i have no clue how he managed to work in a hospital before that.6
Frontend dev: Hey, could you break HTTP conventions and change the API so I don't have to manage the context of the request?8
I've told the same story multiple times but the subject of "painfully incompetent co-worker" just comes up so often.
I have one coworker who never really grew out of the mindset of a college student who just took "Intro to Programming". If a problem couldn't be solved with a textbook solution, then he would waste several weeks struggling with it until eventually someone else would pick up the ticket and finish it in a couple days. And if he found a janky workaround for a problem, he'd consider that problem "solved" and never think about it again.
He lasted less than a year before he quit and went off to get a job somewhere else, leaving the rest of our team to comb through his messy code and fix it. Unfortunately, our team is mostly split across multiple projects and our processes were kind of a mess until recently, so his work was a black box of code that had never been reviewed.
I opened the box and found only despair and regret. He was using deprecated features from older versions of the language to work around language bugs that no longer existed. He overused constants to a ridiculous degree (hundreds of constants, all of which are used exactly once in the entire codebase, stored in a single mutable map variable named "values" because why not). He didn't really seem to understand DRY at all. His code threw warnings in the IDE and had weird errors that were difficult to reproduce because there was just a whole pile of race conditions.
I ended up having to take a figurative hacksaw to it, ripping out huge sections of unnecessary crap and modernizing it to use recent language features to get rid of the deprecation warnings and intermittent errors. And then I went through the same process again for every other project he'd touched.
[wordpress trigger warning]
Had an idiotic colleague who re-implemented the insert image function as a shortcode. A “senior php developer”. No, I’m not kidding.
Him: “But this way we can set a class”
Me: “As you can with the standard mode”
Him “No you can’t”
Him (smiling): “well why don’t you remove my stuff then?”7
My coworker became super restless and incompetent during the initial 2020 Covid lockdown. Like playing hours of video games during work hours restless.
For one project, my coworker was working on the backend and I was working frontend. Coworker also wanted to be overlord of the epic branch.
My coworker merges the epic to our test branch and our code is broken. Coworker didn’t pull my FE changes before merging. Dude, I shouldn’t have needed to tell you to pull. You changed the api response that your BE code delivers so of course I had to update my FE code so it could work with this change.
I had to resolve the conflicts because coworker left work early to “rescue/pickup” their girlfriend from work.
You bet I leave this person on read when they try to text me on Signal1
A long long time ago ( 2007 I think ) I worked for a company that made landing sites, so basically an email campaign would go out, users would be sent to a 1 page website with a form to capture their data, ready to be spammed even more. You know how it was back then.
So I worked with a guy who we had just hired, I didn't do the hiring but his CV checked out, so I gave him one of my tasks. Now most pages were made with js and html, with a PHP backend ( called with Ajax). Now this guy didn't know PHP so I was like all good, ASP works too at the end of the day we don't judge, we do like 2 or 3 of these a day and never look at them again. So he goes of and does is thing.
3 weeks later, the customer calls up to me they still haven't received their landing page. Ok so he probably forgot to email the customer np, I tell him to double check he has emailed the customer. Another week goes by end the customer calls back, same problem. At this point I'm getting worried, because we're days away from the deadline and it was originally my task.
So I go back to the guy and I tell him I want that landing page so I can send it myself, half thinking to myself that we had a freeloader, that guy that comes in to companies for 3 weeks, doesn't work, but still cashes his pay. But no, this was much worse.
So he tells me he has finished yet. I ask him why, what's the blocker ? You had 4 weeks to tell me you were blocked and couldn't progress. And his answer was simply, because I wasn't blocked I have been working on it this whole time. So I tell him to zip his project up and email it to me. We didn't do SVN or git back then, simply wasn't worth it. So he comes back to me and says the email server is telling him attachments can't be bigger then 50mb. At this point I'm thinking he didn't properly sized the art or something, so I give him a flash drive to put it on.
When I then open the flash drive, the archive is 300mb, thinking to myself, the images weren't even that big to begin with.
So I open it up, and I don't even find any images, just a single asp page. About 500mb. When I opened that up and it finally loaded, I saw the most horrendous things ever.
The first 500 lines was just initializing empty vars. Then there was some code that created an empty form with an onChange event that submits the form. After that.. it was just non stop nested if's. No loops, no while, for, foreach, NO elseif's, just nested if's, for every possible combination of the state the form could be in. Abou 5000 of them, in a single file. To make matters worse, all the form ( and page ) layout was hardcoded in the if's. Includes inline css, base64 encoded images, nothing but as dynamic, based on the length of the form he changes the layout, added more background etc. He cut the images up for every possible size of the page and included them in the code.
I showed it to my boss, he fired the guy on the spot. I redid the work from scratch, in under 4 hours. Send it to the client. they had no ammends to make, happy as Larry. Whish I kept the code somewhere.
Morale of the story, allways do a coding test on interviews, even if small things just to sanity check.4
All of those painfully incompetent coworker stories I could share are mostly about me, if I’m being honest. Most of the people I’ve worked with have been much more talented than I was.2
Intern spent about a week trying to set up a local ruby on rails environment. Yeah, this is not really on topic, it wasn't that bad, but it's what comes to mind.
I don't know who modelled the databases I've had to work with these past months but god damn it no fucking normalization anywhere. Inconsistent data just cost me my morning.1
Well , just follow my previous rant to know it . I promise , you will feel the pain reading these....
I had this guy. He had an annoying voice and the worst trait of him was he was an Solaris fan. on nearly anything he would ramble that solaris is supirior to any other os. Luckily he was gone after a few months, unluckily i had to take over the stuff he did.