Ever find out the superstar isn't?
Have you ever been working on a project and asked to get some specialist involved (DBA, Sysadmin, web developer, etc) only to find out, once they were involved, that you're smarter than they are on just about everything they're supposed to be an expert in? (or possibly the stuff they're good at is completely *not* the talent you needed)
Then you're stuck and have no way to get rid of them?
January 30th, 2006 8:38pm
yep. I have no helpful advice whatsoever :)
I *could* call you a moron if that would help?
January 30th, 2006 8:40pm
Superstars are just people too, you know. Maybe you could have him/her get you coffee or do your laundry for the duration?
January 30th, 2006 9:45pm
Once upon several jobs ago, wow, come to think of it, it was the exact same job I referred to in the linked post, I was hired to clean up after some superduperstar. It was a contractor with balls soooooo big he needed a wheelbarrow to carry them around so he could, like, walk. The company had dropped near $20k on getting this piece of art, and all I had to do was "to finish it up."
He used a compiler that no one else had, so it had to be ported to visual c++. Because the company didn't want to spend another $1k on C-Builder, and I didn't really want to use a bootleg copy. Oh, do you remember in the interview I said I was a novice c++ programmer? I'm a vb/sql/asp expert.
The superduperstar claimed it ran blindingly fast. When I finally got the most important part ported (it was a form letter processor for a spambot - would send like 250k emails per week; thank you for your order, your total is...; here is your newsletter; I'm sorry, your credit card was declined, please call...), I discovered that there was no way in heck he could have run it against any DB. The form letter handler didn't strip off the magic characters for the formletter symbols. Such as |*LastName*| should look up a column named LastName. Instead, it was looking for |*LastName*|. Woops, off by 2 in every single case.
You think they'd be happy that I discovered that Mr Superduperstar was a load of baloney. Err, no.
January 30th, 2006 10:00pm
A year or so ago I had the pleasure of having to deal with a 'guru', like the last posters case this guy had a massive ego. He'd loudly proclaim that there was a problem and the code didn't work (code he wrote) and needed me to sort it out. This got extremely wearing after taking him through the 'ok, your code doesn't work, what would be the next thing you'd usually do if some code didn't work... ok you'd try to find out where the error was huh? OK, why don't we give that a shot... ' etc.
This guy knew less than some 1st year comp sci students. Really tiresome.
January 31st, 2006 4:16am
> Then you're stuck and have no way to get rid of them?
Would staring at his/her breasts help?
January 31st, 2006 4:24am
One of the worst parts about this is the lingering doubt in the back of the mind, the 'hmmm maybe I'm just missing something this guy has a good rep. and he doesn't seem to understand any of the design or its intent, maybe its me'.
Then the penny drops and you realise the reputation was gained in a field of not very tall poppies.
> like the last posters case this guy had a massive ego
Sadly that seems to be a recurring theme. All the "gurus" that everyone raved about I've found to be no better than average, whereas the people I've found to be on top of their game all of the time are, if not all "nice guys", at least fairly modest. "Empty cans rattle loudest," as they say.
January 31st, 2006 6:11am
I was working at my first programming job, doing some stuff with an access database. I was having a particularly difficult time modeling part of the manufacturing process, and eventually my boss called in a contractor to help me out.
after spending some time explaining what was going on, he finally wrote a complicated query to get what I needed. The query was over my head, and the results looked right. After 3 or 4 days he was on his way.
The next week I started getting wrong/incomplete data, and I looked hard into his queries. Turns out he did exactly what I had done, just much more complicated. In the whole process of reexamining it I went back and made one small change to my original code and implemented it, fixing the whole thing.
Much later (5+ yrs) this guy was interviewing me for a job. It was really hard for me not to say, "that query you wrote for me sucked and I had to go back and fix it."
January 31st, 2006 9:26am
oh, and of course the contractor got the credit for the fixed system.
i hated that job.
January 31st, 2006 9:27am
Philo, if you hired this guy, I take it you haven't read the Guerrilla Guide?
January 31st, 2006 11:11am
I thought MS only hired A+++ Certified Aero Space Geniuses (TM)(R)(C)?
January 31st, 2006 8:55pm