Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

October 10, 2019

Taxonomy of Terrible programmers

Filed under: Humor,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:58 PM

If you have been in tech for a while you would have had the dubious pleasure of meeting some or all of the types of programmers described in the following post: The Taxonomy of Terrible Programmers

In one of my previous companies I had the pleasure of working with the The Arcanist and trust me it was a painful experience that I still remember more than a decade later. So what is an Arcanist?

Anyone who has worked on a legacy system of any import has dealt with an Arcanist. The Arcanist’s goal is noble: to preserve the uptime and integrity of the system, but at a terrible cost.

The Arcanist has a simple philosophy that guides his or her software development or administrative practices: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – to an extreme.

The day a piece of software under his or her auspices ships, it will forever stay on that development platform, with that database, with that operating system, with that deployment procedure. The Arcanist will see to it, to the best of his ability. He may not win every battle, but he will fight ferociously always.

All change is the enemy – it’s a vampire, seducing less vigilant engineers to gain entry to the system, only to destroy it from within.

The past is the future in the Arcanists’ worldview, and he’ll fight anyone tries to upgrade his circa 1981 PASCAL codebase to the bitter, tearful end.

We had to fight him to move from a system that required you to edit HEX code for making any changes to a web based UI that controlled the system and gave extra functionality. In the end the project was moved to a different team as everyone realized that he was going to kill it just because he was used to the old system and didn’t want to change.

Check out the linked article for details on the other types. If you recognize some of the behaviour’s described in the post as something you might do, I suggest you take a good long look at yourself and seriously think about changing as being classified/identified as one of the types of people in this list is not a great carrier move.

– Suramya

PS: Before you ask, yes this post links to a really old post. The post has been sitting in my draft folder for ages and I finally decided to publish it.

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