Friday, January 14, 2022

RANT: I hate poor-quality developers who appear to be ace developers- Consistency

The first problem I have with poor-quality developers is how inconsistent they are with many aspects of development. I especially do not like the ones that self-claim to be "good" developers because they delude themselves that they are not susceptible to bad habits by pretending they are one-off issues not to be addressed.

The latest list of request consisted of something like the follow:




Those are the names of the databases a list of objects I was supposed to copy. It is in a nice table, and it is to me so clearly obvious they are not in the same format. One can argue that this makes no difference to the database, but this attitude to inconsistency is everywhere in this persons work: email, documentation, chats, etc. Anecdotally, I feel there is a strong correlation to poor consistency with the quality of developers. If they cannot even be consistent with a simple list, I question their consistency with more important details.

And this is evidenced by other changes that I have to promote. I promoted an object that had the word "complited" in it. AND it passed code review. This could be a "fat finger" problem but there are times when the spelling is completely off where I already feel sorry for the other developer that has to troubleshoot this. They also have deal with names that developer had mistaken a number 1 with lower case l or a capital I, or when there is a mysterious space in a name where the agreed pattern is to not have any spaces. I also have had requests to objects that do not exist because they used the wrong database name or server on a regular basis. The list goes on and on: missing documentations, missing dates, wrong ticket number, even numbered lists that have missing numbers, etc.

I can understand mistakes here and there, but when does it become a real problem. In most cases, I can figure it out but it is taxing on the amount of time it takes me to research (or time to rant).

What triggered me to write this post is that these types of developers tend to be the first to claim their #1 pet-peeve is inconsistencies or they have an OCD to be perfectionists or they rarely ever make these mistakes. From my own experience, I can tell you that the best developers I have worked with never had to make these claims. Even developers of average skills would not make this claim. Somehow the worst offenders ALWAYS make this claim and out of no where.

I rarely ever have to ask if this bothers them. I just point it out and suddenly they will say one of the three statements above. It takes all my efforts to not have my jaw hit the floor. Not only that, but they have never improved in this area.

But how does this really translate to their code quality. They go through a lot of defects. Their code is consistently returned. They always claim poor quality of requirements yet other developers seem to have much fewer code returned to them.

Are you detail-oriented?

This has made me question the interview question "are you detail-oriented?" I always answer this with a lot of concern and I do intentionally do that in my interviews. The reason is I feel that anyone that says they are detail-oriented with a lot of confidence are the above type of people. In some sense, I feel this is almost a trick question for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Could there be people who are hyper detail-oriented? Yes, but that will show in their answers to other questions.

There does seem to be an aura of detail-oriented wanabes versus actual people who are. To me, the difference in the way they approach problems. Wanabes tend to give lots of information that seems relevant but does not quite answer the question. They are the people I would go into a meeting for a simple question, spend an hour, people feel it was productive, but then seem like they didn't get an answer to their question.

On the other hand, real detail-oriented people gives you what seems like a very short answer. Sometimes it even includes information that seems irrelevant. But then once you start working on it, you realize that you do need that information.

I answer the question that I am not very detail-oriented but that I seem to be more consistent than most of my peers. I even explain why I answer hesitantly. I also explain that there is a level of detail that is warranted for different cases. If we are discussing the big picture, we do not want to be inundated with details questions that is not ready to be answered. If it was a life-critical component, I am quite capable to be consistent most of the time. I will admit that I am not super consistent, but will explain that I have methods to improve on my accuracies.

I am not detail-oriented at all with these blogs. Most of the time, I just type as I think of things to talk about. I rarely go back and proofread my blogs unless it is too obvious that I need to move something to another part of the blog. I also "proof" if someone leaves a comment only because I cannot remember what I wrote and need to reference... and I have found quite a few grammatical and spelling errors.

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