Friday, July 25, 2014

flamewars over anything

I chuckled out loud at the unnecessary aggression on this comment thread about MongoDB database's default setting of writes silently failing:

Andreas: Don’t complain about incompetent usage of a technology where you obviously did not read half of the tutorial. It is clearly documented and explained on IRC, lists, slides etc. a trillion times a day that the default behavior is fire-and-forget (means no check by default).

jhanson: Is this the same Andreas Jung who said: “The “safe” mode is off by default: who made this idiotic decision?”

Andreas: And? Did I claim in my former comment that the default is a good thing? Learn to read please.

Soda Glass: You certainly sounded so. Learn to write please!

Being on the sidelines, I'm laughing at all of these, but I'm sure if I were the one being attacked, I would not find it so funny.

Here is another one that's funny when you're not involved:
Dan: You shouldn’t have to check for errors. I don’t check if I ran out of heap space after every line I write.

foljs: And neither do the MongoDB developers it seems…

It is amusing how programmers on the internet will viciously attack each other, based on no provocation. But why are we doing this to each other? Shouldn't we programmers band together?


gregbo said...

Have you ever read anything by Michael O. Church? (He used to work for Google.) In articles like How the Other Half Works: an Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers, he suggests that programmers should band together.

Niniane said...

@gregbo, that article generalizes from two very specific examples! Company A's VP may have been bad at interviewing -- that does not mean Bill was panned due to his "low status as engineer".

Company B sounds like they are bad at hiring. Two months before the offer expires?! No reference checks for a VP hire?!?! That just says something negative about company B, not anything about Bill's "status" as a manager, or Bill being a "6-foot-1 white male".

I'm really irritated that this article took two very specific cases (with much simpler explanations for the errors) and took wild leaps into unsubstantiated conclusions.

gregbo said...

True, he is generalizing from a very small sample. I was trying to point out that he suggests that engineers should not fight (publicly) over details, and instead show a unified front, especially in the presence of non-technical management.

How good individuals or companies are at interviewing is a highly controversial topic.