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"Murphy was an optimist!"

What do programmers do? November 15, 2007 2:52 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Programming, Technology
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Word problems! Programmers solve word problems.

My challenge is that I have sales people with base locations. Their territory allows them to sell a handful of products but each product can be sold a certain distance from their base location. Product A is eligible to be sold within 10 miles of base location product b 30 miles and so forth with product f being nationwide.

I have to create an interface which allows the end user to say "I’m here and want product ___" and then I show them all the qualified sales people who can get that product to them.

The program should also read the user’s mind so that the dropdown of regions will only show regions that sales people can actually get products to. The mind reading has to happen since product f is nationwide all regions should always be listed…well…unless the user wants product a….

That’s programming!

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1. technology » Blog Archive » What do programmers do? - November 15, 2007

[…] Read the rest of this great post here […]

2. JayMonster - November 15, 2007

Aw c’mon, that is nothing more than a couple of Inner Joins if the database is normalized properly.

What a programmer does is tries to get this information out of the client, BEFORE he starts creating the database or coding. Now THERE is a challenge.

3. Doug McCaughan - November 16, 2007


SELECT Information
FROM theclientshead
WHERE dateofcoding < dateclientquitschangingmind AND dateofdatabasedesign < dateclientquitschangingmind Impossible!

4. tim - November 16, 2007

that is why i ALWAYS put int my terms and conditions when pricing a job that any changes tot he details will cost more!
they change their minds – i charge them

5. JayMonster - November 17, 2007

tim, either you have some really easy clients, or I have all the worst ones.

Sure, those Terms are always spelled out in my Statement of Work, but somehow, those “changes” are considered what I should have done (apparently through magical powers to know what they “meant”) in the first place.


You also forgot

“and TimeCustomerIsWillingToPayFor < TimeActuallyRequired”

6. tim - November 17, 2007

no i have the same clients who cant make up their minds and then change them back again after you reworked all the code!
– but i have THE FORMULA
i work out what i think its going to cost me to deliver it and then i double it – and then i add 10% for documentation and 20% for testing and then 10% on all that for a contingency – thats what i quote them – so when u get one who keeps changing their mind (if they knew what they wanted in the first place at all) first of all i tell them how much more thats going to be, and i absorb the stuff i cant tell them that for because i should have know better! at least then i don’t go broke on the job because i have enough contingency built in

and i font take hospital jobs – or if i do i increase my asking rate to try and tell them to go away – if they are still willing to pay then i got enough money to make it just worthwhile and i may build a future client as well. on the way i may even educate them and then i can give them a “discount” and they like me even more.