Although the account executives are the biggest idiots you’ll work with most of the time, once in a while the people causing grief can be within the agency itself.

This is typically with freelancers. Like many companies, our agency has an internal test which candidates are required to complete before we consider interviewing them. Ironically, in excess of 50% of candidates who submit their CVs fail at this stage.

It’s not like it’s a hard test, and we even allow the candidate to choose which areas they want to be tested on, though of course, this will have to match with their CV.  Anyone applying for a developer role and refusing to do the web development and database tests would not bode well and reflect negatively on them.

But, back to the point, anyone applying to an agency should have a grasp of basic HTML, CSS, Javascript and if relevant, Flash, ASP.NET, SQL Server, etc.

To be honest, even a resourceful person with two browser windows open could probably Google some of the tricky questions and answer with vaguely correct answers. A finance dude at our office once done this for fun and achieved surprisingly good marks.

So, no excuse to get the test completely wrong then. But you’d be surprised at how many crap programmers are out there, writing frikkin appaling code and putting the rest of us to shame. These people shouldn’t be allowed to work in software development.

Just over a year ago, I had the opportunity of working with such developer. He’d come from a background contracting at a large management consultancy, but scored reasonably well in the test and interview.

We found it amusing when he came to our small agency for a three week contract to cover another developer being away during a development drive to launch on time, and the first question that came out his mouth was to ask how much annual leave he gets. It’s a frikkin three week contract, dumbass. The second question? Who’s the fire warden on this floor? Everyone had a good laugh at that one.

But the funniest part, and also the saddest, was his code. After three weeks on the project, the amount of usable work he done amounted to only a few hours.  The rest was built using pages of inline functions, completely ignoring all code in the business and data layers. On his last day, he said call me if you need anything else done. Dumbstruck at his comment, all I managed to splutter was “I don’t think that will be necessary”.

In an interesting twist of fate, a friend who is also a recruitment consultant came across this developer’s CV and noticed that he recently completed a contract at this agency. A short IM conversation later sealed his fate and ensured that he’d have to look to other recruitment consultants with find unsuspecting clients to hire this stupid fellow.

But, I’ve no doubt he found a recruiter willing to spend time on him. There are just as many pathetic IT recruitment consultants as there are developers, all trying to make a quick buck – commissions for these guys can run into the thousands. Don’t get me started on the time I spent half an hour on the phone with a dumb f*k recruitment consultant who kept confusing Java and Javascript, and clearly didn’t know a thing about computers.

Although I wish he ran off (at least we wouldn’t have to pay him then), this developer stuck around and done his time. Recently heard about a story at a web agency where a developer stuck around for a week, though when other senior developers realised he done nothing and held a meeting in another room, he left a note and left the building.

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Hah! Damn right you foched up. Why don’t you do us all a favour and give up programming. Go do a job where you can’t foch up,  like working in a food store or something. Make the world a better place, have the common sense to realise you can’t cut code, and stop wasting your time and our money.

And damn right you won’t bill us. Hell, you should pay us for wasting our frikkin time and making our other competent developers work late on a Friday night to finish the work you were meant to do and pick up the pieces.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. And don’t hit the door on your way out, dumbass.

Sheesh.

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