Some stories about underground programmers

I once got into an organization that organizes offline conferences. They needed a man to support the site. A man in a coat and a tie was talking to me, introducing himself as the head of the sales department. From general topics quickly moved to the technical. Looked into the code. Own ORM, self-created template engine, a bit outdated techniques, but in principle everything is harmonious, logical and monotonous. I asked what happened to the previous programmer, to which the source told me a story. 3r375. Microsoft BizTalk in one parastatal organization. The organization received regular data dumps from partners: by mail, by ftp or even on a CD and had to integrate them. The data formats changed regularly, the partners, too, and they were not interested in sharing data. So, several analysts were engaged in the fact that in a word processor they filled tablets, what to convert to, discussed at rallies, carried the signature to the superiors and then allowed the contractor-programmer to implement it. Sometimes mistakes happened, and the whole process was unreliable, and then Microsoft came to sell BizTalk, and even promised that since this would be almost the first project in the world with BizTalk, Bill Gates himself would come to see it. 3r375.
After the project, analysts had to abandon the old documents, and the whole process of converting data to do in BizTalk. It was called "shepherd the sheep between two trees." Between the source data tree and the internal data structure tree, they stretched with the mouse of the line, and where it was necessary to correct the data, small squares-functions resembling sheep were put. They could trim a string or match one list of codes to another. 3r375.
Some stories about underground programmers 3r375.
Unfortunately, this interface had several significant limitations. For example, if there was no value in the incoming data, the substitution of the default value was a problem. 3r375.
It so happened that the cost of BizTalk and the project for its integration came out too high, the annual budget was cracking at the seams. In addition, the "feed the sheep" was not easy. Discontent grew. Contractor decided to dismiss immediately. Most analysts scattered themselves, and one learned tricks. In BizTalk, data conversion rules were stored as XSLT documents in a database. It was not even XSLT 1.? but some kind of draft XSLT, which was understood by one and only hardly extracted version of the MSXML library. So, our analyst, instead of “grazing sheep between two trees,” learned how to pick out WD-XSLT from the database, append it to be thrown back. It turned out faster and more reliable, and there was one important bonus: some essential details of the data conversion could be hidden from the interface and concealed from the keen eyes of the boss. 3r375.
And Bill Gates never arrived. 3r375.
Accountant Programmer
I had a friend accountant. Not just an accountant, but with a bunch of overseas certificates. And he was not engaged in commodity statements, and consolidation of accounts for international corporations. And no one, except family members and close friends, knew that an accountant was programming websites at night and was playing with search engine optimization. It was in the late 90s and the beginning of the two thousandth. There were many opportunities, risks too. On the Internet, our accountant failed to make money. But suddenly it turned out that the skills acquired at night can be fully utilized at the main job. After all, the process of consolidation is the regular merging of dozens, or even hundreds of plates with tsiferki by the rules that he, in general, knew. For a couple of years, our accountant has written hundreds of subroutines in Visual Basic. Suddenly, the work, which previously took a month, began to be done in a day. A few years later he became head of the department. And then he moved to the CFO position as a competitor and went to travel around five-star hotels in different countries of the world, as befits his current status and position. 3r375.
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