Working with old people...

Northrop Grumman nomi88
Apr 15 33 Comments

Have other people experienced how arrogant some of these baby boomers can be at the office. Some companies just have a collection of these senior engineers who have stayed at one company for their entire career.

Just had a discussion with this senior engineer (in his 50s) who thinks that it's fine to test the software in debug mode, then recompile in release mode and ship it, untested. Just completely boggles my mind. He even thinks that if we were to do testing on release, performing unit tests on release is not necessary. That debug is for unit testing and release is for higher level testing.

Do you even try to convince or argue at this point? How do you handle these type of scenarios where you know they are completely wrong but you are junior to them?

Update:
My team lead went up to him and convinced him. Seniority at it's best.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 33 Comments
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon / EngDynamoDB
      This
      Apr 16
    • Microsoft lMQO62
      Wrong. Baby boomers have a generationally distinct style. Denying this speaks to your ignorance/idealism.
      Apr 16
    • Intel Who.Dis
      ^Yeah, just like all Microsoft employees have a distinct style. Denying this speaks to your ignorance/idealism.

      I can buy a broad brush at Home Depot too
      Apr 16
  • Google 9111
    don't think of their age when you're having an argument. try to show examples why this is bad, like "well what if the release build introduces a bug?" and try to think of a scenario under which this could happen, etc.

    and last but not least, if you really think it's not salvageable, and their managers allow this to happen, maybe it's time to change companies?
    Apr 152
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      Yes, I'm the type that pokes holes in everyone's argument. But this one just doesn't get it.
      Apr 15
    • F5 Networks zapzap.
      Everyone’s arguments? Hmm. Now I see where the problem is.
      Apr 16
  • Facebook xyzxyzjn
    Yea millennials are known for being entitled but I actually have found older folks are more so
    Apr 150
  • ServiceNow ch0de
    i fucking hate working with boomers. they need to hurry up and get out of the workforce already.
    Apr 152
    • Google 9111
      one day, you're going to be old too...
      Apr 15
    • OpenText / Other11nks15
      Your parents must be proud of you
      Apr 16
  • Indeed / EngFallapple
    Agism? Honestly it sounds like you are probably a know it all millenial and are a pain in their ass because you dont know what you dont know.
    Apr 161
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      Not really, I question everything I do however to make sure it is good practice. It may come off as know it all because I question processes and give what ifs often.
      Apr 16
  • Apple 867530nine
    I find arrogance and incompetence at every age. It’s called arrogance and incompetence. End of story. Now get get back to work you whiny know-it-all millennial. 😉
    Apr 160
  • Castlight Health whaaaaaat
    If this particular old dude has been working with this code base for 10+ years already, has a history of not releasing defects using his existing method, and you are new, then you should STFU and realize that he knows WTF he's doing and is just being efficient. One size does not fit all and the best practices industry wide don't actually apply to all situations believe it or not.
    Apr 166
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      What happens when he is no longer there to support the program? The CI process will take over where he left off if the tests were performed.
      Apr 16
    • Castlight Health whaaaaaat
      If you take it over, then do it your own way. The most important thing here would be the current bug count per release. If it's really low, first try to figure out and learn how that is done. Otherwise yeah you should improve it.
      Apr 16
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      I still don't believe it's justified to keep doing whatever he is doing "manually" just because he's still around. This is prone to the bus syndrome. It's better to always try to automate any checks.
      Apr 16
    • Castlight Health whaaaaaat
      This is in the realm of business decision now. It might be better but is it valuable vs. the cost?
      Apr 16
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      That's basically my job atm. Automating this, we are just in an argument on how to get there.
      Apr 16
    • Castlight Health whaaaaaat
      Well if it's your job then it seems like the business has made a decision. lol. Just add your tests and stay out of his way. He's going to get mad if you add tests that he breaks and it impacts his development time. Figuring how to add some automated test coverage without slowing down development is like the pinnacle of writing automated tests though.
      Apr 16
  • F5 Networks zapzap.
    In same situation as you.

    In my case, the young guys knows nothing and acts entitled. What to do?
    Apr 150
  • Why not just write something like this in a production class:

    If(!debug_mode) crash()

    Where crash is a npe or whatever.

    What will he reply to your point then? I find that words don’t carry the same value as a simple proof of concept that speaks for itself.
    Apr 164
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Job security, eh? You intend to ship that? Try that and see how your boss feels about it.
      Apr 16
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      I did give a similar example, but he says he would grep for it.
      Apr 16
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Okay, that's _sounds_ childish/ego driven. Can't say more without hearing from them. If you've been around long enough, you either articulate your reasons to the decision makers or you go with the team. I can't even count how many "I told you so" moments I've had in my career. Age wasn't a factor, but someone's influence ("star player"/management) was.
      Apr 16
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      I dunno, the problem is that, giving many scenario paths and options we discussed. The fact that one of the options being releasing code that was tested in debug and not in release is concerning already.
      Apr 16
  • Oracle alwzangry
    Are you missing some nuance here? I suspect they're saying sanity tests are good enough. If it's an old hw/sw build environment, they may have never found any bug in non-debug that would be missed in debug testing. Sanity tests are necessary. More testing than that is a business decision depending on the cost of full testing.

    (Don't do this if you use VMs for builds. They increase the risk and incur higher test costs.)
    Apr 164
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      I believe he was eluding the fact that there was extra behavior that happens in debug that doesn't happen in release mode. That release mode is a subset of debug.
      Apr 16
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Yes, in some sense, that's correct. It depends on how elaborate and robust your tests and build verification are.
      Apr 16
    • Northrop Grumman nomi88
      OP
      But at the end of the day, release is what the end user gets. Testing all this extra stuff in debug does not directly help final product.
      Apr 16
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Unless there are compiler bugs, that's how it's supposed to work. Sanity test should be sufficient, or a subset of tests too. Is it worth the testing cost to retest everything in your product to look for compiler bugs? You shouldn't be changing compilers willy-nilly. A solid build verification system should already mitigate that risk. At what point do you stop testing? There's a business cost to consider. There will always be bugs that escape tests. If you're paranoid and double, triple, quadruple check the system instead of focusing on the product changes, you'll incur unreasonable costs or never ship anything. QA ship criteria are part of the decision. Do you release products with known bugs? Most companies do. The tolerance depends on what the software does for the customers.
      Apr 16
  • Tektronix BazzokaGrl
    This has helped me a lot. The Schmuck in My Office: How to Deal Effectively with Difficult People at Work https://www.amazon.com/dp/125007567X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_uLFTCb48XRBTD
    Apr 160
  • Proofpoint
    wow !

    Proofpoint

    PRE
    Symantec
    wow !more
    I m in exactly same situation . In my case old guy is just chilling. He is on retirement mode. No worry. He spend hours taking about some history or travel. But no idea about design
    Apr 150

Join verified employees in our anonymous social network!Download the app!

close