Interviewed at a small company.  They have a hold on a market niche for the last n years.  They have mostly been together for the last n years.  The prototypical lifestyle company.

Now one of their own is leaving.  All of that assumed understanding over the years is showing up as a lack of communication and follow-through.  The developer leaving has been off the range for years:

  • home grown web service – doesn’t like SOAP
  • obscure database – has a neato auto-maintenance feature, but nothing else
  • no ORM – it works much faster without it.  developed his own higher-level constructs like Expression builders.
  • really extensive app server – but there are just customers, orders, etc… in there.  what is all this code doing?
  • ignored the selling product – it uses MySQL, how yucky.  it’s mostly a Swing app, how uncouth.

Worst of all management had no idea what this guy was doing.  When they asked about interfacing some 3rd party app – he said sure, and started coding something homegrown.  When they asked about integrating the selling product – he said sure, and started coding the next homegrown section.  Piece after piece after piece.

What a nightmare.