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Firefighter Fran

October 21, 2012 5 comments

Being anointed as a firefighter in an org that’s constantly battling blazes is one of the highest callings there is for any group member not occupying a coveted slot in the chief’s inner circle. Hell, since you didn’t start the fire and you’re gonna try your best to save the lot from a financial disaster, it’s a can’t-lose situation. If you fail, you’ll be patted on the back with a “nice try soldier; now we’re gonna go find the firestarter and kick his arse to kingdom come”. If you extinguish the blaze, at least you’ll lock in that 2% raise for this fiscal year. You might even get an accompanying $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card to keep your spare tire inflated with dozens of delectable, confectionary delights.

Given the above context, let’s start this heart-warming story off with you in the glorious role of firefighter Fran. You, my dear Fanny, oops, I mean Franny, have been assigned to put out a major blaze in one of your flagship legacy software products before it spreads to one of the nearby money silos and blows it sky high. Time, as always, is of the utmost importance. D’oh!

Since the burning pile of poop’s “agile” architecture and design documentation is a bunch of fluffy camouflage created solely to satisfy some process compliance checklist, you check out the code base and directly fire up vi (IDEs are for new age pussies!) for some serious sleuthing.

After glancing at the source tree‘s folder structure and concluding that it’s an incomprehensible, acronym-laden quagmire, you take the random plunge. With fingers a tremblin’ and fire hose a danglin’, you open up one of the 5000 source code files that’s postfixed with the word “Main“. You then start sequentially reading some hieroglyphics that’s supposed to be source code and you come to an abrupt halt when you see this:

And… that’s it! The story pauses here because BD00’s lizard brain is about to explode and it’s your turn to provide some “collaborative“, creative input.

So, what does our guaranteed-to-be-hero, fireman Fran, do next? Does the fire get doused? Does the pecuniary silo explode? Is the firestarter ever found? Does Fanny get the DD gift card? If so, how many crullers and donut holes does he scarf down?

Who knows, maybe you can become a self-proclaimed l’artiste like BD00 too, no?

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