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Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers

Soulskill posted 1 year,29 days | from the it's-just-a-matter-of-code dept.

Programming 641

itwbennett writes "Software developers are, by and large, a cool and analytical bunch, but there are a handful of things that strike terror in their hearts. Phil Johnson scoured developer forums looking for an answer to the question: What's your biggest fear as a programmer? The answers clustered into 5 broad groups ranging from being forced to learn or use a specific technology to working for and with incompetents. What's your biggest fear?"

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getting raped at your work seat (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173637)

getting raped at your work seat

Re:getting raped at your work seat (-1, Offtopic)

ImperialSardaukar (2904421) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173675)

getting raped at your work seat

Everyone at work here got a laugh out of this. +1

Re:getting raped at your work seat (5, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173945)

Still working at EA?

Re:getting raped at your work seat (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173979)

Hmmm...I work with some very lovely ladies so I'll have to disagree on this one.

Re:getting raped at your work seat (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174173)

Debasement in the basement?

Outsourcing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173641)

Because I'd rather work at McDonalds for $8/hr instead of $2/hr as a programmer, but then again I'd probably just go live in solitude in the mountains somewhere, away from technology should she betray me in such a way.

Re:Outsourcing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173693)

"Bing is superior to Google? That's positively absurd!" Those were my thoughts when a rabid Binger appeared before me and claimed that I should start using Bing because it is simply superior to the alternatives. The Binger did not manage to convince me that Bing is better than everything else, but I did decide to give Bing a try. Upon entering a few search terms into Bing's search box, I was amazed by how versatile and accurate Bing was (and still is!) to the point where my mouth dropped in astonishment. I am now, as you can imagine, a rabid, frothing Binger.

Don't believe me? Bing it on, Bing it on, Bing it on! []

Re:Outsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173713)

Well when it comes from an AC with no context whatsoever I have my suspicions.

Re:Outsourcing (1)

gtall (79522) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174175)

I stopped having those suspicions when my monitor started oozing goo from the GP's post.

Re:Outsourcing (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174245)

At first I thought you were a sad MS astroturfer, but now I get the irony of your message.

Your statements regarding Bing relate to GP's comments on outsourcing, hourly wages and luditism as the average search results of Bing relate to what you typed in the search box.

Very clever indeed.

No backups (5, Insightful)

blackpaw (240313) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173655)

And all the corporate client data gone ...

Ghosts (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173659)

also, Spiders and Bees

Biggest Fear? (1)

Afty0r (263037) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173663)

Alligators []

Re:Biggest Fear? (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173965)

Velociraptors [] - That's why I never use a "GOTO" ...

Relevance to programmers? (2)

opusman (33143) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173667)

There's nothing in that list (with the possible exception of "being forced to use a specific technology") that wouldn't apply to just about any worker.

Re:Relevance to programmers? (4, Insightful)

tinkerton (199273) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174227)

Being thought of as 'just about any worker.'

Re:Relevance to programmers? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174249)

Because non-programmers enjoy being forced to use a specific technology?

um (0)

etash (1907284) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173669)

not being able to get a (non-virtual) gf???

there are 10 fears (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173681)

What's your biggest fear ...

Inadequate code size
insufficient desk walk-through
premature compilation ...
- source unknown

Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Male Pornsta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173689)

Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Male Pornstars

- Not getting an erection;
- Ejaculating too early;
- Getting infected with an STD;

Apparently I'm also good at the "Let's list obvious fears about trades" game.

fear? eh, that would be powerpointing (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173711)

explaining the need/worth of my project to the suits so that they don't kill it.

Re:fear? eh, that would be powerpointing (2)

gtall (79522) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174181)

Worse is the suits picking up your Pooperpoint, changing it, and selling something which bears almost no resemblance to your original project and should be DOA but now you become the lead for this new and improved version.

So many fears.... (5, Insightful)

mendax (114116) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173721)

There are many things to be afraid of. I think my biggest fear is being irrelevant, something I feel greatly sometimes as the young hotshots come up from below and as more gray hairs appear. And because of my ADHD and dyslexia, I fear not being able to use my intelligence when I need to use it because my brain refuses to work.

But there are more terrible things to fear. The wrath of my evil cat when I step on her tail and what she leaves in the kitty litter that I have to clean up are two such horrible prospects. And when I was married, my wife was quite scary at times.

But really, when one looks at the big picture, the only thing to fear is fear itself (as FDR said). Accepting life on life's terms and not wasting time on trying to change things that can't be changed is what's important to me.

Re:So many fears.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173925)

I'm afraid of people reading online what I'm afraid about and using this knowledge against me.

Yeah fear is for loosers. Real security experts have paranoia.

Re:So many fears.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174215)

"Real" security experts English skills are my main fear.

Stupid people (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173727)

They're impossible to code for, or cope with.

"Enter date"
"This value is invalid"

"Hey your software is broken! It doesn't stop me typing "cat" in a date field!"
What did it say?
"value is invalid"
There you go then!
"But it didn't stop me typing it!"
Because it assumes you are not a moron? You're right, it is "broken"...

stab people in the face (1, Funny)

Barryke (772876) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173763)

"But it didn't stop me typing it!"

This really brought up memories.. (source [] )
<Zybl0re> get up
<Zybl0re> get on up
<Zybl0re> get up
<Zybl0re> get on up
<phxl|paper> and DANCE
* nmp3bot dances :D-<
* nmp3bot dances :D|-<
* nmp3bot dances :D/-<
<[SA]HatfulOfHollow> im going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

Re:stab people in the face (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173877)

im going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

Well, there you go. []

Re:stab people in the face (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174191)

im going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

Well, you already can [] .

Re:Stupid people (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173777)

On the web side, some javascript libraries validate inputs in real time.
But yeah, if the label next to a field says "phone number", someone will write a mailing address there. Guaranteed.

Being indirectly responsible for someone's death. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173751)

You never know where your code will wind up or what mistakes you've made.

Re:Being indirectly responsible for someone's deat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174121)

Actually, its kind of liberating working on a codebase where "quality" is measured in terms of body count. Seriously, how many times in a career do you get to say "we killed X fewer people"due to recent improvements... posting as AC for reasons obvious to anyone who's predecessor's software killed anyone.

I fear... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173757)


Re:I fear... (3, Funny)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173901)

Is that still around? I thought when the recession hit most companies realised that one of the first things you should cut is pointless money and time wasting bureaucratic process and just hire people who know what they're on about and have real actual common sense whilst firing those that don't.

Please don't tell me now that the global economy looks like it might be improving again soon that it's going to make a comeback?

Re:I fear... (2)

deoxyribonucleose (993319) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174007)

Is that still around? I thought when the recession hit most companies realised that one of the first things you should cut is pointless money and time wasting bureaucratic process and just hire people who know what they're on about and have real actual common sense whilst firing those that don't.

Nope. In organizations with more hundreds or thousands of IT people and thousands of systems (not to mention dozens of countries and a handful of sourcing agreements on top), you're gonna need some process to control change and coordinate responsibilities. I'm not saying ITIL is pretty, or should be fully implemented everywhere (perhaps not even anywhere), but doing everything ad hoc, when you can't simply shout at each other across the office, is much, much worse.

Re:I fear... (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174169)

I would never suggest doing things ad-hoc. I've worked in such organisations, one had around 6,000 systems and even more users, with a number of distributed sites and I worked in an IT support role at the time and currently in a similar organisation but now as a developer.

I think processes are good, but some of the stuff ITIL mandates is just stupid and sometimes even counterproductive.

Hiring people with common sense and ditching those without doesn't mean doing things ad-hoc and completely without process, it just means having processes that make sense and adapting/destroying them when they don't. Too many organisations blindly follow ITIL even when it works against their interests.

ITIL assumes one size fits all, but that's a fallacy.

Hmm (2)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173759)

Waking up, and finding myself stereo-typed into one job, one branch, or another. I like the idea of mastering each branch fully, but find that there's never enough time to do everything I'd like to do, or learn everything I'd like to learn. And of course, your job becomes your life...I don't know why, but I had ideas, when younger, of changing that equation, of making jobs more efficient, so more time could be spent elsewhere (leisure, edification, etc.)...and yet, I seem to be spending all my time repairing damaged items or chasing dead-ends, rather than pursuing these agendas. It's like my equation has been turned on its head...and I don't know by whom, or why. Computers are supposed to be freeing man from his burdens, and in doing so, helping advance themselves; instead, they seem to be acting as balls and chains...or worse, in the case of the NSA, where they are being used to spy on people.

Even the work I am doing on my autodidactic program (human learning) or evolutionary program (machine learning) feels like I am chiseling away at a granite mountain with a wooden spoon. Why is this kind of programming so difficult, yet the algorithms to spy on one another seem to flow from the heavens themselves?

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173889)

You assume that algorithms to spy on people work.

They don't, that's why despite MI5 knowing personally a terrorist they still managed to miss the fact he was a threat when he committed a violent murder in the name of terrorism on the streets of London a few weeks ago.

This is why many people including me dislike said algorithms, not because I have an inherent problem with them spying on people if there is just cause and they are an actual threat, but because I know that their algorithms when run against everyone and anyone can't possibly accurately separate real threats from innocent people and will result in manpower being wasted investigating, harassing and harming innocent people whilst simultaneously missing the real actual threats.

But why do I have to wait for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173761)

As a self employed coder of all things web ... The dreaded 4 week project on 30 or 60 day payment terms!

Absence of a test suite (5, Interesting)

bheading (467684) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173775)

Being given a big pile of code and being asked to maintain it with no test suite.

Each time you change it you could theoretically be breaking a ton of features. But there's no way to be sure.

Re:Absence of a test suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173811)

There will be no documentation. Ever.

Re:Absence of a test suite (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173969)

Your fear is my job... It isn't so bad once you get used to the style of the author...

Re:Absence of a test suite (4, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174127)

The previous person working on that code also had a fear, a fear of losing his job. So he or she thought job security could be increased by not documenting and not adding tests ;-)

Re:Absence of a test suite (2)

Pecisk (688001) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174261)

I know everyone takes out "job security" flag when lack of documentation or tests is mentioned, but seriously, how frequently does it happen? Most of software is not that sexy that everyone will want to rush in, replace you and keep it same quality level as you are. Of course, management can be a bitch, and threaten with replacement if you request wage rise, but then it's probably not best place to work anyway.

Re:Absence of a test suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174141)

Just modded you up and replying anonymously.
Yes, this is the very thing that I was about to post myself. I add: a big pile of code based on an old technology now well past end-of-life, with no tests, and the urge to update it quickly because of security concerns (years of missed security patches against well known vulnerabilities).
But isn't this another form of "fear of bad management"?

Re:Absence of a test suite (1, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174213)

Being given a big pile of code and being asked to maintain it with no test suite.

Each time you change it you could theoretically be breaking a ton of features. But there's no way to be sure.

I have an idea...write a test suite for it! Or no...perhaps that's too radical an idea.

Re:Absence of a test suite (2)

tonywestonuk (261622) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174255)

So you imply you need a test suite, in order to maintain legacy code?

You know that most code out there has no tests for it..... and debate is still on to if automated testing really does make a difference to software quality.


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173783)

As evident here !! That includes YOU !! Places like this are so full of stupid people !! It does not scare me but it does explain why the state of software today is no better than the shit floating around Ellison's island !!


Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173853)

You know, it's exactly this kind of complacent attitude that is the source of the problem you're complaining about. Stop being so sanctimonious about your own level of skill, and learn some damn humility. Nobody likes working with an arrogant, no talent, cocksucker, such as yourself.


K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174223)

and learn some damn humility

And while they're at it, they could learn some design skills, since merely admitting that you're stupid without doing anything else won't save your job anyway. Read HtDP or Dijkstra's books, for example.


Cenan (1892902) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173861)

Awww precious, did you get modded down spouting your favorite misconception again? That's so unfair.

Things that scare developers, (5, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173787)

Loud noises,
Social contact,
Drinks machine being out of soft drinks and/or chocolate,
Google being down,

Re:Things that scare developers, (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173975)

Google being down? Not so much pal. GitHub or BitBucket being down I fear. StackOverflow being down I fear. AWS or Heroku being down are my worst nightmares.

Re:Things that scare developers, (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174081)

Coffee machine being down!

Re:Things that scare developers, (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174095)

Out of coffee...

Velociraptors (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173799)


Re:Velociraptors (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173933)


Then why the hell are you using goto statements?

Re:Velociraptors (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174219)

"they make the code interesting" :-) though that was referencing a computed GOTO

Changing requirements mid project (2)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173819)

Changing requirements mid project. Actually that wouldn't be so bad if the managers wouldn't imply that you are somehow failing if you say that will extend the delivery date.

Re:Changing requirements mid project (2)

Aryden (1872756) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173837)

How can that really be a fear when you know for a fact that it is going to happen. By this point, you should expect it right off the bat.

Misplaced decimals in financials calculations are a bigger fear to have

Re:Changing requirements mid project (1)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173985)

How can that really be a fear when you know for a fact that it is going to happen. By this point, you should expect it right off the bat.

Misplaced decimals in financials calculations are a bigger fear to have

Some of our changes are just so strange and comprehensive that they can only seen to be the same project at a business level. For example a set of web services to obtain data being changed to a single sign-on system so that users could follow links to another system to display the data. And this change was not expected to require any rework.

Affirmative Action (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173827)

I really hate working with lazy stupid programmers who were hired only to fill out an HR racial preference checklist. Nothing is more demoralizing than working with a shiftless, smelly, untalented "winner" of the racial preference lottery.

Re:Affirmative Action (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173873)

Yeah, I hate working with white trailer trash as well.

Disney edit of "A New Hope" ? (2)

seoras (147590) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173843)

  - daylight
  - any noise other than that produced by earphones
  - women
  - building power failures
  - enforced OS change
  - ....

I think we need a Slashdot Poll for this one!

My biggest fear? (0)

cshark (673578) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173845)

That more programmers will wake up from the delusion that they have to work nine to five, and that suddenly, I'll have a lot more competition from people just as talented and driven as I am... in the same areas I specialize. That's a pretty frightening thought, even if it is unrealistic. Most programmers don't actually make it to that point in their career at all, so in all reality, I that's not the kind of thing I lose any sleep over.

Failed to read from register 0x43: -6 (1)

vikingpower (768921) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173883)

in the middle of a long, long, lo000ng and costly number-crunching run, and that just because some management moron thought that we'd save some money by buying cheapo hardware. I fear that with deadly fear.

Bad multithreading (5, Insightful)

bertok (226922) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173887)

Debugging multi-threaded code liberally sprinkled with delays instead of locks. I still have nightmares!

Re:Bad multithreading (4, Funny)

jimshatt (1002452) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173905)

3..2..1... Phew! I might otherwise have replied even before you commented. That worked out well!

Re:Bad multithreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174093)

Oh dear. You are debugging the same code I am debugging? Seriously, there can't be more than one example of such a terrible, fragile beast can there?

I already do not like my job anymore. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173895)

I already do not like my job anymore. I'm working here 6 months. Before that I had 4 resume-posting, interviewing-filled, bank balance watching months, that also where a lot of fun otherwise.

My biggest fear is that I will never again find an IT job that I like.

I'm early forties, I guess I have had quite a varied bit of experience over the years. New tech comes and goes. It's getting worse and worse. While it's OK to learn something new, the question remains: will that still be relevant in 6 months' time? Will the next client/job be appalled that I have spent nights and weekends learning i-Bauble++ when they actually want someone with skills in Turbo Visual Gizmo?

Also, companies seem to move further and further away from what has been put forward as "best practices" in software development. Mostly there aren't even "good enough" practices.

Also makes me want to change careers and become an artist of sorts [] .

My Biggest Fear (5, Interesting)

Common Joe (2807741) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173897)

To not make the difference in the world in the way that I envisioned. It's everything at once and nothing specific. My betterment of the world doesn't even have to be in programming, although programming is where my best talents are. I've always wanted to leave the world a better place than when I came into it. Unfortunately, I can't say that I feel that way so my biggest fear is coming true and I'm having to learn to cope with the idea that I cannot fix the injustices of the world.

Re:My Biggest Fear (1)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174139)

Exactly This. Mod this guy up.
I know that with me, this comes from an immature childish place, but I can't stand the thought of not even making a dent on the world. I don't care if I'm forgotten, as long as I can do something to make the world better.

Inheriting another project written by an idiot... (4, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173911)

In the project I'm maintaining now, I've discovered such gems as "someVar++ // count down" and "if(someDouble == 0 || someDouble == 0.0 || someDouble == 0.00) { ... }". Oh, and literally hundreds of global variables whose values are copied in and out of instance and local variables in seemingly random places. I'm sure the guy who wrote it was one of those students who comes to the Java forums begging for help because they didn't pay attention all semester and have absolutely no idea where to begin on their final project, which is invariably due in a few hours. I don't even want to know how much they paid him to write it, but it's cost the company at least 1.5 man-years just to get it into a state that's acceptable to most of our customers, and it's still nowhere near as good as if we'd spent (I would estimate) 0.5 man-years rewriting the whole thing from scratch.

Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173917)

Anything to do with SAP
Writing Oracle SQL scripts (Mainly because there is a real danger It might bore me to death)
Developing web services to integrate Lotus Notes with BPEL or some such... (Same reason as above except Lotus also sucks ass)
Marketing convincing my boss two weeks before release that we need the following features ...
A group of six year olds in the server room with water guns.

Feel free to expand...

Poll (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173923)

This should be a slashdot poll.
I, for one, would vote for the Cowboy Neal option.

Them females? (1)

macson_g (1551397) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173943)


Re:Them females? (2)

psholty2 (2696677) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174005)

Dying virgin. 30yo and counting :(

Re:Them females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174205)

start doing drugs.

or going to church.

it's all the same shit, but gets you laid.

Ah Dilbert... (1)

mitcheli (894743) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173953)

I believe the daily tome of knowledge tends to sum these fears up on a ... er... daily basis. "Out out you daemons of stupidity!" (Yes, typo is intentional.)

My greatest fear... (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173957)

Heights, or being crushed by a collapsing bridge as I walk under it (I walk under bridges all the time, to try and work with that one. I know it is irrational, but there you go...). A while ago, I would have said Public Speaking/giving presentations (, but after working on it for a while, I have improved immensely in that area.

Most of the things that I actually might find scary do not generally happen to programmers. Odd things do come up, though - I worked my way through University working as a bouncer at various nightclubs. In that job, I was shot, shot at, knifed, involved in several other knife fights, fist fights, and numerous potentially hostile confrontations with drunk or high people looking for a fight. None of that violence was directed at me personally - I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The only time someone has actually aimed violence against me personally was while working as a programmer/on-site software implementation consultant. As the "new guy" I went on-site to install and troubleshoot a new version of our application - a back-office/inventory system - for a client, the manager of the office I was visiting picked me up and tried to punch me as soon as he heard which company I was from (the backstory - a sales guy long on promises and short on knowledge got the contract by lying about the capabilities and readiness of the product, and I was the 3rd consultant sent on-site 6 months after the agreed delivery date, still with a beta version of the product. Not appreciated by the body-building, steroid-pumping manager, who was already having a bad day).
We quickly got past that and started to make progress as soon as his nose stopped bleeding, and long before he stopped limping, and the installation became a case study and reference site for us, thanks to the efforts of the entire development team and the relationship manager. But to this date, that is the only time in all my years of working (30ish) that someones animosity has been directed at me personally. Working as a programmer can be a dangerous job!

Compiler Bugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44173961)

I fear writing code that'll trigger compiler bugs. Compiler technology is so arcane that I can't help but feel that I'm invoking the wrath of the (hypothetical) sloppy compiler writer whenever I use their compiler. I guess one way to test how well my code complies is by using different compilers to process my code.

Deploying for the first time (1)

mcvos (645701) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173967)

Something that never fails to terrify me is when I have to deploy an existing site to production for the first time. People are already using it, and if I messed anything up (introduce a bug, built the war incorrectly, forgot to update some production property that I did update for test, deploy in the wrong way somehow, or even just deploy at the wrong time), people will not be able to use the site anymore because of me.

I love automated deploy scripts for exactly this reason. And having access only to test, while deploying to production is someone else's responsibility.

Being stuck (5, Interesting)

rvw (755107) | 1 year,29 days | (#44173997)

Being stuck at a job, because you drifted away from your main skills, and now have difficulty to catch up. Or more specific: being stuck at a job where you don't want to spend another year or even longer. In the company I'm working I stand alone, being the only programmer, so no support from other programmers. I find it hell to get my skills up to date while doing my job properly.

Migrated to Help Desk (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174015)

I would imagine the worse fear of a programmer is going from programming an app to supporting it then your position gets combined with help desk and before you realize it your on the general company help desk not doing any programming at all. Eventually your "help desk" position gets pushed off to an outsource company which you become an employee of and your taking calls from multiple companies because your company uses the "leveraging" model. At that point you apply for jobs as a programmer and the HR person says "I see you have help desk experience!".

Average programmers writing parallel code (5, Insightful)

thisisauniqueid (825395) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174037)

Average programmers being forced to write parallel code scares me more than anything else. "The multicore dilemma is actually a substantially worse problem than generally understood: we are headed not just for an era of proportionately slower software, but significantly buggier software, as the human inability to write good parallel code is combined with the widespread need to use available CPU resources and the substantial increase in the number of scientists with no CS background having to write code to get their job done." --The multicore dilemma (in the big data era) is worse than you think []

Number 1 Fear (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174039)

Vowel theft

The C++ working commitee (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174059)

They just can't leave the damn language alone.

Enough! Its already got a spec probably more complicated that the space shuttle , just let us get on with using it instead of throwing in ever more useless features that only ever seem to get used in job interview questions!

Re:The C++ working commitee (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174155)

Where are mod points when I need them?

3. No longer liking my job (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174065)

This happened to me. There's just no joy or pride left in my work. I'm in a slow useless never ending zombie mode. Struggling doing something as simple as opening up a code editor. Been looking to change my job for the last year, but I can't find anything of interest. I'm sick of programming, but it's the only thing I'm good at (or used to be good at). Retraining at age 40 to change my career? I think I'd rather just drink myself to death.

Re:3. No longer liking my job (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174209)

I worked through this by becoming a database consultant. As a developer, it used to be as enticing as repeatedly sticking pointy objects in my ears, but it's kinda fun after a while, especially if you go for troubleshooting

I spend my days trying to help people reviving terminally fubar apps / databases / whole systems and the really interesting thing about this, apart from the challenge, is that ultimately the problems are not mine.

Plus, once in a while, I get to spend 3 to 6 month writing C drivers to help migrate legacy apps from Sybacle to myGres or whatever; or to craft ugly Perl DBI code, or to kick the crap out of Java developers not familiar with the parse once/execute many model.

And of course, I'm drinking myself to death, I'm a DBA after all.

Web Programming (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174075)

Seriously, web programming is for chumps, and it just keeps getting worse and worse.
Let's talk about having to support multiple version of multiple browser on multiple versions of multiple operating systems on multiple platforms, all with multiple sized screens.
Let's talk about the expectation of being an expert at a horrendous number of technologies like HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ajax, GWT, Java, JSP, EJB, XML, JSF, Facelets, JPA, JPQL, EL, SQL, PL/SQL, Regex, BASH etc. etc....for the one fucking project!
Let's talk about the expectation of being an expert at optimising different servers like Apache, Tomcat and JBoss.
Let's talk about the expectation of being an expert at load testing using various load testing suits.
Let's talk about the dismal state of Flash and Java Applets and HTML5.
I pity the poor web programmer (such as myself), for his or hers is surely a tortured life.

My biggest fear: C (1)

iliketrash (624051) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174103)

"What's your biggest fear?"


Lightweights (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174125)

Speaking in public
Team building
A QA manager that prefers software to be thrown over the wall and ripped apart.
3am anxiety attacks before the morning meeting during a death march series of 'sprints'.

Top that.

Co-workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174145)

especially those that know both Visual Basic and Perl.

Bureaucracy + Stupidity (4, Interesting)

bugnuts (94678) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174165)

Whenever I hear a congresscritter make noise about restricting research, or instituting programming certifications to get a job, or my (now ex-)company requiring a training session on how to walk because someone tripped in the hall, I get scared for the country as a whole because we've cultivated this environment.

That, and the aformentioned velociraptors.

Being made a scapegoat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174183)

How about inheriting a really poorly implemented project (we are talking no separate business logic/model classes, subclassing of view objects so that business logic can be shoe horned into them) and then being blamed for the issue of the project by the customer, but your company can not say anything because they can't admit there is a problem with the project.

Nothing work related (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44174217)

I can't say I fear anything that is specifically related to my job.
If someone walked up to me with a gun I would fear that.
If I'd have to pick a (job related) fear it would be that I got stuck in some dead end job with no time off to enjoy myself or to see my family.
And even that I wouldn't classify as a fear. The only time I've spent thinking about it is the last couple of minutes to write this post.

At work everyone is stressing out for some reason or another, but it just doesn't seem to affect me.
If I were self employed I might have some worries but even then I doubt it.
Sometimes I think I'm just incapable of worrying about what might happen.

Don't get me wrong, I like my job and wouldn't want to lose it. I just don't worry about it.
Even if I did lose it I'd find a new job. And if I couldn't I'd go back home and get a job for which I'm extremely over educated.
There are always options.
People are always looking for someone to paint their house.

Anonymous because I don't want people to know how apathetic I really am.

Grues. (4, Funny)

will_die (586523) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174235)

Nothing more fearful then the worry of having grues attack you as you go into a dark server room.

Pilots and Astronauts have the same fear (4, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174253)

their #1 fear isn't the rocket blowing up and getting killed, it's not fear of blacking out from G-forces, it's not fear of getting shot down, it's the fear of screwing up.

Same as the #1 fear from TFA. (fear of writing buggy code / messing up)

The official Pilot's Prayer (as handed to us by Alan Shepard) is "Lord, please don't let me fuck up".

Not "Lord, please don't let me blow up" or "Please keep me safe"

Grues (1)

will_die (586523) | 1 year,29 days | (#44174263)

Especially when you have to go into the dark server room.
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