Data Management

Message To Programmers: Try Using The Junk You Produce


Yes, this is another insentive, inflammatory "Programmers Stink" post.

Why?

Because THEY. MAKE. MY. LIFE. MISERABLE.

Today's problem?

Visual Studio 2005.

[addendum: 3/16/2006] A few commenters have made it clear that I didn't explain the problem very well. I am not working with SQL Server. That has excellent management tools. I am working with SQL Server 2005 Express. It is the same database engine, but works off of files and is designed to be able to be installed onto a client when you install the software, this way you don't need to worry about having the customer have a full database installed on a server. SQL Server 2005 Express has absolutely ZERO management tools outside of Visual Studio that I have found. No other tool that I am aware of "knows" how to access a SQL Server 2005 Express database, unless I were to set up an ODBC connection to it (I haven't tried it, but it may work). The point is, I followed the directions in the help files, and they were incredibly difficult to use (this is the first time in the nearly 20 years that I have used computers that I had a problem with COPY/PASTE), and the software did not make it easy at all. Especially frustrating was the "You have an error!" box that popped up for each and every error without explaining what the error was or providing a way of stopping the process causing the error without killing the entire process. I want to see you click "OK" 24,000+ times and tell me that you're working with smart software.

I'm writing a small application and I want to use the SQL Server 2005 Express database engine. I have the data elsewhere, in a FoxPro table, that I want the application to use. I exported the data to CSV. Visual Studio won't import that to the SQL Server 2005 database. FoxPro didn't work either. Excel didn't work. Text file didn't work. In fact, there is no "import" feature at all, unless I want to write Transact-SQL code. At the end of the day, Visual Studio won't copy a table from one data source to another. I can't do a "SELECT INTO" between data sources.

What do the help files say? Open the data and do a copy/paste. So I tried that. For hours, it was just trying to do one row at a time, and paste the contents into one cell. Eventually I figured out how to get it copied right. Why do I need to figure out how to "copy correctly"? Am I missing something?

The piece of garbage decided to have an error on one column. Instead of telling me what the error is, it decided to be vague. To make it worse, it pops up an error on every single row that I'm pasting. All 24,000+ of them. It was faster and better to trash the whole Visual Studio session. Your "error handling" should NEVER make the user's life worse. The joke is, Access does this well, it does the import, then create a second table with the errors. Simple. Elegant. Quick. Useful. Non-annoying.

To all of you lazy programmers, stupid programmers, and other jerks who never actually thought about how your users would use your lousy software: I HATE YOU. I want to find where you live and cause you as much aggravation as your products cause me. For every hour of my life that a computer has saved, bad programming and poor user interface design wastes two. I want to find the moron who wrote this, go to their house, and waste 8 hours of their life, maybe force them to watch Bloodsucking Freaks 4 times. EIGHT HOURS OF MY LIFE HAVE BEEN LOST TO WHAT SHOULD BE A 5 MINUTE TASK. I am eternally grateful that I get paid salary and not per-project, I'd be eating out of Dumpsters at this rate...

And the sad part is, this problem has caused me significantly less pain than Google's Customer Dis-Service Department has recently.

I swear, I want my next job to be 75% done with paper and pen...

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

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