Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Say You Don't Know

So part of my day job is doing development for another company. I pride myself on attempting to know as much as possible about technology, computers, software development and the like. You just have to, in order to be a competent developer.

Recently we had an employee in our head of marketing and public relations department, get fired. The boss decided to hire a relative that supposedly knew web development and was proficient in designing fliers and marketing pieces for the business using Photoshop and InDesign.

His first day here we set him up with a new computer, Microsoft Office 2007, Adobe Design Premium CS 4, dual monitors, etc. Hey if this guy was as good as he said he is - great.

Well I'm starting to find out that this guy knows jack shit about development and computers in general.....He calls my desk and it goes from there...

He says "I need more memory in my computer. Got any sticks of RAM?"

Me: "Why?"

Him: "I'm rendering on my computer and it's taking too long."

Me: "Ok let me come over and check it out. I'm not sure how much memory we stuck in that computer." I come to find out it's Windows XP Professional with 2 GB of memory. Should be plenty, but I can always kick it up if I need to.

Him: "I'm rendered this Photoshop picture and it took about 10 seconds."

Me: "That sounds acceptable to me. I can max out your computer with 4GB of RAM - but it won't help since 32-bit XP won't see all of it. We'd have to blow away your OS and put 64-bit Windows on it."

Him: "Oh - you can do that?"

Me: "Yes, but I'm not going to. You don't need it. I see you've got Photoshop, InDesign and Outlook running." (That's about the most memory hungry bunch of applications you can find on a computer - and he's got them all running at the same time. It's Microsoft Windows - not a Mac or Linux OS!)

I explain the whole process of OS memory management and 64-bit vs 32-bit memory addressing and all the other nuances. Keep in mind - I'm a developer. I know this stuff, but I'm no Raymond Chen of Microsoft. After his eyes finish watering from the fire hose of information I gave him....

Him: "Ok. I'll just save this and send the email."

I get back to my desk and a couple of minutes goes by and he calls me again.

Him: "My computer is running slow. I'm trying to send a 2 sentence email and it won't go."

I go over there again and he's right - his computer is slow. No Photoshop or InDesign running - just Oulook. I quick look and it's consuming 500+ MB of memory and growing. I check his Outbox and he takes a call. He's got an outgoing 88MB file! I whisper "You can't send that!" and he finishes his call and I go back to my desk. I'm assuming he has some knowledge - he's supposed to be a web developer and those guys have some tech savvy right?

I guess not....he calls my desk again.

Him: "How much bandwidth am I allocated?"

Me: "What do you mean? Do you want to know how big of a file can you send out via email?"

Him: "Yes"

Me: "It's not us - the system is currently set at 25MB files going in/out of our server anything else and your at the mercy of the recipient's mail server. But most balk at 10MB or larger" (yes I've got ours set generously - mostly because the rest of the employees for the company in question are about as bright as this guy.)

Him: "How do I send this to them?" (Keep in mind it was a list of like 10 people)

Me: "If it's a PDF - what are they going to do with it? Are they going to print it at a publishing house?"

Him: "No, it's just a flier for the company picnic."

Me: "Where are they going to print this then, their local printer?" (At this point I'm becoming irate about the whole situation - and I'm normally pretty cool.)

Him: "They'll probably take it to a Kinko's to get copies."

Me: "Really? Then they probably just need a 300dpi or 600dpi copy printed out. Why don't you re-render your flyer." (Whatever it is, there is no way a 1 page flier is going to even come close to 10MB)

Him: "How do I do that?"

Me: "Seriously? I thought you did this stuff at your last job. You click on File->Save As and when Acrobat comes up you can choose an output type and dpi setting." (My 5 year old knows this)

Him: "Ok. I'll try to figure it out and call you if I have problems"

The boss thinks this guy's going to eventually doing web development. Hah! I'm not letting him check in 1 character into source control. No way!

I'd love to check this guy's resume out. If you don't know what your talking about - don't fake it - but you have to get a clue at some point!

God help us all!

No comments: