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This is a question Winging It

Don Spang says: I once found myself winging it in a job interview and somewhat exaggerated my technical experience in the field of mainframe computer operations. 24 years later, I'm still there. Ever had to improvise to get by? Tell us you tales of MacGyver-type genius.

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:31)
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Perls of wisdom
Out of the blue, a friend who was working in California, surfing the DotCom bubble at an online music company, called me up and offered me a month's work - at consultant rates, with free accommodation in San Francisco. I think I left scorch marks on the doormat as I headed for the airport.

The only slight problem was that the job was programming in Perl, a language had never used, and in fact never even seen. As a "fire fighter", brought in to save the project, I would be expected to get stuck into the work first thing on day one - there would be no "getting up to speed" period.

So I bought a textbook on the way to the airport, planning to spend the entire flight cramming the language. As soon as we had reached cruising altitude, I got out the thick book and turned to the first chapter.

Which was titled, with alarming prescience, "Perl from 37,000 feet"...

Now THAT'S winging it!
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 14:34, 11 replies)
*knitting joke*

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 14:46, closed)
Have a click :)
And a Perl joke

my $dog;
$dog !~ /nose/ and $mells = how_does_dog_smell(?);

sub how_does_dog_smell {
return 'awful';

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 15:25, closed)
FORTRAN joke (for the really old)
(unless declared INTEGER)
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 17:28, closed)
A similar situation, I was brought into a mate's company to fix their website
Turned up and the whole thing was built in Cold Fusion (back when Macromedia were still an independent concern) so without them seeing what I was doing, I Googled "What is Cold Fusion?"

The first page I found went something like: "Why should you learn Cold Fusion? Because it's trendy, it's a buzzword and people will pay you to do it." By lunchtime I'd figured out the basics and by the end of my first day I'd made most of the changes they wanted.

I was only supposed to be there for two weeks, ended up staying for six months.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 15:44, closed)
cold fusion
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 16:01, closed)
Indeed, it's astonishing that it still exists
I was offered another Cold Fusion job again recently, thankfully now I can pick and choose my employment and turned them down flat
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 16:06, closed)
I think this is pretty standard.
If your brain's wired the right way you're a programmer. It does amaze me how many graduates claim 'I only learned Java'. I've always been able to do anything that has been thrown at me (sometimes just by looking at other sections of code, sometimes by getting google to do the work for me).
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 17:51, closed)
You can't learn perl
It doesn't matter how many times you write scripts, the minute you stop programming perl it all becomes gibberish again. The best strategy is to decompose your code into the steps you want it to do and then google for code snippets that do each one.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 19:28, closed)
I tried to cobble together some Perl after a gap of around 6 years, and failed to achieve anything even after using the internet and all.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 22:50, closed)
A write only language...
Stages of writing a perl script

1 - Write code
2 - Don't bother commenting it - you'll remember what it does no problem
3 - Go back to it next day and realise you have no idea what it does
4 - Rewrite code
5 - Loop
(, Sun 31 Mar 2013, 14:00, closed)
All true... but I used to work on the REAL write-only language: APL
Here's a code snippet of APL:

Even better, our system was the world's only functioning multi-threaded real-time APL.

Perl? Amateurs.
(, Tue 2 Apr 2013, 13:34, closed)

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