Tuesday, May 24, 2011

dead man walking

I gave my two week notice last week. It was unique circumstances - I actually like everyone in my group. I'm good at what I'm doing; I don't feel like I'm burying bodies as I go. That's normally how I feel when I'm leaving a job; some detective wants to ask me about suspicious items in my refrigerator. Not this time. Any bodies we ate, we ate as a team.
Good bosses, too. Not much to say about it, except the work wasn't what I should be doing. After I stopped doing stand-up and started thinking "hmm this should be something I like if I'm not planning to ditch it for LA", it started getting tough to stay. The problem is the software package - Oracle Configurator. This is the most un-user friendly piece of shit program I've ever had the displeasure of using. User interfaces become corrupt by an errant mouseclick. The Customer facing piece responds sluggishly to mouse clicks, and often "loses state" and takes you to an error page, making you start over. It plays poorly with the rest of Oracle Applications as well - sometimes you make some changes but you don't make ENOUGH changes and when you attempt to publish it, it doesn't do anything. That's not exactly true - it doesn't make a new publication, but it makes sure the old one isn't usable anymore.
In fact, let's talk about the UI for a minute. Through a series of mouse clicks, you add pieces of a user interface. It's fucking terrible. In order to create a table in this monstrosity, you'll click 45 times instead of rendering some HTML with a few typed commands. There are templates, that make life a little easier. You only have to do the 45 clicks once instead of once for every option in your model.
It's a good thing they make templates so easy, too. Remember when I said sometimes you click and it throws an error? A lot of times that piece of crap error will ruin the user interface you were working in and you'll have to rebuild it.
God, I hate that fucking program. It's not even sensible.
The rest of Oracle Applications isn't much better. I'm thoroughly convinced the reason Oracle Applications experts make so much money is because they have to put up with one of the worst ERPs ever created.
Try working with the forms implemented in the Defaulting Rules user interface, see how many errors you can raise in one session. Go ahead, it's easy - just click on the header when you're in a different page block.
(you can do that in Configurator too - try adding a second Configurator Extension with "Save And Add Another". That button should be labelled "Null Pointer Error" because that's what you're about to get)
Whew, glad I got that off my chest.
I'm probably just coming to the "getting old" realization that "90% of everything is crap".
But Oracle Applications has become too much to bear. I'd rather build my own, or try something completely different.

Yikes, massive rant that everyone hates. Back to work - I'm within my "notice period". I don't know why that needed quotes, but it feels like it does. The last two weeks are always tough. The job seems 1000 times better because a lot of the annoying distractions fade away. Nothing's THAT annoying when you think "I only have 8 more days of this crap." So then all that's left is the meat. The problem solving. The "I'm an expert". The "we're going to miss you!"

Hurts a bit.
And then I went and listened to "Helplessness Blues" from Fleet Foxes on the way in this morning and nearly fell apart at the seams.

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