Fake Geeks

One of the most annoying parts about being a geek is dealing with a world full of “fake geeks.” In a world full of fake news, fake sincerity and fake ethics (thank you Bill and Hillary Clinton!) I guess it was bound to happen. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always had “fake geeks.” Most of them were management. You’ve all encountered them. That one worthless MBA who would stand just out of sight while real geeks were speaking to catch one technical sounding phrase and then drop it into conversations/meetings in an effort to both impress and befuddle others in the meeting.

Early in my career I worked at a place with a public relations person much like that. She took winging it to new heights. In OpenVMS we have file versions. This means in one directory you can have


all the way through


If you open a file without specifying a version number the operating system takes the highest available number. It’s a great way of saving your ass while editing. Don’t talk to me about version control. When you are in your favorite editor and tell it to “save” it saves to local storage. You don’t check in each file save, you check in what you think works. So, after you spend 8+ hours editing a series of files then fat finger on the final save, you, using lesser operating systems, are proverbially screwed. We can quickly close the file and

rename file.nam;-1 file.nam;0

to at least get back the previous save so we didn’t lose an entire day’s work.

At any rate, she walked through one day hearing the programmers talking about purging off some files before merging transaction files together. On her next tour she brought people through stating proudly

These are our purgers and mergers.

People nodded as if she knew what she was talking about. The higher you get in a company, the less you actually know.

“Fake Geeks” are now being churned out of “colleges” and “universities” at an alarming pace. Many are even given IT degrees and most shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a keyboard. Almost all of them are “script kiddies.” All they “know” is some worthless scripting language their college was teaching. They have no idea about application architecting or architecture. Even less of an idea about proper systems development, opting instead for the criminal fraud of AGILE.

The absolute worst category in today’s market are grouped under the umbrella “Web developers.”

What is bringing about this rant?

I love the Freakonomics podcast. I rarely get a chance to listen to it on the radio, so I save that pleasure for long car drives. Since I may be leaving in under a week on a multi-state drive, I decided to pull down a bunch of stuff I missed.

roland@roland-I5-HP-Compaq-8300-Elite-SFF-PC:~/freak$ dir /media/roland/3265-3031/Freakonomics/
freakonomics_extras062217.mp3 freakonomics_podcast030816.mp3 freakonomics_podcast051116.mp3 freakonomics_podcast090617.mp3 freakonomics_podcast101817.mp3 freakonomics_podcast112917.mp3
freakonomics_extras092517.mp3 freakonomics_podcast031616.mp3 freakonomics_podcast052616.mp3 freakonomics_podcast090617.mp3.opdownload freakonomics_podcast101916.mp3 freakonomics_podcast113016.mp3
freakonomics_podcast010417.mp3 freakonomics_podcast032316.mp3

Hopefully you all clicked the Freakonomics link I provided. The archive is in reverse chronological order. Obviously they had a database person return the data in logical order. Now, take a look at the file names. Only a “Web developer” would have pulled this shit. For my European readers and those reading a bit too quickly, that date in the file name is in MMDDYY format. You have to manually create a play list (not a safe thing to do while driving) or, you have to manually select each file (again, not a safe thing to do while driving) or you have to rename everything you downloaded so ordinary MP3 player software can just process each file in the directory in the correct order.

Since most of you come here to steal code.

roland@roland-I5-HP-Compaq-8300-Elite-SFF-PC:~$ cat rename_freak.sh
#! /bin/bash
cd /media/roland/3265-3031/Freakonomics/
for file in *.mp3
  [[ $file =~ freakonomics_podcast([[:digit:]]{2})([[:digit:]]{2})([[:digit:]]{2}).mp3 ]] && \
      mv $file $new_name

After running it my file names all look like this.



Anyone who actually got a degree in IT should be using YYYYMMDD by default. We all use this format because it keeps things in sorted order. It’s a reflex. A reflex none of us will have to change until 99991231. After that we have to perform a mass-rename, stuffing an extra leading zero into existing file names and changing our own default pattern to YYYYYMMDD.

Fake geeks really piss me off.