After a move to another city, Philip found himself looking for work. Fortunately, a contract came his way. The money was good, the customer was a large bank. At the time, Philip's only regret was that it was a 6-month contract- something longer would have helped him get settled in his new home.

The first week of those six months were spent waiting for the operations team to provision him a Citrix environment- developers weren't given laptops, they were given dumb terminals that connected to a canonical dev environment hosted in Citrix. So, for one week, Philip did nothing but sit at a desk for 8 hours. He didn't have a laptop, and as a bank they had strict rules about personal devices being used, so he couldn't even use his phone.

Once Philip had an environment, he was able to start looking at the code. He knew he had signed up to work in a Java shop, but was quite surprised to discover it was a J2EE shop. Starting in 2006, J2EE became Java EE, which eventually became Jakarta EE. But this project started in 2015, well past J2EE's expiration date. "Do I have the right code?" he asked, wondering if he had pulled the wrong version or the wrong product or something.

"Nope, that's it," one of his new co-workers replied.

"Ah, so, uh… where are the tests? That'll help be learn the codebase?"

The new co-worker blanched and turned straight back to their computer. Barry, Philip's new manager, tapped Philip on his shoulder. "Why don't you come with me?"

Barry lead Philip to his office, where another manager was already waiting. "Who told you that you could write tests?" Barry glowered at Philip, while Philip tried to parse that question. Who had told Philip he could write tests? Common sense? Basic programming practices?

"You're a developer," Barry explained, "and we're paying you a not insignificant amount of money to be a developer. If we wanted you to be a tester, we'd have hired a tester. Use your time here responsibly, and maybe this contract can become a temp-to-hire. Now get back to work. Get back to developing."

The dev environment in Citrix didn't have the J2EE container installed- they used WebSphere- so Philip had no way to actually run his code. It took another two weeks to get permissions to install the required software, and their copy of WebSphere was distributed as a zip file stored on a shared network drive.

A month into his 6 month contract, Philip was finally able to pick up a ticket, do some work, and see the results.

And then Barry pulled him into another meeting: "Why do we have a copy of WebSphere in Citrix now? There's a test server, you're just supposed to put your code there."

"There's a dozen developers, and one test server."

"And?" Barry asked, impatiently. "Just take turns. We're going to reset your Citrix environment, and don't do that again."

At the end of Philip's six month contract, he was not offered an extension or an option for full time employment. He was just glad it was only six months, and made a note to never work for that company ever again.

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