[TUHS] Clueless programmers

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Thu Feb 15 00:28:50 AEST 2018


> already 20 years ago I met a guy (masters degree, university) who never freed dynamically allocated memory. He told me he is 'instantiating a object', but had no idea what an heap is, and what dynamically allocated memory means.

Years ago, I had an new programmer who I just couldn't teach.    He never understood the difference between an array and pointer, and apparently couldn't be bothered to learn.
After string him along for three months, I was on my way into his office to fire him when I found out he had quit, but not before he checked a bunch of drek into our source code control system.
I thought I backed all his commits out at the time.

Years later I was running "purify" on our product looking for memory leaks.   I found this small utility function that predated the source code control system leaking.   This, I thought was odd, as it had been there FOREVER and was well tested.   I brought up the source code system and checked it anyhow and found the afore mentioned programmer had checked in one change:   he deleted the "free" call in it.

I KNOW what happened.    He did something else to corrupt the malloc heap in his code and often this causes a core dump in a subsequent malloc/free call.   Apparently this was the place it struck him, so he just deleted the free call there.



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