Bad Programmers Give Us All a Bad Name

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a woman who need a little help with her website. She told me that her ‘regular programmer’ had fallen ill – no doubt struck down by GOD! – and that he had developed a plugin for her that was now malfunctioning.

I did a quick view source and realized the woman was running 2 shopping cart programs. I explained how to disable the one she wasn’t using, but when she went into her Plugins, she couldn’t find it.

She offered to pay me, but I assured her it would take me less than a minute to fix the problem and I’d be more than happy to do it for free.

The funny thing was, when I got in to her plugin options, she was right, the plugin wasn’t there. Now it when from a free-be to a all out challenge!!

Long story short the ‘programmer’ had taken a free plugin, removed almost all remnant of it’s original licensing information. Basically he charged the woman $1000.00 to remove the original developers information from the plugin.

The problem was, he had left the update code intact. Don’t ask me how, I don’t fully understand what he did myself, but when the plugin indicated that it needed updating, the woman updated it. After the update the plugin was running with part of the original code and part of the new code and her site fell apart.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve all fudged a little on the ‘credits’
It’s not that we don’t want to give credit where it’s deserved, it’s that we don’t want people to know how we do our great plugin gymnastics, linking them together to do crazy stuff.
I’m convinced that if I can link the right plugins together I will make WordPress literally SPEAK. But that stuff you do on your OWN SITE!

I was completely flabbergasted, it would have never occurred to me to charge someone for a free plugin, much less rewrite the credits. What is wrong with people!?!?

Programmers are like mechanics, the bad ones give them all a bad name.
Anyone will tell you that when you find a mechanic you can trust you never leave them, obviously, YOU don’t know what you’re doing so you have to find someone you can trust.

Apparently programmers are no different. But unlike mechanics, where you can ask around, there seems to be no defense against bad programmers.

I’m hoping to write a few posts on the subject of finding a good programmer, but maybe I’ll just write several on how to weed out the bad.

Elements used to create Featured image Artwork provided by Created by Jill.

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