Interesting Read (1 Viewer)


CopyPaster of the First Order
Local time
Yesterday, 22:23
Apr 27, 2015
I stumbled across this article this morning while I was prepping for today's trials and tribulations.

The author's words really spoke to me about what I am going through right now. The current project I am on IS a big hairy mess - but instead of taking the time to determine what the original Dev was trying to do - we're talking identical Forms, Macros, BAD table design, etc... - I thought I could just take a scorched-earth approach and make a better mouse trap.

And I HAVE made it better, cleaner and more professional looking, but it was taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears and worst of all ,TIME to make it happen, and I am still not finished.

What is worse, the original Dev is still on the project and was at my disposal. Had I made him my first resource instead of my last resort, things would have gone a lot smoother.

You can tell some fools to come in out of the rain, some of us have to get wet first.


..forever waiting... waiting for jellybean!
Local time
Today, 10:23
May 7, 2009
i like this line and still true, marketing old codes...

"You are putting yourself in an extremely dangerous position where you will be shipping an old version of the code for several years, completely unable to make any strategic changes or react to new features that the market demands, because you don’t have shippable code. You might as well just close for business for the duration."


Lifelong Learner
Local time
Yesterday, 19:23
Mar 14, 2017
I agree, 90% of the time it's way harder for me to take over already existing work.........probably my fault somehow, but sheesh

Uncle Gizmo

Nifty Access Guy
Staff member
Local time
Today, 03:23
Jul 9, 2003
- I thought I could just take a scorched-earth approach and make a better mouse trap.

My biggest messes and mistakes have always been when I try and add to, and improve someone else's database.

The only time I had a modicum of success with adding something to someone else's database was when all I did was add a new subform to an existing form, on a new tab, without modifying any of the original code at all.

On a another database the developer never used option explicit. Somehow, (my recollection is somewhat and fuzzy) but I believe he got it working without variables being declared properly!

It wasn't until I copied all of the code and rebuild all of the forms in a virgin database that I discovered the missing declarations!

I got loads more war stories but I'm going to stop now!

The main problem is the customer will have a database which is "their baby" that they have devoted hours and hours of work to producing, and you got to tell them you're going to start from scratch, basically just use their database as a specification.


Immoderate Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:23
Feb 28, 2001
I "officially" got into Access programming and joined this forum EXACTLY for a situation like this, where a guy named Gene built a database that used an Excel spreadsheet as its main table. I cannot tell you how long it took to convince the engineers WHY they had to stop using a spreadsheet that locked up any time two of them tried to update it at once. I can't tell you how often there were yelling and screaming matches. But I got it beat into shape over a period of a couple of years. Then, in true "government contractor" fashion, had to give it up to a civil servant who THOUGHT he understood Access in specific and databases in general. I was told to keep my hands off. So I did, which turned out to be an act of malicious obedience. To say he "screwed the pooch" somehow is inadequate. He screwed that pooch so bad that I fully expected virulent little old ladies from the American Kennel Club to chase him with pitchforks, burning torches, tar, and feathers. And unfortunately, YES that was a case where trying to start over from scratch wasn't allowed. I was required to adapt it. The hardest part of adaptation was that Gene apparently didn't understand the concept of normalization. I leave it to you to contemplate the horror of that moment. A 1940s epic horror film with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi wouldn't have come close to the horror of the moment.

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