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I've been coding for an insurance company for years. How not to get board?
I solve the problems as abstractly as I can - they work for the insurance business, but only because they're a subset of the "everything" that they're made to fit. My fun is making it as generic as possible and as robust as possible.
Now, I admit that sometimes they make me actually do the odd report - but even that's mostly taken care of with a "generic reporting" interface. The DBA can use it to create the reports that automatically go to table (with a too-Excel link, when appropriate), and generally, I palm the ugly work off onto the people who are supposed to do it.
The method to this madness is to get the work for them done very well and reliably so - but on my terms. Those that understand (fortunately, that now includes the CEO!) appreciate stuff that's built to last through business changes.
What's exciting is making a change that works for you but in another, completely unexpected context causes 1000's of checks to be printed the following day without payee names. It was so tempting to take one of those 100k checks for myself...
Government can give you nothing but what it takes from somebody else. A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you've got, including your freedom.-Ezra Taft Benson
You must accept 1 of 2 basic premises: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not alone. Either way, the implications are staggering!-Wernher von Braun
I work the other side of the insurance game; I write software that helps people manage billables and file insurance claims. So frankly, I don't know how insurance software could ever have bugs, since from my experience, it's all basically this:
Back in the very late 90's I put in a stint at an insurance company, I was astonished just how much of their business was dependent on spreadsheets. I had to quit as I refused to write any more excel macros.
Five years later the company went tits up as they had no control of their products and systems, it was a huge scandal in Oz.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
If you find the job soooo boring, I think it's time for you to find another job that you deem interesting, then.
He started about a week ago.
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
I flagged it as rant, which gives some leeway in the "pointless, nothing to understand" category.
Rajesh R Subramanian wrote:
Why should insurance business be any different?
Because technically, it's so mind-numbing simple. Building, address, material, square footage, age, occupancy type, yada yada, fire off some rules and you get a number. It's not like there's complicated hardware that has to be dealt with and that can fail, or task management, or complex queries, or data collisions if more than one person is editing a policy, or performance bottlenecks, it's just data that gets translated/reduced into other data.
Yes, granted, that's pretty much what all software does, it's just there is so little to go wrong.
Rajesh R Subramanian wrote:
I think it's time for you to find another job that you deem interesting, then.
I've done a few of those, I was hoping this one had some interesting aspects to it. So far, connecting to a web service that doesn't seem to actually support WCF and helping to automate a task because the company deems certain developers too stupid to use TFS are the most "interesting."
Rajesh R Subramanian wrote:
That would at least be better than publicly self-aggrandizing and condescending those who are employing you
Quite so. I didn't intend to be self-aggrandizing, I just wanted to rant. I didn't intend to be condescending of my employer, though I can see how it comes off that way.
On the other hand, the responses have been quite entertaining, interesting, and enjoyable to read, which was basically the point of the rant -- elicit some humor, wisdom, and camaraderie. Granted, at the expense of ranting about a particular industry / job.
I used to work for insurance company, then moved away and now I am back in to same domain. From my observation, most of the time we need to work on some old technology. Fight hard to convince business to move to something newer (which rarely happens as IT is not primary line of business).
Another observation I have made is that most of the applications are really straightforward (exception: premium calculation with dynamic pricing). However, there are so many applications linked with each other that major part of work is to make sure your system does not harm someone else's.
Note: Programmers in insurance world are nasty. Just like insurance companies themselves.
As far as bugs are concerned, there are bugs in all professional level code.
On the bright side, you will rarely run out of business.
Insurance companies are very loath to change things they have been using for years unless there is an overwhelming justification. This is exactly where my current project sits. We are trying to pursuade a number of insurance companies to use our software but they cannot justify the cost of integrating it into their old, old systems.
In a few years they will be trying to update their old, old systems just as a large number of financial institutions are trying to move from mainframes to more compact servers right now.
In the words of the old Flanders & Swann song, "It all makes work for the working man to do".
We're philosophical about power outages here. A.C. come, A.C. go.
My first programming job at 19... Insurance Rating Systems.
And just as I was getting "cocky" I was informed that the last programmer had made and published an error, which caused the company to pay a $10,000 fine, and company policy is that flows to the programmer.
Over the coming months, I developed a wonderful set of back-testing to compare the results of ANY changes to what they were producing so they could be "signed off by management".
The UPSIDE was that as a young programmer, I learned that QUALITY not SPEED was singularly important.
I also learned to NEVER trust a salesperson, ESPECIALLY when he is selling you on the benefits of joining his company! LOL
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