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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oracle's lousy error messages and just overall weirdness

Today's rant has to do with Oracle's strange job application software system, and the fact that I've found it notoriously unreliable.

I have fought with this system when applying for jobs with Huntington Bank and Dish Network (applying for a job with the latter was nothing short of a 2 hour fight with the worst system ever made.)

Now to be fair, I can't tell if a lot of the error messages I encounter with this system is the fault of the company who uses it and doesn't do a very good job at setting it up. Of course, based on the problems I've experienced with it, that implies to me that setting it up is a straight up nightmare.

This system likes to throw up really awesome error messages. Best in the industry. Ellison should be proud.

I think I was trying to change my address in my profile when this occurred:

In fact, doing anything with this system today resulted in this error message:

Persistence pays off with this system. If you get that error message, just try over and over again. It'll work eventually.

Actually this wasn't a bad day with this system, I had worst days with this system, including:

And if you were bold enough to find out what the exception details'd get:

Oh man! Does that clear things up!

In fact, this one day, I found a diagnostics page in my Huntingon profile. Maybe I wasn't supposed to see this information. I can only wonder for whom this type of information is useful, because, while I'm not a computer science guy, it seems like this page isn't helpful diagnosing anything at all.

Going back to error messages though, one day I got this one:

That was encountered one day on the Dish Network/Echostar page. You know, if my login isn't associated with a person, with what is it associated?

I know I've complained before about hiring sites that require pop-up blocker to be turned off. other site in the world requires me to have pop-up blocker off. If your site does, you've made it wrong. I turn off pop-up blocker so rarely that I don't remember how to do it.

This gets me into one of the odder aspects of Oracle's system.

It's cute you enter in the state two letter abbreviation, then you press the flashlight, and...voila! The system adds the correct state under the field so you know that it knows that VT stands for "Vermont." See? No confusion...umm...I guess I don't really know what the purpose of this is, but it's a completely unnecessary step.

Now in this next error message, this completely unnecessary step prevented me from moving on.

In the state section, I knew that the computer was looking for one of 50 state abbreviation codes. In the "status" section I didn't know what it was looking for, but I could see that it most definitely wasn't liking the word "Graduated" as indicated by the suck-ass error message I received. However, I had no idea what terminology it was looking for instead, because pressing the flashlight all on its own without anything in the field wouldn't return to me a list of possible entries. (Don't ask me how I figured this problem out, I don't remember.)

The Oracle system doesn't like to tell you requirements before you encounter them. For instance, setting up a password for the login....

Ok. That was the first time I was told I needed a number in the password. Ok. No big deal, it's like, such an important login man, that I need to have the a number in the password. Ok, so I'll add a number and try again...

Oh! Apparently I need to have an upper case character in my password, at least, that's what was defined by whoever thought that my password needed to be really strong to protect my resume, but didn't bother creating a proper error message for it...or even explaining it to me from the get-go. That's ok, I'll add an uppercase character and then I should be...

Really Dish Network? No repeating characters? It's not like repeating characters all on their own make the password easier to guess at, not that it matters because this password is protecting absolutely nothing of consequence.

So there ya go...three pointless, completely different error messages about password strength. Impressive, huh?