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Proudest bug squash? Probably the time I fixed a few bugs by accident when I was just trying to clean up an ex-coworker's messy code.

So I used to work with a guy who was not a very good programmer. It's hard to explain exactly why other than to say that he never really grew out of the college mindset. He never really learned the importance of critical thinking and problem-solving. He did everything "by the book" to a point where if he ran into an issue that had no textbook solution, he would spin his wheels for weeks while constantly lying to us about his progress until one of us would finally notice and take the problem off his plate. His code was technically functional, but still very bad.

Quick Background: Our team is responsible for deploying and maintaining cloud resources in AWS and Azure. We do this with Terraform, a domain-specific language that lets us define all our infrastructure as code and automate everything.

After he left, I took on the work to modify some of the Terraform code he'd written. In the process, I discovered what I like to call "The Übervariable", a map of at least 80 items, many of them completely unrelated to each other, which were all referenced exactly once in his code and never modified. Basically it was a dynamic collection variable holding 80+ constants. Some of these constants were only used in mathematical expressions with multiple other constants from the same data structure, resulting in a new value that would also be a constant. Some of the constants were identical values that could never possibly differ, but were still stored as separate values in the map.

After I made the modification I was supposed to make, I decided I was so bothered by his shitty code that I would spend some extra time fixing and optimizing it. The end result: one week of work, 800 lines of code deleted, 30 lines added, and a massive increase in efficiency. I deleted the Übervariable and hardcoded most of the values it contained since there was no possible reason for any of them to change in the future. In the process, I accidentally fixed three bugs that had been printing ominous-sounding warnings to the console whenever the code was run.

I have a lot of stories about this guy. I should post some more of them eventually.

Comments
  • 2
    Post them. Males me feel less like an imposter.
  • 2
    He legit cured my imposter syndrome.
  • 1
    Ugh I need a dude like that by my side so I don't look so bad in comparisson.
    Right now I'm working alongside a 10x dev and having blows dealt to my ego every fucking day. It's incredibly demotivational. His code isn't particularly good but it works and he outputs a ton of it in a couple hours. He does full fledged features in less than 2 weeks, fixes bugs by the hour, and any confidence I earn when I complete something is evaporated when I see my single PR surrounded by 10 of his, done in the same amount of time.
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