I'm working on a codebase that is terminally ill. It's split so badly into microservices that no matter what you do, every one of them talks to every one of them over and over. If there's any way they can avoid just invoking a method on a class and send themselves a message or make an HTTP request, they'll do it. One of the services just sends messages to itself for no apparent reason. Except it doesn't even send messages to itself. It sends an HTTP request to a controller in another app, and that controller sends a message which is received by the same class that made the request.

The point is that this application is screwed. The defects pile up and there is literally no one who can understand what it's supposed to do in any scenario. I'm good at this. I can follow confusing code and document it. But not this one. It's overwhelming. It's insanity.

When these defects come in we're told to just run the app from the UI, see what HTTP requests it makes, and start tracing the code manually. Running and debugging it locally would be a nightmare but it's impossible anyway.

They decided that we all need to understand the application better so we can work on it, so we were each given six poorly-define five-hour tasks to "understand" various things. Those things don't make any sense. It's like if someone gave you the source code to Excel and told you to spent five hours understanding columns, five more understanding rows, and five more understanding cells.

Here's the thing: I'm okay with learning and understanding some code. It's part of the job. But I'm not going to abandon my career as a software developer so I can become an expert on debugging their awful code. I didn't make this mess. I'm not going to live with it. I'm moving on as quickly as I possibly can.

I've tried to explain to them that if they want the situation to improve they need to improve the code. They need to learn how to write tests. If your plan is that people will study your code, know it inside and out, and then spend all their time debugging it, that's a plan for failure. Everyone who can will leave and take what they know with them.

These companies just don't get it. They need their software to work, but the types of developers who can help them don't need that software to work. No one capable of doing good work is going to spend several years debugging their awful code unless you pay them a crazy ton of money.

Just don't make a mess in the first place. Hire developers who can do a good job. If you hire the cheapest people you can find you won't be able to get someone else to fix it later. It's not personal but I wish failure on those projects or even those companies. I want them to fail because failure is so expensive. I want them to fail so that others learn from it and don't repeat the same mistakes.

As an industry we're a bunch of genuine idiots. We just keep doing the same things over and over again no matter how much it hurts.

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    Sounds like you’re working on a micro-services death star.
    Doesn’t matter what you do, this industry is full of shit and mediocre. In fact the world is full of it.
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