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Search - "bad organization"
I'm drunk and I'll probably regret this, but here's a drunken rank of things I've learned as an engineer for the past 10 years.
The best way I've advanced my career is by changing companies.
Technology stacks don't really matter because there are like 15 basic patterns of software engineering in my field that apply. I work in data so it's not going to be the same as webdev or embedded. But all fields have about 10-20 core principles and the tech stack is just trying to make those things easier, so don't fret overit.
There's a reason why people recommend job hunting. If I'm unsatisfied at a job, it's probably time to move on.
I've made some good, lifelong friends at companies I've worked with. I don't need to make that a requirement of every place I work. I've been perfectly happy working at places where I didn't form friendships with my coworkers and I've been unhappy at places where I made some great friends.
I've learned to be honest with my manager. Not too honest, but honest enough where I can be authentic at work. What's the worse that can happen? He fire me? I'll just pick up a new job in 2 weeks.
If I'm awaken at 2am from being on-call for more than once per quarter, then something is seriously wrong and I will either fix it or quit.
pour another glass
Qualities of a good manager share a lot of qualities of a good engineer.
When I first started, I was enamored with technology and programming and computer science. I'm over it.
Good code is code that can be understood by a junior engineer. Great code can be understood by a first year CS freshman. The best code is no code at all.
The most underrated skill to learn as an engineer is how to document. Fuck, someone please teach me how to write good documentation. Seriously, if there's any recommendations, I'd seriously pay for a course (like probably a lot of money, maybe 1k for a course if it guaranteed that I could write good docs.)
Related to above, writing good proposals for changes is a great skill.
Almost every holy war out there (vim vs emacs, mac vs linux, whatever) doesn't matter... except one. See below.
The older I get, the more I appreciate dynamic languages. Fuck, I said it. Fight me.
If I ever find myself thinking I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to leave.
I don't know why full stack webdevs are paid so poorly. No really, they should be paid like half a mil a year just base salary. Fuck they have to understand both front end AND back end AND how different browsers work AND networking AND databases AND caching AND differences between web and mobile AND omg what the fuck there's another framework out there that companies want to use? Seriously, why are webdevs paid so little.
We should hire more interns, they're awesome. Those energetic little fucks with their ideas. Even better when they can question or criticize something. I love interns.
Don't meet your heroes. I paid 5k to take a course by one of my heroes. He's a brilliant man, but at the end of it I realized that he's making it up as he goes along like the rest of us.
Tech stack matters. OK I just said tech stack doesn't matter, but hear me out. If you hear Python dev vs C++ dev, you think very different things, right? That's because certain tools are really good at certain jobs. If you're not sure what you want to do, just do Java. It's a shitty programming language that's good at almost everything.
The greatest programming language ever is lisp. I should learn lisp.
For beginners, the most lucrative programming language to learn is SQL. Fuck all other languages. If you know SQL and nothing else, you can make bank. Payroll specialtist? Maybe 50k. Payroll specialist who knows SQL? 90k. Average joe with organizational skills at big corp? $40k. Average joe with organization skills AND sql? Call yourself a PM and earn $150k.
Tests are important but TDD is a damn cult.
Cushy government jobs are not what they are cracked up to be, at least for early to mid-career engineers. Sure, $120k + bennies + pension sound great, but you'll be selling your soul to work on esoteric proprietary technology. Much respect to government workers but seriously there's a reason why the median age for engineers at those places is 50+. Advice does not apply to government contractors.
Third party recruiters are leeches. However, if you find a good one, seriously develop a good relationship with them. They can help bootstrap your career. How do you know if you have a good one? If they've been a third party recruiter for more than 3 years, they're probably bad. The good ones typically become recruiters are large companies.
Options are worthless or can make you a millionaire. They're probably worthless unless the headcount of engineering is more than 100. Then maybe they are worth something within this decade.
Work from home is the tits. But lack of whiteboarding sucks.39
Web Devs - I need your opinions.
To make a long story short, when my fiancé and I first moved in together I changed cities. One day at the grocery store we ran in to one of his old buddies, whom I had never met. His buddy works as a counselor at a non profit organization for mental illness. His friend asked me some questions to get to know me and found out I was a web developer. He instantly got exited and told us they needed a new website for their non profit, and asked me what I charged. Being shy, put on the spot, newer to the industry (uncomfortable talking $ due to inexperience) and seeing the guy was paralyzed I felt I HAD to say yes. I also said I would consider donating the site to them, as I knew my other web dev friends had done that for other non profits.
They were easy to work with and the build went smooth. We chose Wordpress so that they could go in and update the site on their own. I was under the assumption that I would create the site for them, but that they would take care of changes on their own, that I wouldn't be "supporting it". I even trained the friend 2-3xs on how to use Wordpress and make changes, but they ALWAYS have changes every month, including slides and content creation. Being a noob at the time, I KNOW it's my fault for not being more clear on the I'll build it but not make changes thing, and I've tried to kind of get them to see that I'm too busy, politely.
We'll, 3+ years later I've now found success in a different career path that takes up ALL of my free time after my 9-5 corporate web dev position, and am no longer interested nor able to do freelance work, including supporting existing sites. Since we don't have a contract in place, and they've never given me a cent, i was thinking of giving them a notice at the end of this month saying as of 2018 I will no longer be able to take care of their website, and that they'll have to find someone else by that time? I feel bad because it's a non profit and they don't have a lot of money. I'm afraid they won't find someone else nor be able to afford it. The situation is a little more sticky since this is my fiancés friend and I don't want them to feel like I'm leaving them high and dry, cuz I know they're very thankful for the site. I just wish they understood that I never promised to do changes for them every month. Even if they offered me money, I just don't have the time. I'm 100% fine if they want to keep the site and my code, although they really could use a redesign anyways cuz my code back then was terrible. What are your thoughts on this? Is 5 months fair? Am I doing the right thing?8
Over the course of a few months I have concluded that the newly hired _experienced_ developer is… not so experienced. In fact, it is very unclear what he/she actually brings to the table at all.
How this individual actually got hired is proof that middle management has no clue of what they are doing. And it is poison to the organization. Bad management (middle/semi-upper in this case) is such a waste. More so than the newly hired incompetent developer. I am beginning to think she/he actually lied during the interviews. And I am not alone in my suspicions.
My best and worst dev experience this year was getting a new job.
The bad parts: I’m inheriting a code base that was maintained by an outside agency, so there’s very little documentation. There’s a lot of systems maintenance and upgrades that have to be done because it was never done. I’m working at a larger organization, so tracking down who I need for info can be tricky. I’m the only person maintaining my code base.
Now the good parts: Better pay and benefits. My co workers, dev and non-dev, are always helpful. Since the dev team is small, we are very discerning when we pick up work for the websites. I have more independence to self-learn. I’m not at a blame culture. My role is permanently remote.
So far I think the good outweighs the bad.2
Currently having very funny project lead, who gives on the spot estimates for 9 years old very pathetic quality code having Android app in security domain. Memory leaks, bad practices, typos, CVEs etc. you name it we have it in our source of the app.
Since 5-6 sprints of our project, almost 50% of user stories were incomplete due to under estimations.
Basically everyone in management were almost sleeping since last 7-8 years about code quality & now suddenly when new Dev & QA team is here they wanted us to fix everything ASAP.
Most humourous thing is product owner is aware about importance of unit test cases, but don't want to allocate user stories for that at the time of sprint planning as code is almost freezed according to him for current release.
Actually, since last release he had done the same thing for each sprint, around 18 months were passed still he hadn't spared single day for unit testing.
Recently app crash issue was found in version upgrade scenario as QAs were much tired by testing hundreds of basic trivial test cases manually & server side testing too, so they can't do actual needful testing & which is tougher to automate for Dev.
Recently when team's old Macbook Pros got expired higher management has allocated Intel Mac minis by saying that few people of organization are misusing Macbooks. So for just few people everyone has to suffer now as there is no flexibility in frequent changing between WFH & WFO. 1 out of those Mac minis faced overheating & in repair since 6 months.
Out of 4 Devs & 3 QAs, all 3 QAs & 2 Devs had left gradually.
I think it's time to say goodbye 😔4