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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
How to profesionally say: you fucking illiterate and incompetent piece of shit, I am tired of spoonfeeding you because you dont use your fucking brain. I am fucking tired of explaining same concept over and over again for the past 2-3 months. Open fucking google for once and lookup latest practices, and learn what functional programming is and learn how to use operators instead of fucking inventing wheel again and again with your 100 lines boilerplate of code functions. Open your fucking mind for once and lookup stuff for yourself, instead of asking me to explain everything for the 100th time you lazy fuck. Oh and stop asking me "to be nice", this is gaslightling. I am being professional and I am the only person in this company who actually tolerates u on some level, others are just avoiding you you useless piece of shit. If I need to explain something for 5th time and I make you feel bad, it means you should feel bad. So maybe grow some balls and start putting in some effort, instead of playing the victim when you are the supposed 6 year senior and I am the 3 year junior, who has to do your fucking job half of the time. You are incapable of even using the standard architecture, what you use is fucking 6-7 years old. Fucking code monkey with broken english who doesnt understand what hes doing. You dont like my methods? I dare you to schedule an appointment between me and manager or your useless techlead, but I know you wont do that because I know you are afraid of everyone finding out how incompetent you are. You low fruit hanging task licking incompetent shit.1
Another case of "devs too stupid to poop" TM.
We had a funny discussion today.
Topic came up that a project using Lucene was incredibly slow.
Then came the yadda yadda of Java bad, Java sucks, Java bla Java blub in the gossip mill.
Both things irritated me, last thing was just the usual "I want to use new stuff cause I wanna be a cool jackass" trouble.
So. Today meeting. We did quick analysis by pair programming.
If I tell you that a whole team managed to review an PR, give it green light...
Despite the PR using the thread safe Lucene IndexWriter in a non-parallel fashion for large bulk inserts?
The whole problem screamed parallelization.
Yeah. If you ignore that scream and implement it in a sequential fashion, it is slow.
Congrats Jimmy, your retard level is off the charts.
If you can be locked out of it remotely, you don't own it.
On May 3rd, 2019, the Microsoft-resembling extension signature system of Mozilla malfunctioned, which locked out all Firefox users out of their browsing extensions for that day, without an override option. Obviously, it is claimed to be "for our own protection". Pretext-o-meter over 9000!
BMW has locked heated seats, a physical interior feature of their vehicles, behind a subscription wall. This both means one has to routinely spend time and effort renewing it, and it can be terminated remotely. Even if BMW promises never to do it, it is a technical possibility. You are in effect a tenant in a car you paid for. Now imagine your BMW refused to drive unless you install a software update. You are one rage-quitting employee at BMW headquarters away from getting stuck on a side of a road. Then you're stuck in an expensive BMW while watching others in their decade-old VW Golf's driving past you. Or perhaps not, since other stuck BMWs would cause traffic jams.
Perhaps this horror scenario needs to happen once so people finally realize what it means if they can be locked out of their product whenever the vendor feels like it.
Some software becomes inaccessible and forces the user to update, even though they could work perfectly well. An example is the pre-installed Samsung QuickConnect app. It's a system app like the Wi-Fi (WLAN) and Bluetooth settings. There is a pop-up that reads "Update Quick connect", "A new version is available. Update now?"; when declining, the app closes. Updating requires having a Samsung account to access the Galaxy app store, and creating such requires providing personally identifiable details.
Imagine the Bluetooth and WiFi configuration locking out the user because an update is available, then ask for personal details. Ugh.
The WhatsApp messenger also routinely locks out users until they update. Perhaps messaging would cease to work due to API changes made by the service provider (Meta, inc.), however, that still does not excuse locking users out of their existing offline messages. Telegram does it the right way: it still lets the user access the messages.
"A retailer cannot decide that you were licensing your clothes and come knocking at your door to collect them. So, why is it that when a product is digital there is such a double standard? The money you spend on these products is no less real than the money you spend on clothes." – Android Authority ( https://androidauthority.com/digita... ).
A really bad scenario would be if your "smart" home refused to heat up in winter due to "a firmware update is available!" or "unable to verify your subscription". Then all you can do is hope that any "dumb" device like an oven heats up without asking itself whether it should or not. And if that is not available, one might have to fall back on a portable space heater, a hair dryer or a toaster. Sounds fun, huh? Not.
Cloud services (Google, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.) can, by design, lock out the user, since they run on the computers of the service provider. However, remotely taking away things one paid for or has installed on ones own computer/smartphone violates a sacred consumer right.
This is yet another benefit of open-source software: someone with programming and compiling experience can free the code from locks.
I don't care for which "good purpose" these kill switches exist. The fact that something you paid for or installed locally on your device can be remotely disabled is dystopian and inexcuseable.16
Some years ago i attended to a summer school abroad. I instantly built a connecection with this one girl, we spend the whole week together, talking, sharing humor, deep conversations etc. We also won the prize for the best project together. I guess it looked like the beginning of a love story for the rest of the course. For me it didn't exactly, actually I didn't had much romantic feelings for her; she was the arrogant, manipulative type I thought I could handle a friend but never as girl friend. We shared some darkness so to say. But I really hoped for a new close friendship. Since she had a boyfriend back home i thought she most likely wanted just the same. Anyway I was a bit worried she might want more because she made me quite a lot of compliments and told me how she liked me.
And yes, she wanted more: Whenever we talked on the phone after the summer school or met (she lived in a city not far away from mine by coincidence) she begged me for help with coding. She had a well paid as extremely interesting PHD position with a topic between political science and computer science. Besides classical humanities methods her topic would require a lot of coding though. But she had zero, absolutely zero clue of programming, and, as it turned out, zero interesst. I told her from the beginning she would have to learn quite a lot or pay someone to code for her. It was far too much to do as a favour by a friends or such. And, since it was part of her fucking PHD it would have been cheating somehow of she didn't do it herself. But instead, she kept texting me if I could 'help to fix some bugs', sending me unrelated code fragments she copied from SO and not even tried to understand. So I told her to fuck off at one point. After all it was not that we have been friends for decades; we only knew each other for a couple of months an spent only one week together. So thats it.
But I still think of it from time to time and it makes me angry because it feels like she was only nice to me because she thought i am this nerd guy who falls instantly in love to a charming good looking girl and does everything for her. I did neither at all but indeed wanted to be friends with her, thats bad enough. It even makes me more more angry that she actually has this awesome PHD project about politics in the fucking digital world and think of programmers like this. And that she will succeed without understanding anything bacause in the end there would have been a dude who did all the work for her I bet.8
When I was in college OOP was emerging. A lot of the professors were against teaching it as the core. Some younger professors were adamant about it, and also Java fanatics. So after the bell rang, they'd sometimes teach people that wanted to learn it. I stayed after and the professor said that object oriented programming treated things like reality.
My first thought to this was hold up, modeling reality is hard and complicated, why would you want to add that to your programming that's utter madness.
Then he started with a ball example and how some balls in reality are blue, and they can have a bounce action we can express with a method.
My first thought was that this seems a very niche example. It has very little to do with any problems I have yet solved and I felt thinking about it this way would complicate my programs rather than make them simpler.
I looked around the at remnants of my classmates and saw several sitting forward, their eyes lit up and I felt like I was in a cult meeting where the head is trying to make everyone enamored of their personality. Except he wasn't selling himself, he was selling an idea.
I patiently waited it out, wanting there to be something of value in the after the bell lesson. Something I could use to better my own programming ability. It never came.
This same professor would tell us all to read and buy gang of four it would change our lives. It was an expensive hard cover book with a ribbon attached for a bookmark. It was made to look important. I didn't have much money in college but I gave it a shot I bought the book. I remember wrinkling my nose often, reading at it. Feeling like I was still being sold something. But where was the proof. It was all an argument from authority and I didn't think the argument was very good.
I left college thinking the whole thing was silly and would surely go away with time. And then it grew, and grew. It started to be impossible to avoid it. So I'd just use it when I had to and that became more and more often.
I began to doubt myself. Perhaps I was wrong, surely all these people using and loving this paradigm could not be wrong. I took on a 3 year project to dive deep into OOP later in my career. I was already intimately aware of OOP having to have done so much of it. But I caught up on all the latest ideas and practiced them for a the first year. I thought if OOP is so good I should be able to be more productive in years 2 and 3.
It was the most miserable I had ever been as a programmer. Everything took forever to do. There was boilerplate code everywhere. You didn't so much solve problems as stuff abstract ideas that had nothing to do with the problem everywhere and THEN code the actual part of the code that does a task. Even though I was working with an interpreted language they had added a need to compile, for dependency injection. What's next taking the benefit of dynamic typing and forcing typing into it? Oh I see they managed to do that too. At this point why not just use C or C++. It's going to do everything you wanted if you add compiling and typing and do it way faster at run time.
I talked to the client extensively about everything. We both agreed the project was untenable. We moved everything over another 3 years. His business is doing better than ever before now by several metrics. And I can be productive again. My self doubt was over. OOP is a complicated mess that drags down the software industry, little better than snake oil and full of empty promises. Unfortunately it is all some people know.
Now there is a functional movement, a data oriented movement, and things are looking a little brighter. However, no one seems to care for procedural. Functional and procedural are not that different. Functional just tries to put more constraints on the developer. Data oriented is also a lot more sensible, and again pretty close to procedural a lot of the time. It's just odd to me this need to separate from procedural at all. Procedural was very honest. If you're a bad programmer you make bad code. If you're a good programmer you make good code. It seems a lot of this was meant to enforce bad programmers to make good code. I'll tell you what I think though. I think that has never worked. It's just hidden it away in some abstraction and made identifying it harder. Much like the code methodologies themselves do to the code.
Now I'm left with a choice, keep my own business going to work on what I love, shift gears and do what I hate for more money, or pivot careers entirely. I decided after all this to go into data science because what you all are doing to the software industry sickens me. And that's my story. It's one that makes a lot of people defensive or even passive aggressive, to those people I say, try more things. At least then you can be less defensive about your opinion.53
The primary concept of reactive programming is great. The idea that things just naturally re-run when anything they rely on is changed is amazing. Really, I think it's the next step in programming language development and within a decade or two at least one of the top 5 programming languages will be built entirely on this principle.
Expecting every dependency to be used unconditionally is stupid. Code that checks everything it might need all the time even if a decision can be made from much less information is simply bad, inefficient code. If you want to build a list of dependencies automatically, you have to parse the source.
I started learning Rust and now I know the answer to the question "What would a programming language look like if the engineers were tasked with designing a bad programming language on purpose"16
This is a sad story of bad recruitment in my school.
One day I had my computer class in school and my teacher was on leave so the substitution department sent another teacher to our class.
I have 3 computer teachers in my institution, let us assume their names for this rant as A, B and C.
A - The most learned teacher who has a lot of experience and also writes books. This teacher is the head of the department and wants students to explore coding.
B - A teacher who sticks to books and writes books on Excel and Powerpoint for small children.
C - The youngest teacher who has almost no experience at all.
What happened was that during the substitution, teacher C was sitting and doing her own work. I thought she might know java and other fundamentals of computers. One of my friends asked her about some bug in his program. She went to his seat and said that teacher A would come and help you out. To this, the student said ok.
I thought that the teacher had something fishy going on.
A few months later teacher B and A were talking about some coding competition and I was alone in the lab cause I am the only one in 11th with computer science.
The problem here was that C came to the room and quietly asked what is an object and class in java. I was shocked! I mean how could that happen, she is supposed to know everything in the comp sci syllabus. This was a disaster, teacher A was explaining to her about classes and objects. It was clear to me that she didn't know anything about programming in Java.
This is the fault of our school.
My school wants a good rank in the lists and for that they cut down the budget of teachers and remove old, experienced teachers for cheap, newer teachers.
This was shocking as a person who doesn't know much about something can't answer the doubts of children, this is a wrong way of teaching.
Hope you have a good day :)6
When the CTO/CEO of your "startup" is always AFK and it takes weeks to get anything approved by them (or even secure a meeting with them) and they have almost-exclusive access to production and the admin account for all third party services.
Want to create a new messaging channel? Too bad! What about a new repository for that cool idea you had, or that new microservice you're expected to build. Expect to be blocked for at least a week.
When they also hold themselves solely responsible for security and operations, they've built their own proprietary framework that handles all the authentication, database models and microservice communications.
Speaking of which, there's more than six microservices per developer!
Oh there's a bug or limitation in the framework? Too bad. It's a black box that nobody else in the company can touch. Good luck with the two week lead time on getting anything changed there. Oh and there's no dedicated issue tracker. Have you heard of email?
When the systems and processes in place were designed for "consistency" and "scalability" in mind you can be certain that everything is consistently broken at scale. Each microservice offers:
1. Anemic & non-idempotent CRUD APIs (Can't believe it's not a Database Table™) because the consumer should do all the work.
2. Race Conditions, because transactions are "not portable" (but not to worry, all the code is written as if it were running single threaded on a single machine).
3. Fault Intolerance, just a single failure in a chain of layered microservice calls will leave the requested operation in a partially applied and corrupted state. Ger ready for manual intervention.
4. Completely Redundant Documentation, our web documentation is automatically generated and is always of the form //[FieldName] of the [ObjectName].
5. Happy Path Support, only the intended use cases and fields work, we added a bunch of others because YouAreGoingToNeedIt™ but it won't work when you do need it. The only record of this happy path is the code itself.
Consider this, you're been building a new microservice, you've carefully followed all the unwritten highly specific technical implementation standards enforced by the CTO/CEO (that your aware of). You've decided to write some unit tests, well um.. didn't you know? There's nothing scalable and consistent about running the system locally! That's not built-in to the framework. So just use curl to test your service whilst it is deployed or connected to the development environment. Then you can open a PR and once it has been approved it will be included in the next full deployment (at least a week later).
Most new 'services' feel like the are about one to five days of writing straightforward code followed by weeks to months of integration hell, testing and blocked dependencies.
When confronted/advised about these issues the response from the CTO/CEO
(A) "yes but it's an edge case, the cloud is highly available and reliable, our software doesn't crash frequently".
(B) "yes, that's why I'm thinking about adding [idempotency] to the framework to address that when I'm not so busy" two weeks go by...
(C) "yes, but we are still doing better than all of our competitors".
(D) "oh, but you can just [highly specific sequence of undocumented steps, that probably won't work when you try it].
(E) "yes, let's setup a meeting to go through this in more detail" *doesn't show up to the meeting*.
(F) "oh, but our customers are really happy with our level of [Documentation]".
Sometimes it can feel like a bit of a cult, as all of the project managers (and some of the developers) see the CTO/CEO as a sort of 'programming god' because they are never blocked on anything they work on, they're able to bypass all the limitations and obstacles they've placed in front of the 'ordinary' developers.
There's been several instances where the CTO/CEO will suddenly make widespread changes to the codebase (to enforce some 'standard') without having to go through the same review process as everybody else, these changes will usually break something like the automatic build process or something in the dev environment and its up to the developers to pick up the pieces. I think developers find it intimidating to identify issues in the CTO/CEO's code because it's implicitly defined due to their status as the "gold standard".
It's certainly frustrating but I hope this story serves as a bit of a foil to those who wish they had a more technical CTO/CEO in their organisation. Does anybody else have a similar experience or is this situation an absolute one of a kind?2
I like programming but too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing 🤔 I dunno
Me programming year 1️⃣: I want to learn as much as I can
Me programming year 2️⃣: I want to solve this complicated problem and surpass the expectations
Me programming year 3️⃣: I want to solve this complicated problem and get paid
Me programming year 4️⃣: I want to solve this complicated problem even if it is difficult & stressful
Me programming year 8️⃣: I aint want nothing no more..4
I spent 4 months in a programming mentorship offered by my workplace to get back to programming after 4 years I graduated with a CS degree.
Back in 2014, what I studied in my first programming class was not easy to digest. I would just try enough to pass the courses because I was more interested in the theory. It followed until I graduated because I never actually wrote code for myself for example I wrote a lot of code for my vision class but never took a personal initiative. I did however have a very strong grip on advanced computer science concepts in areas such as computer architecture, systems programming and computer vision. I have an excellent understanding of machine learning and deep learning. I also spent time working with embedded systems and volunteering at a makerspace, teaching Arduino and RPi stuff. I used to teach people older than me.
My first job as a programmer sucked big time. It was a bootstrapped startup whose founder was making big claims to secure funding. I had no direction, mentorship and leadership to validate my programming practices. I burnt out in just 2 months. It was horrible. I experienced the worst physical and emotional pain to date. Additionally, I was gaslighted and told that it is me who is bad at my job not the people working with me. I thought I was a big failure and that I wasn't cut out for software engineering.
I spent the next 6 months recovering from the burn out. I had a condition where the stress and anxiety would cause my neck to deform and some vertebrae were damaged. Nobody could figure out why this was happening. I did find a neurophyscian who helped me out of the mental hell hole I was in and I started making recovery. I had to take a mild anti anxiety for the next 3 years until I went to my current doctor.
I worked as an implementation engineer at a local startup run by a very old engineer. He taught me how to work and carry myself professionally while I learnt very little technically. A year into my job, seeing no growth technically, I decided to make a switch to my favourite local software consultancy. I got the job 4 months prior to my father's death. I joined the company as an implementation analyst and needed some technical experience. It was right up my alley. My parents who saw me at my lowest, struggling with genetic depression and anxiety for the last 6 years, were finally relieved. It was hard for them as I am the only son.
After my father passed away, I was told by his colleagues that he was very happy with me and my sisters. He died a day before I became permanent and landed a huge client. The only regret I have is not driving fast enough to the hospital the night he passed away. Last year, I started seeing a new doctor in hopes of getting rid of the one medicine that I was taking. To my surprise, he saw major problems and prescribed me new medication.
I finally got a diagnosis for my condition after 8 years of struggle. The new doctor told me a few months back that I have Recurrent Depressive Disorder. The most likely cause is my genetics from my father's side as my father recovered from Schizophrenia when I was little. And, now it's been 5 months on the new medication. I can finally relax knowing my condition and work on it with professional help.
After working at my current role for 1 and a half years, my teamlead and HR offered me a 2 month mentorship opportunity to learn programming from scratch in Python and Scrapy from a personal mentor specially assigned to me. I am still in my management focused role but will be spending 4 hours daily of for the mentorship. I feel extremely lucky and grateful for the opportunity. It felt unworldly when I pushed my code to a PR for the very first time and got feedback on it. It is incomparable to anything.
So we had Eid holidays a few months back and because I am not that social, I began going through cs61a from Berkeley and logged into HackerRank after 5 years. The medicines help but I constantly feel this feeling that I am not enough or that I am an imposter even though I was and am always considered a brilliant and intellectual mind by my professors and people around me. I just can't shake the feeling.
Anyway, so now, I have successfully completed 2 months worth of backend training in Django with another awesome mentor at work. I am in absolute love with Django and Python. And, I constantly feel like discussing and sharing about my progress with people. So, if you are still reading, thank you for staying with me.
TLDR: Smart enough for high level computer science concepts in college, did well in theory but never really wrote code without help. Struggled with clinical depression for the past 8 years. Father passed away one day before being permanent at my dream software consultancy and being assigned one of the biggest consultancy. Getting back to programming after 4 years with the help of change in medicine, a formal diagnosis and a technical mentorship.3
How to disconnect from work after working hours? Im working for the last 4 months as a mid level dev in this company. I mean Im able to problem-solve and do my work but sometimes I get so addicted to problem solving that I get worried and become obsessed, hyperfixated (especialy if Im stuck on something for lets say a couple weeks). It goes to the point where I work from home 12-14 hours a day just to figure out some bug in the flow.
Thing is, our codebase is large and when doing every new refactor/feature some surprises happen. I dont have a decent mentor who could teach me one on one or even do pair programming with. All i have is just some colleagues who can point me to right direction or do a code review from time to time. Thats it.
I dont know why I take this so personally. For example I had to do a feature which I did in 1 week, then MR got approved by devs and QA. After that during regression they found like 3 blockers and I felt really bad and ashamed. While in reality our BA did not define feature properly, devs who reviewed it didnt even launch the code and poke around in the app, and our team's QA tested only the happy scenario. Basically this is failing/getting delayed because of a failure in like 6-7 people chain.
However for some reason Im taking this very personally, that I, as a dev failed. Maybe due to my ADHD or something but for the next days or weeks as long as I dont find solution I will isolate myself and tryhard until I get it right. Then have a few days of chill until I face another obstacle in another task again. And this keeps repeating and repeating.
My senior colleague tells me to chill and dont let work take such a toll on my emotional/physical/mental health. But its hard. He has 7 years of experience and has decent memory. I have 2-3 years of experience and have ADHD, we are not the same. I dont know how to become a guy who clocks out after 8 hours of work done everyday. Its like I feel that they might fire me or I will look bad if I dont put in enough effort. Not like I was ever fired for performance issues... Anyways I dont know how to start working to live, instead of living for work.
I hate who Im becoming. I dont work out anymore, started smoking a lot, dont exercise. I live this self induced anxiety driven workaholic lifestyle.6
Engineering manager and I have a chat last Friday about some working performant code that needs to be refactored for future reusability. Not my favorite stuff but ok, let’s do it. We talk about things VERBALLY, one way of doing it, then another way. She’s in a rush to her next meeting and has to go. I feel very clear on what she wants and how it needs to happen.
After the call I do some thinking and I give her the estimate and brief her my plan. I tell her exactly the way it’s going to be done. She says do it and gives me her sign off.
I submit my MR today. And then she says why I didn’t do it another way. A more generalized way. And “the way we talked about.”
And I ask her if she can explain her way bc there is obviously some misunderstanding. And she proceeds to zero in on some functions I wrote and say how they are not generalized enough and how it’s basically the same as what we had before (but it’s actually a much different design). I patiently listen and at some point she abruptly says she’s out of time and needs to go to a meeting. I say I still don’t understand what she wants. Then she says that she will implement it bc I still don’t understand and she has no more time to explain. I feel pretty bad.
I suggest next time she can show me on zoom whiteboard, just anything visual and not auditory to make sure things are clear and we are on the same page.
She concludes that management has directed us to come to the office more so I need to come in so we can do in person white-boarding.
This whole thing feels unnecessary. We’ve never had this issue before. It seems like either some intentional plot to get me to come into the office more often or terrible communication skills and a lack of priority on my managers part. Like can you just white board your ideas for 5 minutes?!?! There are many tools to do this digitally!
The thing is I still don’t know where the communication gap is bc I still don’t know what she wants. Keep in mind all this fuss is over three cards of text on a webpage.
This is my first job in industry. How do managers normally communicate engineering ideas? And what are the best ways over zoom? And in person?
I noticed here there is not a culture of whiteboarding or pair programming.
It’s on the days like these I question what I’m doing here…10
I used to be a developer, long time ago I decided to start a whole different page in my life but it brought me back to web dev.
the reason I gave up on programming in general is simple, it started to transform into an abomination of some kind.
an example would be this massive amalgamation of frameworks, "packages", package managers and so on.
Frameworks, all do the same thing in a the most terrible way it could possibly do it. DI containers with massive constructors... constructing objects where you won't even need them.
Package managers with uncontrolled flow of shitcode that people blindly embed in to their software and call it a day!
Most of the products I came across while searching for a solution were just as bad as I would make it, I understand, today we need software solutions by "yestarday", and basically it is one of the reasons I had to do it all my self and jump back in to this hell. But cant we do a bit better ?4
My list of programming languages that started out promising but turned out to be bad:
Guys cover your eyes I'm gonna say two bad words inside a paragraph
I am fairly new to "enterprise" programming, but have some experience with self-study and open source. I'm getting more frustrated by the day because the code quality of our software is appallingly bad: functionality that should be centralised isn't, assumptions about internal structures and functionality of objects are made throughout the code, concerns are not separated, and so on. In my current team, we explicitly disabled SonarQube because "someone would have to fix it and our software wouldn't pass even after a month of work".
While I understand the concerns that companies would rather see new features than "quality improvements", so what? Every time we want to add something, we either have to restructure half the source code or add it in a really horrible way (and get pressured to do it that way).
Is it normal that code quality in companies is so bad?10
I’ve become so indecisive in terms of knowing what I want from my career.
All I know is what I don’t want (to end up a in management)
I’m definitely getting a new job and right now it looks like I’ve got 3 offers on the table
Option 1, a previous company I worked for. Still the same problems with the company there as before but the work was interesting and unusual. and my line manager was a good guy.
They have practically no legacy code.
Not much in the way of company benefits but they’re local and it would be nice to see friends again.
So feels like the pull to this is strong.
Option 2, a fully remote company that I’ve been referred to by an ex-workmate.
They’ve not even tech tested me because they’ve read my blogs and GitHub repos instead and said they’re impress. So just had a conversation with them. I feel honoured that they took the time to look at what I’ve done in my own time and use that in their decision.
Benefits are slightly better than option 1 (more hols)
But they’re using .net 6 and get a lot of heavy use on their system and have some big customers. I think the work is integrations to start with and moving services into docker and azure.
Option 3, even though I’ve got an offer from this one but they can’t actually explain the work until We can arrange a call next week (they recruit and then work out what team your in, but Christmas got in the way of me having a call with them straight away)
It’s working on government systems and .net is their least used stack so probably end up switching to Java. Maybe other tech stacks too.
This place has much better benefits than option 1 and 2 (more hols and more pension), but 2 days a week in office.
All of the above pay the same salary.
Having choice feels almost as bad as having no choice.
It’s doing my head in thinking about it , (even tho I might as well not think about it at all until the call with option 3 happens).
On the one hand with option 3, using a tech stack that’s new to me might be refreshing, as I’ve done .net for 10 years.
On the other hand I really like c# and I’m very good at it. So it feels a bit like I should be capitalising on that and using my experience to shape how the dev is done. Not sure I and I can do that with option 3, at least for a while.
C# feels like it’s moving forward nicely and I’m not sure I can say the same for Java or other languages.
I love programming and learning new stuff but so unable to let things go. It’s like I have a fear that c# will move on without me and I’ll end up turning into one of those devs whose skills are a decade out of date.
Maybe the early years of my career formed me in this way.
Early on I worked at a company where there was a high number of Cobol devs who thought they had a job for life.
But then redundancies came and many left. Of those who stayed they had to cross train to Java and they just couldn’t do it.
I don’t think the tech was hard for them, I think they were just so used to not learning that they could no longer adapt.
Think most of them ended up retiring after trying to learn Java for a few years.8
My programming class kinda sucked. Here's why.
1. They taught C++. To students who had never seen a line of code in their lives. The language with 90+ keywords.
2. The teacher. We had to use switch statements to do something. It took around 300 loc. I used an array and shortened it to 5. He took some points away for not doing it correct. IT LITERALLY WORKS THE SAME AND IS SHORTER. This was not the first time I had shortened something/made it more readable and been docked points on the assignment.
3. Commenting. He told us to comment as much as possible, which is not correct. Comment what needs commenting. Not everything.
4. The compiler. We worked on windows with an online compiler. He decided teaching us to set up a compiler was too hard. We used onlinegdb, which isn't inherently bad. However, onlinegdb is based on Linux. He compiled our programs with a windows compiler.
Maybe these are just problems because I've programmed before that, but I still think they are red flags. What do you think?3
the red haired girl and the blue haired girl.
there was this story about a programmer who spent years studying computer science before finally getting a job.
the dev studied only computer science and was put on blue team after a few days.
a few hours into one of the constant coding sessions, the boss told the devs that red team members and blue team members would be working in pairs.
the person from red team transferred the devs work to their data base without the dev knowing, then locked down the devs computer. the dev could not do anything. later, the dev got fired for not doing any work. after that, the company got millions of dollars, and the dev did not see any of it.
both the dev and the managers made a note not to hire any programmer who cannot secure their work.
it is not ethical to teach people programming without also teaching them cyber security.
computer networking, programming and security should all be the same major.
it is a bad idea to teach people how to build anything without telling them how to secure it.
the story above was just a scenario, but it probably happens way more often than people think.
Schools should teach both things in the same major.5