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Wrote my friend Sam a letter when I was still working in support. I think it still holds up today.
I understand that you will join us in our overseas office. Congratulations on landing that job. It’s good steady work. I’ve been doing it for the last ten years.
Your still young so maybe I can give you some little wisdom that will help you in your working years to come.
Let me begin by shedding some light on phone calls.
I try. I really do try Sam. But it is getting so hard for me to hold back the rage that builds up during certain phone calls. Especially the ‘Sorry, I just don’t know anything about computers! -giggle-’ ones.
Those are the times that I have no access to what they see. I’ve no team-viewer, can not take over that screen in any other way. And why-oh-why can I not take over that terminal session dear Sam? It’s because the caller can not double-click an icon or find a terminal session number.
And what is the reason for this? Because they ‘just don’t know anything about computers! -giggle-’. This is a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card. Beware of these callers Sam.
There is nothing so nerve-wrecking then finding yourself at the mercy of people describing Internet Explorer (do not even get me started) as ‘the big ‘E’, if they use Chrome for their webmail then they most likely will say ‘Mail’ if they mean Chrome. There is no logic Sam. That is just the way these people work.
They will suck all enjoyment out of your work. They will make you want to hunt them down in dark office hallways and show them your tears Sam. Because cry you will.
Sure, I understand that not everyone can be tech savvy. Why, if everyone would be, where would that leave us? No. I love the technologically challenged. They put the fiber in my internet. They make me LOL for real. After the initial anger subsides anyway.
But just below that well-willing folk, on the other side of that border… there they dwell: Management.
Nice cars, suits and iphones Sam. First thing a new manager will require is a brand spanking new business-card. It will hold his/her new title. Then an iphone or overpriced android model will follow suit.
Then they will barge into your office, holding it like it’s the next best thing since sliced bread.
Any manager will automatically assume that you will drop anything you are doing at the present moment to acknowledge the presence of greatness. Failing to do so will result in awkward yet fulfilling situations. I recommend that you do not take your hands of the keyboard and give only the slightest of nods after 5 minutes of complete silence and glaring.
Well… you feel the glare. You do not glare yourself. You do not break eye-contact with the monitor. It does not even matter if you are typing for real or not. I once clicked away happily for 5 minutes. I just typed ‘he is still there’ over and over again. Do not break down Sam. This moment will decide your relationship with this individual.
After the nod there will be a flood of words aimed in your general direction. You can disregard anything that is said. It boils down to ‘can not operate device’.
You then take the device from this person and put it next to you on your desk. You’ll ask the name of this simpleton, write it down on a sticky-note, slap that on the phone. Then you’ll write a random date in the not so near future on another sticky and hand that to the bewildered person in front of you.
It will usually utter some incoherent words about ‘needing, time or but’ (I find that ‘but’is a word they like. They tend to use it three or four times consecutive before you usher them through the door).
Now you’ve won Sam. Well… not really. But it will feel good, I can guarantee that.
This must do for now. A new suit is glaring at me for the last five minutes.
Felt good to do something productive with this time.
P.s. I just noticed that there is some foam around his mouth. So if you encounter this, don’t worry: it seems to be perfectly normal.14
Called into my bosses office one day.
He takes a big swig of mouth wash. I stare at him while he swishes it around in his mouth. He straight up swallows it and tells me he gets a buzz from it.4
I joined a start up and worked after college hours as an intern over there. I would usually bunk my college and go to my internship. I had limited knowledge at that moment. I worked very hard over there because I wanted (still want) to gain practical knowledge.
Almost a month into it and I had to take a break from it because I had college work. Rejoined the same start up during my vacations. Worked quite a lot and learnt quite some stuff. I continued the internship after my one month vacation for another month once my college started. All this while I was not being paid, not even a little bit of allowance. But that didn't matter because I wanted to learn
Fast forward six months to November 2016. I have been placed in an MNC through my college placements. One day I get a call from this start up owner(we had become good acquaintances by then) if I was willing to work as a paid intern while I was working on the projects that the company landed (so I guess as a free-lancer) and as an unpaid intern while I was working on the company projects. I agreed. Jump to December. I have joined and started working on an Android project of this very big company.
At time point, I should inform you'll that I'm not very good at Android and that the company size is very small. Company owner plus the tech lead in one city (where I'm from) and another two full time employees in another city. Out of which one quit to start his own company apparently. The start up would primarily employ interns and provide exposure to them while getting their work done.
Back to the story. The tech lead vaguely assigns everyone their work. Everyone over here includes new interns and previous interns like me who will get paid some amount. 3-4 days into the project, the tech lead quits. The tech lead and the company owner call three of us and says that one of you will have to be a project manager for this project. And then both of them and 2 of my colleagues look at me. And I don't know what to say. I hesitate initially because it's too much responsibility but agree to it finally.
The next day I come to office and read about the project thoroughly and catch up with my colleagues about the progress. The entire day I'm panicking about what I'm going to do. In the evening, my boss tells me that we have to go for a meeting with the client for whom we are doing this project. At this moment, the shit out of me has been scared. Mostly because I don't know what the fuck am I going to do over there apart from being stupid and asking dumb questions. So we reach the client's office and wait for him. The entire time I'm thinking to myself that I'm going to drown this company by opening my mouth. Surprisingly, all the questions that I asked seemed legitimate and I asked a lot of questions. And so I didn't drown the company after all...phew!
It's been more than a week. And holy fuck! What a pain it is to manage people. Half of my time is spent on updating excel sheet about their progress, where are they stuck and what is needed. And the other half about thinking what the fuck am I doing or how am I gonna do it.
So to sum up, intern-turned-freelancer-turned-project manager who has no idea what the fuck is going on. Seems pretty crazy, don't you think.7
Well fuck me sideways with a rusty lamppost.
Got assigned to a project at work, kind of a biggie, my first actual large project. Been working there since last year, done a lot of research in my spare time and felt like I deserved it or something.
A few weeks ago I posted a rant about a fuckwit that can't even type 'ssh' in a terminal and doesn't know how a basic database system works.
Exactly that happened.
Because of his overconfidence and big mouth he got assigned to the project as well.
He planned a pitch. Stole my words.
He hasn't proven himself in any way and always needs help. Always. And I don't have a problem with people asking for help, I actually tell people not to be afraid to ask if they don't know something.
But I do have a problem with people laying back at work and asking 7 different people how to open a terminal.
Why does this happen? Just why?4
You know. I have mixed feelings on the way people have been reacting to senzory's rant regarding the way he deals with clients. Some people believe that he is unethical, some people see it as just business(me included) but to see what the community says is somewhat interesting.
First, let me be clear on something: i have been fucked over by clients many times for being a nice guy and trying to play it nicely.
Because of this I am selective of who deserves good treatment and who gets to fuck off. But regardless of the client I do the same thing: regardless of who it is, nice or otherwise. If a project will take 1 week to complete then I tell them that it will take 3 to 4 weeks. Why? Well because I have many things on my plate, I am married and have two children, one lives with me and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. I work from 8 to 6, sometimes later and when I get home I sometimes don't do shit since at work I maintain the web services of 2 fucking college campuses.
I don't look for my clients. Through word of mouth they come to me. And being in a privileged position(there are about 5 devs here and they all suck) they can either do with my times and fees or can fuck off over the border where Pedro will do their shit on vbscript and classic ASP(which I like, but you know why this is not an option in 2018)
Apps can be sold for large quantities of money, regardless of what their use case is, if a company wants to outsource their apps to an external developer(such as yours truly) that means that they are willing to play the game. And that is what business is: a game, a survival game.
Where I live, a company will not think twice of firing a single mother for whatever reason. In the U.S of A, and specially in Texas, you can be fired for whatever reason. I have automated people's jobs without knowing it, I have made people lose their jobs and saved companies thousands with my apps. Things like that were not know to me, had I known that someone would have lost their jobs I would have tried differently.
If a company is willing to tell employees(loyal employees) to fuck off, then i do not regret charging what I do and hustling the way I do with rat faced dickheads that care not for people. If I could I would destroy entire companies here. But that is for another story.
I have been used, insulted, gambled with and have been lied to, to my face by these companies. Which has left me jaded.
Oh now, trust me. I am still highly optimistic and nice. And if someone has a small business and I can help them out, then I will lower my rate and give positive vibes in the hopes of making things better through karma. I want to see the best in people. But this does not stop me from being a shark and giving quotes the way I do.
Because companies, as an overall entity are not people with the best intentions(sometimes) and they will not take your kindness, they will take advantage if possible in an effort to save money. Its just dickhead business.
So why, as a professional and privileged developer that obtained his skills through intense study and practice, a wizard by all means, should lower to these nameless, Faceless entities?
Why should i give them the fairness they do not give others? Why should I play the high morale game and come out as a loser?
At the end of the day, I get to swim in my own pool of success, knowing that they did not get the chance to fuck me over
So if you tell me that you took advantage of your hard earned skillset, and built a cross platform app(which compiles to native binaries) and sold 2 products for one, I will tell you that you are an excellent player at their game. If you tell me that you finished before and got to charge for 2 weeks of work doing just 2 days I will say that you are an excellent time manager. And if you tell me that at the end of the day you managed to keep said customer I will tell you that you are a true professional.
There is a difference lads, in selling a product to big momma jamma's cajun restaurant, to the largest logistics company around.
Be nice to those that desserve it.11
Guys, I have a question that depresses me :
How do you cope with the fact that you're not Batman?
That seems a bit silly, phrased like this, but it's actually very serious. Bruce Wayne is succesful, pretty, charming, smart, creative, strong, skilled, daring, confident, selfless, and constantly depressed.
I'm just depressed. Well, maybe I'm smart, at least that's what IQ tests and my loved ones are saying, but I don't feel like I'm using that intelligence to its full extent.
***Here comes the big wall of text. Jump to the end if you're pressed.***
I feel depressed every week when I remember I'll never be a great violinist because I've no talent in music and barely any patience regarding it.
I'll never be a good painter because I've got no talent, no eye for beautiful things, and I'm utterly unable to draw what I see in my mind.
I want to be a "hacker". Not a h4x0r, just a man with enough creativity to see unintended uses in everyday things, or to see flaws and weaknesses in things that seems perfectly fine or secure at first glance. Also I want to know a good deal in computer security. But I'll never be a hacker, because my brain isn't wired that way, and it has already lost most of it young flexibility.
I'll never be as good in computers and programming as Linus Torvalds. I'll never have as much insight as Elon Musk. I'll never find a field to conquer just like Bill Gates.
I'll never make science breakthroughs as big as Einstein, Darwin or Stephen Hawking. I'll never be as good in maths as Alan Turing, never be a polyglot able to go anywhere in the world and make himself understood like this guy who learnt 10 languages in two years in this ad I keep seeing everywhere.
Well, things may happen, but it's so unlikely that my pragmatic mind just can't believe it.
I'm just an average smart pal, who wastes his time by sleeping because he's abnormally tired all the time, and who seems to never find the time to do anything although there is 16 hours in a day (given that you sleep 8 hours).
That fucking depresses me big time, and at this point I feel like it's a vicious circle and that I need professional help. I know I have to let go, and aknowledge the things I'm really good at, instead of focusing on things I'm not. But these just seem to be "easy" things to get good at. Realising that I'll likely never reach the level I aim really bugs me, and actually slows me down even more...
I'll stop here, but I could keep talking about it for hours.
That's a toxic mindset, but younger I've always seen myself as a bit superior. Now that I'm more mature and less arrogant, all that's left is my ambitions and the knowledge that they'll never be reached. Life has broken me a bit, these last years, which made me like this, and I still have to learn to cope with it.
I seriously think about ending it all, sometimes, for a few minutes. I'd never do it, be reassured, that's not a suicidal man call to help here. I'm too aware that this would do worse than anything, mostly for my loved ones, and I'm probably too coward anyway. But during these short moments, it's like I don't see the point of living since I'm just replaceable, and I don't see why I should keep going with the bitter taste of underachievement constantly in my mouth.
How do you guys cope with not being Batman?17
So Monsoons hit the town and this is saddening for me.
I FUCKING HATE MONSOONS WITH BURNING PASSION FROM THE CORE OF MY SOUL.
Cloudy weather is nice and rains are much needed for the survival on this big blue ball, but I never loved this season.
The clouds hide the sun and that reduces the Vitamin D generation in our body.
The weather triggers me emotionally, because I do not have a SO to spend those lovey dovey moments with.
As lack of Vit D is closely linked to depression (biologically), so along with those emotional triggers my seasonal depression creeps in.
I FUCKING HATE DEPRESSION.
What more could go wrong? Well the drizzling rain makes everything dirty and muddy. Unless it's a heavy rain, which
washes everything off, the filth outside is just annoying.
You want more? The traffic increases and everybody is stuck for hours getting their dicks and cunts wet just because a dumbass decided to speed a bit and slipped all the way jamming the road from every direction.
The germs and bacterias shoot up and everyone, literally every motherfucker, falls ill with contagious disease and keeps sneezing their cum without covering their filthy mouth. A season for doctors to mint money.
Moreover, all the open air gigs and events get cancelled. You cannot even go out for a jog or breathe fresh air without soaking your balls with mud and water.
Buildings, lifts, public transport, hospitals everything is wet and unhygienic.
So yeah, FUCK MONSOONS.9
I intend to MAXIMIZE the background music because the SEO GIRL has the biggest mouth ever like its a market place! What in the world?2
Now my client does not want to rely on Amazon S3 because of the One Outage that it ever had a couple what weeks ago I forgot already. So my dumbass blurts out well we could always just back up to some other image or file storing website. But now I'm expected to implement this right away when I really haven't thought about it at all I mean I would have to write some sort of failover and some sort of daily or syncing mechanism. I guess I should forget about any direct upload to S3 code that I have written. Really I guess I have to wrap all of the image and file handling stuff with my own solution. Which actually that will be very nice when it is done and I could use this on other projects but it's quite a lot of work for something that I don't feel we really need at this stage in development. Just because you're using stuff on production that has am enormous red TEST label in the way of the ui doesn't mean i can code bullet proof software any faster4
Excuse me, can you please tell me which ass-to-mouth fucking moron had this oh-so-damn-stupid idea to take something so un-fucking-believable nice and simple, swallow it entirely just to create that most-ugly stinking pile of darkest shit I've every seen in my live.
After paired, it actually never works at first try to connect from notebook or pc, windows or linux. It's just a big annoying pile of utter garbage. FUCK.2
Over the summer I was recruited to be a supplement instructor for a data structures course. As a result of that I was asked (separately by the professor) to be a grader for the course. Because of pay limitations I've mostly been grading homework project assignments. In any case, it's a great job to get my foot into the department and get recognized.
Over the course of the semester I've had this one person, OSX, named after their operating system of choice, who has been giving me awkward submissions. On the first assignment they asked the professor for extra time for some reason or the other, and that's perfectly fine.
So I finally receive OSX's submission, and it's a .py file as per course of the course. So I pop up a terminal in the working directory and type "python OSX_hw1.py". Get some error spit out about the file not being the right encoding. I know that I can tell python to read it in a different encoding, so I open it up in a text editor. To my surprise it's totally not a text file, but rather a .zip file!
I've seen weirder things done before, so no big deal. I rename the file extension, and open it up to extract the files when I see that there's no python files. "Okay, what's goin on here OSX..." I think to myself.
Poking around in the files it appears to be some sort of meta-data. To what, I had no clue, but what I did find was picture files containing what appeared to be some auto-generated screenshots of incomplete code. Since I'm one to give people the benefit of doubt even when they've long exhausted other peoples', I thought that it must be some fluke, and emailed OSX along with the professor detailing my issue.
I got back a rather standard reply, one of which was so un-notable I could not remember it if my life depended on it. However, that also meant I didn't have to worry about that anymore. Which when you're juggling 50 bazillion things is quite a relief. Tragically, this relief was short lived with the introduction of assignment 2.
Assignment 2 comes around, and I get the same type of submission from OSX. At this time I also notice that all their submissions are *very* close to the due time of 11:59pm (which I don't care about as long as it's in before people start waking up the next morning). I email OSX and the professor again, and receive a similar response. I also get an email from OSX worried about points being deducted. I reply, "No issue. You know what's wrong. Go and submit the right file on $CentralGradingCenter. Just submit over your old assignment".
To my frustration OSX claimed to not know how to do this. I write up a quick response explaining the process, and email it. In response OSX then asks if I can show them if they comes to my supplemental lesson. I tell OSX that if they are the only person, sure, otherwise no because it would not be a fair use of time to the other students.
OSX ends up showing up before anyone else, so I guide them through the process. It's pretty easy, so I'm surprised that they were having issues. Another person then shows up, so I go through relevant material and ask them if they have any questions about recent material in class. That said, afterwards OSX was being somewhat awkward and pushy trying to shake my hand a lot to the point of making me uncomfortable and telling them that there's no reason to be so formal.
Despite that chat, I still did not see a resubmission of either of those two assignments, and assignment 3 began to show it's head. Obviously, this time, as one might expect after all those conversations, I get another broken submission in the same format. Finally pissed off, I document exactly how everything looks on my end, how the file fails to run, how it's actually a zip file, etc, all with screenshots. That then gets emailed to the professor and OSX.
In response, I get an email from OSX panicking asking me how to submit it right, etc, etc. However, they also removed the professor from the CC field. In response I state that I do not know how to use whatever editor they are using, and that they should refer to the documentation in order to get a proper runnable file. I also re-CC the professor, making sure OSX's email to me is included in my reply.
OSX then shows up for one of my lessons, and since no one had shown up yet, I reiterate through what I had sent in the email. OSX's response was astonished that they could ever screw up that bad, but also admits that they had yet to install python(!!!). Obviously, the next thing that comes from my mouth is asking OSX how they write their code. Their response was that they use a website that lets them run python code.
After that I finally get a submission for assignment 1!
Where do I start...
I have seen a QA load local code to a machine, run it and then say it was ready to deploy. Little did we know she wasn’t following the deployment process at all and didn’t even realize she had to. We were a week trying to figure out why the deploys wouldn’t work until she spoke up.
I knew a dev/founder that said to me “source control is only for large projects”, I tried to convince him and his cofounder to use github or bitbucket. Nope, they weren’t into it (fresh out of school listening to professors who hadn’t worked a development day in 20 years) One cofounder got disgruntled, thought he was doing most of the work and decided to quit, he also decided to wipe the code off his co-founders machine. I literally saw a grown man come out of a meeting crying knowing he would never gain back the respect of those mentors and advisors.
I once saw a developer create a printed ticket receipt for a web app. Instead of making a page and styling it to fit a smaller width, he decided to do everything in string literals. More precisely, he made one big long fucking strong literal and then broke it up using custom regex to add styling to different sections. We had a meeting and he was totally convinced this was the only way. In the end we scrapped the entire code and the dude didn’t last very long after that.
Worst of all! I once saw a developer find a IBM Model M keyboard and said “I’m gonna throw out this junky keyboard”. I told him to shut his stupid fucking mouth and give the the keyboard.
Ahh, this particularly memorable occasion, it’s not much of a “fight” per se, but remembering the events I really want to beat the shit out of those asshats,
Backstory, I was working in a project, big one, my previous one, we had all this “squads” to say, agile teams consisted of several devs, I was happily working in my squad namely squad “A”, until one day by the end of a sprint my PO asked me to help another squad, call it squad “B”,
Curious for the reason as I may be, I ignored it at first, after all having the higher up owing me one is always welcome, A and B are having similar amount of dev team, with A having 1 more Front End developer,
Skipping the boring detail, continue on to my first sprint, I saw problems within the team, the other 4 FE consisted of 2 foreigners (call them “the good guys”) and 2 of our own (same vendor as me, let’s call them “the pricks”),
The ones leading discussions most of the time are the pricks, the good guys usually keep their mouth shut, calm and composed, and when shit happens, the good guys usually fix the problem without any fuss, on the contrary, the pricks threw fit all over the place trying to find somone to blame first,
Skip all the excruciating 2 weeks of trying to guide them in the right way, and talking with their PO, my PO, tech leads, etc, I came across a development of a certain feature, PR already made and waiting for review from a TL, then being the impatient ass B’s PO is, he pushed me to ask for a review from another TL, and the only one available is “the meticulous and perfectionist” TL, which is definitely not my choice in any given order,
Simple math, I assigned my review to TL X, wait a day, it’ll definitely be merged within a day, give it to TL Y, he reviews it immediately, and he’ll find all these shit squad B’s been writing, and then I’ll be spending 3 days trying to clean it up, but no matter, the PO insist on having it reviewed first,
Lo and behold, it happened, I had to refactor all the shit the pricks have been writing, again, I took the high road, until I stumbled upon a piece of code that just doesn’t makes any sense, no matter how exhaustively I put the effort to trace it out, an hour passed by and I decided to ask the pricks, let’s call them #1 and #2, #1 being the senior prick, and #2 being the regular prick but bigger pain in the ass, it went on something like this,
Me: uhh, sorry to bother you guys, but what’s this piece is used for?
#2: huh? Dunno, last guy to touch it was #1
Me: eeh, but the line history says it’s you,
#2: strange, I don’t remember, for testing probably
Me: well TL said to remove this one if it’s unused, I want to know if it’ll affect any functionality
#2: well, go figure
Me: yep that’s why I’m asking
#2: well, if you don’t need it just remove it
Me: again that’s what I’m trying to figure out, will it affect any functionality, since time is pressing I don’t have room for experimenting so I’m trying to find some solution by asking the creator if he might have any insight on this matter
#2: well don’t ask me, try asking #1
Me: dear sir #1 have you the faintest idea of what this piece of scripture might mean?
#1: huh? No idea, #2 wrote it
#2:... I don’t remember, I thought it was you,
#1: see the git blame, it’s #2
Me: guys, since we’re not getting anywhere, I’ll just go against my guts and remove it, so that everyone can live happily ever after,
#2: wait, who’s asking?
Me: the reviewing TL,
#2: yes, who?
Me: mr Y
#2: let’s meet with him
Me: what for?
#2: you said he wants to delete the code, let’s have a chat with him
Me: *not this shit again
#2: what are we waiting for, let’s go,
Me: naah, no need I’ll just delete it as you said it first, sorry, my bad
#2: what’d you say?
Me: I already deleted it, nevermind
#2: why did you do that? If the TL doesn’t like it let’s have a chat
Me: and what would be the point of that? I deleted it already, case closed, I’ll take the responsibility for fixing anything that may come up later, I don’t have time for your childish shit,
#2: *glares at me
Me: *glares back
#1: now, now, let’s all take a step back here, blah blah blah
#2: blah blah blah
And they both starts arguing with each other after #1 tries to act all diplomatic, I left them to their own discussion, and proceed with the PR,
Thankfully removing the piece of code doesn’t affect anything, it seems like #1 or #2 forgot to delete it when fixing the unit test some commits ago1
I really hate all kinds of tattle that sweeps the hallways of corporations, the gossip behind one's back, BUT this colleague of mine starts pissing me off. Recently joined that team where he should support us getting the Agile thing going. And he can go on for hours of how it should go and how flawlessly it worked in his previous company - all that needless meta talk - so much that a team member jokingly even said: yeah, shut up asshole. But he is all talk. When the name of a library was dropped his experience in using it went to upstream patches. His Linux experience lets us speechless. He is so convincing, I'm even doubting my accusations. Yet his only contribution in code wouldn't show and other team member wasted hours upon hours to recompile plugins to show that shit. Man, just leave us alone watching your youtube live-streams so we can get the shit done.