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Friend: *deletes something from the internet*
"Thank god, now it's gone forever!"
Me: *Laughs in French*
Me: "No, I'm pretty sure almost everything you put on the internet stays on the internet."
Friend: "ARE YOU STUPID??! The button says fucking DELETE. What else would it to do? Please use your brain for once."
Me: "You realize that text in the button is just a string right?"
Friend: *Looks confused*
"Stop trying to be such a smartass. Why would it be called 'delete' if it doesn't delete? Your logic make no sense whatsoever."
Me: *Makes quick simple app in order to prove my point*
App has 4 buttons:
-Play Music: Shows a picture of a dog
-Stop Music: Starts playing music video of Never gonna give you up
-Close App: Changes the interface to a random color
-Delete App: Pop up that says "The app has been deleted"
Friend: *Installs and tries the app*
"Dude! Did you even test your app before sending me?? Your buttons are broken as hell. None of them works. They all do things they're not supposed to do. How do you even call yourself a programmer? Sorry dude, nothing personal but this app sucks."
Me: *I need a new friend*
I’m a senior dev at a small company that does some consulting. This past October, some really heavy personal situation came up and my job suffered for it. I raised the flag and was very open with my boss about it and both him and my team of 3 understood and were pretty cool with me taking on a smaller load of work while I moved on with some stuff in my life. For a week.
Right after that, I got sent to a client. “One month only, we just want some presence there since it’s such a big client” alright, I guess I can do that. “You’ll be in charge of a team of a few people and help them technically.” Sounds good, I like leading!
So I get here. Let’s talk technical first: from being in a small but interesting project using Xamarin, I’m now looking at Visual Basic code, using Visual Studio 2010. Windows fucking Forms.
The project was made by a single dev for this huge company. She did what she could but as the requirements grew this thing became a behemoth of spaghetti code and User Controls. The other two guys working on the project have been here for a few months and they have very basic experience at the job anyways. The woman that worked on the project for 5 years is now leaving because she can’t take it anymore.
And that’s not the worse of it. It took from October to December for me to get a machine. I literally spent two months reading on my cellphone and just going over my shitty personal situation for 8 hours a day. I complained to everyone I could and nothing really worked.
Then I got a PC! But wait… no domain user. Queue an extra month in which I could see the Windows 7 (yep) log in screen and nothing else. Then, finally! A domain user! I can log in! Just wait 2 extra weeks for us to give your user access to the subversion rep and you’re good to go!
While all of this went on, I didn’t get an access card until a week ago. Every day I had to walk to the reception desk, show my ID and request they call my boss so he could grant me access. 5 months of this, both at the start of the day and after lunch. There was one day in particular, between two holidays, in which no one that could grant me access was at the office. I literally stood there until 11am in which I called my company and told them I was going home.
Now I’ve been actually working for a while, mostly fixing stuff that works like crap and trying to implement functions that should have been finished but aren’t even started. Did I mention this App is in production and being used by the people here? Because it is. Imagine if you will the amount of problems that an application that’s connecting to the production DB can create when it doesn’t even validate if the field should receive numeric values only. Did I mention the DB itself is also a complete mess? Because it is. There’s an “INDEXES” tables in which, I shit you not, the IDs of every other table is stored. There are no Identity fields anywhere, and instead every insert has to go to this INDEXES table, check the last ID of the table we’re working on, then create a new registry in order to give you your new ID. It’s insane.
And, to boot, the new order from above is: We want to split this app in two. You guys will stick with the maintenance of half of it, some other dudes with the other. Still both targeting the same DB and using the same starting point, but each only working on the module that we want them to work in. PostmodernJerk, it’s your job now to prepare the app so that this can work. How? We dunno. Why? Fuck if we care. Kill you? You don’t deserve the swift release of death.
Also I’m starting to get a bit tired of comments that go ‘THIS DOESN’T WORK and ‘I DON’T KNOW WHY WE DO THIS BUT IT HELPS and my personal favorite ‘??????????????????????14
Facebook publicly announced that it won't build a backdoor into its services for the intelligence agencies as for the latest requests to weaken/remove the encryption.
I can only imagine the intelligence agencies going like this now:
NSA director: Alright, as expected they said no so they won't have more damage to their public image, lets go for plan A 2.0!
NSA employee: Aaaand that is?
NSA director: Serve them a FISA court order requiring them to do this shit anyways but also serve a gag order so they can't tell legally.
NSA employee: Ahh, fair enough, I'll get that rolling. By the way, how did we do this with WhatsApp's encryption again?
NSA director: Oh that one was simple. There's a backup function which nearly everyone uses on either Android/iOS which does plaintext backups to Google Drive/iCloud.
NSA employee: Oh, okay. How do we access that data again?
NSA director: PRISM/XKeyScore!
NSA employee: Right, but then still the issue of how we even collect the encrypted messages from Facebo...
NSA director: PRISM/XKeyScore as well, don't worry about that.
NSA employee: But, how'd we justify this....?
NSA director: We probably never have to as these programs operate outside of the public view but otherwise just call terrorism/pedophelia... BAM, done.
NSA employee: Gotya, let's put this into motion!29
Client: Can you provide some kind of guaranteed timeline that you're going to be able to move our website to our new servers with the optimizations implemented? I know you said it should take a week, but we have 3 weeks to get this moved over and we cannot afford to be double billed. I'm waiting to fire up the new server until you can confirm.
Me: As I said, it SHOULD take about a week, but that's factoring in ONLY the modifications being made for optimization and a QA call to review the website. This does not account for your hosting provider needing to spin up a new server.
We also never offered to move your website over to said new server. I sent detailed instructions for your provider to move a copy of the entire website over and have it configured and ready to point your domain over to, in order to save time and money since your provider won't give us the access necessary to perform a server-to-server transfer. If you are implying that I need to move the website over myself, you will be billed for that migration, however long it takes.
Client: So you're telling me that we paid $950 for 10 hours of work and that DOESN'T include making the changes live?
Me: Why would you think that the 10 hours that we're logged for the process of optimizing your website include additional time that has not been measured? When you build out a custom product for a customer, do you eat the shipping charges to deliver it? That is a rhetorical question of course, because I know you charge for shipping as well. My point is that we charge for delivery just as you do, because it requires our time and manpower.
All of this could have been avoided, but you are the one that enforced the strict requirement that we cannot take the website down for even 1 hour during off-peak times to incorporate the changes we made on our testbed, so we're having to go through this circus in order to deliver the work we performed.
I'm not going to give you a guarantee of any kind because there are too many factors that are not within our control, and we're not going to trap ourselves so you have a scapegoat to throw under the bus if your boss looks to you for accountability. I will reiterate that we estimate it would take about a week to implement, test and run through a full QA together, as we have other clients within our queue and our time must be appropriately blocked out each day. However, the longer you take to pull the trigger on this new server, the longer it will take on my end to get the work scheduled within the queue.
Client: If we get double billed, we're taking that out of what we have remaining to pay you.
Me: On the subject of paying us, you signed a contract acknowledging that you would pay us the remaining 50% after you approved the changes, which you did last week, in order for us to deliver the project. Thank you for the reminder that your remaining balance has not yet been paid. I'll have our CFO resend the invoice for you to remit payment before we proceed any further.
I love it when clients give me shit. I just give it right back.6
Things have been a little too quiet on my side here, so its time for an exciting new series:
practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.
Episode 1: Dealing with the new backend team
It's great to be back folks. Since our last series where we delved into the mind numbing idiocy of former colleagues, a lot has changed. I've moved to a new company and taken a step up as a Dev manager / Tech lead. Now I know what you are all thinking, sounds more dull and boring right? Well it wouldn't be a practiseSafeHex series if we weren't ...
DEALING! ... WITH! ... IDIOTS!
Bingo! so lets jump right in and kick us off with a good one.
So for the past few months i've been on an on-boarding / fact finding / figuring out this shit-storm, mission to understand more about what it is i'm suppose to do and how to do it. Last week, as part of this, I had the esteemed pleasure of meeting face to face with the remote backend team i've been working with. Lets rattle off a few facts to catch us all up:
- 8 hour time difference to me
- No documentation other than a non-maintained swagger doc
- Swagger is reporting errors and several of the input models are just `Type: String`
- The one model that seems accurate, has every property listed as optional, including what must be the primary key
- Properties go missing and get removed at the drop of a hat and we are never told.
- First email I sent them took 27 days to reply, my response to that hasn't been answered so far 31 days later (new record! way to go team, I knew we could do it!!!)
- I deal directly with 2 of them, the manager and the tech lead. Based on how things have gone so far, i've nick named them:
So lets look at some example of their work:
- I was trying to test the new backend, I saw no data in QA. They said it wouldn't show up until mid day their time, which is middle of the night for us. I said we need data in our timezone and I was told: a) "You don't understand how big this system is" (which is their new catch phrase) b) "Your timezone is not my concern"
- The whole org started testing 2 days later. The next day a member from each team was on a call and I was asked to give an update of how the testing was going on the mobile side. I said I was completely blocked because I can't get test data. Backend were asked to respond. They acknowledged they were aware, but that mobile don't understand how big the system is, and that the mobile team need to come up with ideas for the backend team, as to how mobile can test it. I said we can't do anything without test data, they said ... can you guess what? ... correct "you don't understand how big the system is"
- We eventually got something going and I noticed that only 1 of the 5 API changes due on their side was done. Opened tickets. 2 days later asked them for progress and was told that "new findings" always go to the bottom of the backlog, and they are busy with other things. I said these were suppose to be done days ago. They said you can't give us 2 days notice and expect everything done. I said the original ticket was opened a month a go *sends link* ......... *long silence* ...... "ok, but you don't understand how big the system is, this is a lot of work"
- We were on a call. Product was asking the backend manager (aka "Ass") a question about a slight upgrade to the new feature. While trying to talk, the tech lead (aka "Hole") kept cutting everyone off by saying loudly "but thats not in scope". The question was "is this possible in the future" and "how long would it take", coming from management and product development. Hole just kept saying "its not in scope", until he was told to be quiet by several people.
- An API was sending down JSON with a string containing a message for the user with 2 bits of data inside it. We asked for one of those pieces to also come down as a property as the string can change and we needed it client side. We got that. A few days later we found an edge case and asked for the second piece of data to be a property too. Now keep in mind, they clearly already have access to them in order to make the string. We were told "If you keep requesting changes like this, you are going to delay the release of the backend by up to 2 weeks"
Yes folks, there you have it, the most minuscule JSON modifications, can delay your release by up to 2 weeks ........ maybe I should just tell product, that they don't understand how big the app is, and claim we can't build it on our side? Seems to work for them
Thats all the time we have for today,
Tune in for more, where we'll be looking into such topics as:
- If god himself was an iOS developer ... not
- Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand
- Its more time-efficient to just give everything a story point of 5
- Why waste time replying to emails ... when you can do nothing instead
See you all next week,
Navy story time, and this one is lengthy.
As a Lieutenant Jr. I served for a year on a large (>100m) ship, with the duties of assistant navigation officer, and of course, unofficial computer guy. When I first entered the ship (carrying my trusty laptop), I had to wait for 2 hours at the officer's wardroom... where I noticed an ethernet plug. After 15 minutes of waiting, I got bored. Like, really bored. What on TCP/IP could possibly go wrong?
So, scanning the network it is. Besides the usual security holes I came to expect in ""military secure networks"" (Windows XP SP2 unpatched and Windows 2003 Servers, also unpatched) I came along a variety of interesting computers with interesting things... that I cannot name. The aggressive scan also crashed the SMB service on the server causing no end of cute reactions, until I restarted it remotely.
But me and my big mouth... I actually talked about it with the ship's CO and the electronics officer, and promptly got the unofficial duty of computer guy, aka helldesk, technical support and I-try-to-explain-you-that-it-is-impossible-given-my-resources guy. I seriously think that this was their punishment for me messing around. At one time I received a call, that a certain PC was disconnected. I repeatedly told them to look if the ethernet cable was on. "Yes, of course it's on, I am not an idiot." (yea, right)
So I went to that room, 4 decks down and 3 sections aft. Just to push in the half-popped out ethernet jack. I would swear it was on purpose, but reality showed me I was wrong, oh so dead wrong.
For the full year of my commission, I kept pestering the CO to assign me with an assistant to teach them, and to give approval for some serious upgrades, patching and documenting. No good.
I set up some little things to get them interested, like some NMEA relays and installed navigation software on certain computers, re-enabled the server's webmail and patched the server itself, tried to clean the malware (aka. Sisyphus' rock), and tried to enforce a security policy. I also tried to convince the CO to install a document management system, to his utter horror and refusal (he was the hard copy type, as were most officers in the ship). I gave up on almost all besides the assistant thing, because I knew that once I left, everything would go to the high-entropy status of carrying papers around, but the CO kept telling me that would be unnecessary.
"You'll always be our man, you'll fix it (sic)".
What could go wrong?
I got my transfer with 1 week's notice. Panic struck. The CO was... well, he was less shocked than I expected, but still shocked (I learned later that he knew beforehand, but decided not to tell anybody anything). So came the most rediculous request of all:
To put down, within 1 A4 sheet, and in simple instructions, the things one had to do in order to fulfil the duties of the computer guy.
I. SHIT. YOU. NOT.
"What I can do is write: 'Please read the following:', followed by the list of books one must read in order to get some introductory understanding of network and server management, with most accompanying skills."
I was so glad I got out of that hellhole.6
We're using a ticket system at work that a local company wrote specifically for IT-support companies. It's missing so many (to us) essential features that they flat out ignored the feature requests for. I started dissecting their front-end code to find ways to get the site to do what we want and find a lot of ugly code.
So i dig farther and farthee adding all the features we want into a userscript with a beat little 'custom namespace' i make pretty good progress until i find a site that does asynchronous loading of its subpages all of a sudden. They never do that anywhere else. Injecting code into the overcomolicated jQuery mess that they call code is impossible to me, so i track changes via a mutationObserver (awesome stuff for userscripts, never heard of it before) and get that running too.
The userscript got such a volume of functions in such a short time that my boss even used it to demonstrate to them what we want and asked them why they couldn't do it in a reasonable timeframe.
All in all I'm pretty proud if the script, but i hate that software companies that write such a mess of code in different coding styles all over the place even get a foot into the door.
And that's just the code part: They very veeeery often just break stuff in updates that then require multiple hotfixes throughout the day after we complain about it. These errors even go so far to break functionality completely or just throw 500s in our face. It really gives you the impression that they are not testing that thing at all.
And the worst: They actively encourage their trainees to write as much code as possible to get paid more than their contract says, so of course they just break stuff all the time to write as much as possible.
Where did i get that information you ask? They state it on ther fucking career page!
We also have reverse proxy in front of that page that manages the HTTPS encryption and Let's Encrypt renewal. Guess what: They internally check if the certificate on the machine is valid and the system refuses to work if it isn't. How do you upload a certificate to the system you asked? You don't! You have to mail it to them for them to SSH into the system and install it manually. When will that be possible you ask? SOON™.
At least after a while i got them to just disable the 'feature'.
While we are at 'features' (sorry for the bad structure): They have this genius 'smart redirect' feature that is supposed to throw you right back where you were once you're done editing something. Brilliant idea, how do they do it? Using a callback libk like everyone else? Noooo. A serverside database entry that only gets correctly updated half of the time. So while multitasking in multiple tabs because the performance of that thing almost forces you to makes it a whole lot worse you are not protected from it if you don't. Example: you did work on ticket A and save that. You get redirected to ticket B you worked on this morning even though its fucking 5 o' clock in the evening. So of course you get confused over wherever you selected the right ticket to begin with. So you have to check that almost everytime.
Alright, rant over.
Let's see if i beed to make another one after their big 'all feature requests on hold, UI redesign, everything will be fixed and much better'-update.5
Welcome back to practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.
Episode 2: Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand
This is a particularly special episode for me, as these problems are taking up so much of my time with non-sensical bullshit, that i'm delayed with everything else. Some badly require tooling or new products. Some are just unnecessary processes or annoyances that should not need to be handled by another human. So lets jump right in, in no particular order:
- Jira ... nuff said? not quite because somehow some blue moon, planets aligning, act of god style set of circumstances lined up to allow this team to somehow make Jira worse. On one hand we have a gigantic Jira project containing 7 separate sub teams, a million different labels / epics and 4.2 million possible assignees, all making sure the loading page takes as long as possible to open. But the new country we've added support for in the app gets a separate project. So we have product, backend, mobile, design, management etc on one, and mobile-country2 on another. This delightfully means a lot of duplication and copy pasting from one to the other, for literally no reason what so ever.
- Everything on Jira is found through a label. Every time something happens, a new one is created. So I need to check for "iOS", "Android", "iOS-country2", "Android-country2", "mobile-<feature>", "mobile-<feature>-issues", "mobile-<feature>-prod-issues", "mobile-<feature>-existing-issues" and "<project>-July31" ... why July31? Because some fucking moron decided to do a round of testing, and tag all the issues with the current date (despite the fact Jira does that anyway), which somehow still gets used from time to time because nobody pays attention to what they are doing. This means creating and modifying filters on a daily basis ... after spending time trying to figure out what its not in the first one.
- One of my favourite morning rituals I like to call "Jira dumpster diving". This involves me removing all the filters and reading all the tickets. Why would I do such a thing? oh remember the 9000 labels I mentioned earlier? right well its very likely that they actually won't use any of them ... or the wrong ones ... or assign to the wrong person, so I have to go find them and fix them. If I don't, i'll get yelled at, because clearly it's my fault.
- Moving on from Jira. As some of you might have seen in your companies, if you use things like TestFlight, HockeyApp, AppCenter, BuddyBuild etc. that when you release a new app version for testing, each version comes with an automated change-log, listing ticket numbers addressed ...... yeah we don't do that. No we use this shitty service, which is effectively an FTP server and a webpage, that only allows you to host the new versions. Sending out those emails is all manual ... distribution groups?? ... whats that?
- Moving back to Jira. Can't even automate the changelog with a script, because I can't even make sense of the tickets, in order to translate that to a script.
- Moving on from Jira. Me and one of the remote testers play this great game I like to call "tag team ticketing". It's so much fun. Right heres how to play, you'll need a QA and a PM.
*QA creates a ticket, and puts nothing of any use inside it, and assigns to the PM.
*PM fires it back asking for clarification.
*QA adds in what he feels is clarification (hes wrong) and assigns it back to the PM.
*PM sends detailed instructions, with examples as to what is needed and assigns it back.
*QA adds 1 of the 3 things required and assigns it back.
*PM assigns it back saying the one thing added is from the wrong day, and reminds him about the other 2 items.
*QA adds some random piece of unrelated info to the ticket instead, forgetting about the 3 things and assigns it back.
and you just continue doing this for the whole dev / release cycle hahaha. Oh you guys have no idea how much fun it is, seriously give it a go, you'll thank me later ... or kill yourselves, each to their own.
- Moving back to Jira. I decided to take an action of creating a new project for my team (the mobile team) and set it up the way we want and just ignore everything going on around us. Use proper automation, and a kanban board. Maybe only give product a slack bot interface that won't allow them to create a ticket without what we need etc. Spent 25 minutes looking for the "create new project" button before finding the link which says I need to open a ticket with support and wait ... 5 ... fucking ... long ... painful ... unnecessary ... business days.
... Heres hoping my head continues to not have a bullet hole in it by then.
Id love to talk more, but those filters ain't gonna fix themselves. So we'll have to leave it here for today. Tune in again for another episode soon.
And remember to always practiseSafeHex14
A customer calls to ask about our software, its features and its advantages and so on.
I answer him all his questions in a 45 minutes support call.
Then he decides to order the software from our website using the order form.
After 1h i get another call by the same guy saying he cant order.
I ask him why and he says that he is blind and his screen reader does not read out the form/website content.
So i filled out the order form with him together because im a nice person and customer is king. (Took me 20 minutes).
After that i ask our webdevelopers if they considered to make the website more disabled friendly.
They responded with no because it dosent matter.
Yeah fuck me right! Fuck the disabled customers we dont care.
I think thats kind of stupid but who cares right!!12
So, as someone who has spent a lot of time in JS and a lot of time elsewhere, here are my views. Please, discuss your opinions with me as well. I am genuinely interested in an intelligent conversation about this topic.
So here's my background: learned HTML/CSS/JS in that order when I was 12 because I liked computers. I was pretty shitty at JS until U was at least 15, but you get the point, Ive had it sploshing about in my brain for a while.
Now, JS certainly has its quirks, no doubt, but theres nothing about the language itself that I would say makes it shitty. Its a very easy leanguage to use, but isn't overdeveloped like VB.net (Or, as I like to call it, TheresAFunctionForThat)
Most of the hate is centered around JS being used for a very broad range of systems. I doubt JS would be in the rant feed so often if it were to stay in its native ecosystem of web browsers. JS can be used in server backend, web frontent, desktop and mobile applications, and even in some system services (Although this isn't very popular as of yet). People seem to be terrified that one very easy to learn language can go so far. And, oh god, its interpreted... How can a system app run off an interpreted language? That's absurd.
My opinion on JSEverything is that it's progress. Thats what we're all about, right? The technologies already in place are unthreatened by JS, it isn't a gamechanger. The only thing JS integration is doing is making tedius and simple tasks easier. Big companies with large systems aren't going to jump ship and migrate to JS. A startup, however, could save a fucking ton of development time by using a JS framework, however. I want to live in a world where startups can become the next Google, because technology will stagnate when youre trying to protect your fortune, (Look at Apple for fucks sake) but innovation is born of small people with big ideas.
I have a feeling the hate for JS is coming from fear of abandoning what you're already doing. You don't have to do that. JS is only another option (And a very good one, which is why it's becoming so popular).
As for my personal opinion from my experiences... I've left this part til the end on purpose. I love programming and learning and creating, so I've never hated a lamguage, really. It all depends on what I want to do. In the times i've played arpund with JS, I've loved it. Very very easy. The idea of having it on both ends of web development makes a lot of sense too, no conversion, just direct communication. I would imagine this really helps with speed, as well. I wouldn't use it in a complicated system, though. Small things, medium size projects: perfect. Running a bank? No.
So what do you think about this JSUniverse?13
No, not as e-mail or for privacy reasons. Sure, that too, but it comes with "free" stuff.
It sucks because it's breaking every possible record in the worst, shittiest, most insanely stupid APIs and integrations out there on the entire fucking planet!
It is comically stupid!
Aside from their LOVE of hard-deprecating APIs every few months, requiring constant, time consuming maintenance of every tool that integrates deeply with Google services, some of their APIs, for expensive stuff, look like they've been written by Bobby McFartface from 7th grade.
Take a look at DoubleClick Search (their ad performance reporting tool, that sure does sound like one). To upload custom, additional data, you must pass in a ton of parameter, and they REQUIRE some of them to have a specific, hardcoded value. What's the point in passing that parameter then you dickheads?!
But fine, so you uploaded some stuff using the API. Now you want to delete everything and try again after you fixed a bug - well you fucking CAN'T! You can't delete stuff, you can only mark them as "deleted" using an update call.
Bulk operations? Fuck no!
Can I just add on top? Well of course not! That will raise a ton of exceptions. Same message should be transmitted using the PUT, not POST request, in order to edit.
Can I send everything to PUT? Of course not! You can't edit something that's not there, dummy!
Can I see what's there so that I can update it, and add what's missing?
Well of course not! Why on Earth would you need to see what information is in there after you uploaded it? Who needs that anyway?
Simply send, pray, and hope that everything will be fine (it will not).
Like holy fucking crap, it can't get any more stupid!
Google is a huge pile of idiots who feed on only a single cow - the search engine.
It's times like these when I think that Google right now is the worst thing that exists for everyone in tech. It's dragging everyone down with their monopolies everywhere and complete idiocy in managing them.5
dear anyone looking to teach kids programming (especially organizations):
- please be realistic. teach things your students can use. how to debug, how to solve realistic, real-world problems. not how to make a turtle draw a circle, that's not programming.
- please don't have blocks. just don't. they hurt.
- focus on your content instead of putting up posters on the wall with celebrities talking about the importance of programming
- don't call it 'code,' call it 'program.' do you know how different muggles think they are?
- please teach in a logical order. too many times have I seen commands --> functions --> variables/variable types --> then back to functions and return types.
- don't set an appropriate "age" to do it. please. its enough for people to learn to program, but to be told they're too "old" for a course? I can't tell you how many forgetful seniors and special needs students have been insulted. and don't even get me started on being too young. knowledge is knowledge, skill is skill, ability is ability.
- teach concepts with programming. don't separate them. they work better when they're taught together.
- understanding is more important than style. for beginners, fuck style. all of your program could be all on one line for fucks sake. I've had teachers chose style > functionality, because, fuck working programs, right?
- let your content speak for itself. this is not the place for celebrity endorsements.
- give resources for after a lesson is complete. when a beginner is finished, recommend more resources. you're never done learning.
most of these were things code.org did wrong. fuck them. I was in a constructive criticism mood today…5
I got laid off from my previous position as a Software Engineer at the end of June, and since then it was a struggle to find a new position. I have a good resume, about 4 years of professional dev experience and 5 years of experience in the tech industry all together, and great references.
As soon as I got laid off, I talked to my old manager at my previous company, and he said that he'd love to hire me back, but he just filled his last open spot.
In order to prepare, I had my resume reviewed by a specialist at the Department of Labor, and she said that it was one of the better resumes that she had seen.
There aren't a huge amount of dev jobs in my area, and I got a TON of recruiter emails. But they were all in other states, and I wasn't interested in moving.
I applied to all the remote and local positions I could find (the ones that I was qualified for,) and I just got a bunch of silence and denials from all my applications. I had a few interviews that went great, but of course, those companies decided to put the position on hold so they could use the budget for other things.
The silence and denials were really disconcerting, and make you think that something might be wrong with you or your interviewing abilities.
And then suddenly, as if the floodgates had opened, I started getting a ton of callbacks and interviews for both local and remote opportunities. I don't know if the end-of-year budget surpluses opened up more positions, but I was getting a lot of interest and it felt amazing.
Another dev position opened up at my previous company, and I got a great recommendation for that from my former manager and co-workers. I got a bunch of other interviews, and was moved onto the next rounds in most of them.
And finally, I got reached out to regarding a remote position I applied for a while ago, and the company was great about making the interview process quick and efficient. Within 2 weeks, I went from the screening call, to the tech call, and to the final call with the CTO. The CTO and I just hung out and talked about cars/boats/motorcycles for half the interview, and he was an awesome guy. AND THEN I GOT AN OFFER THE NEXT DAY!
The offer was originally for about the same amount as I made at my previous job, but I counteroffered up a good amount and they accepted my counteroffer!
It's a great company with offices all over the world, and they offer the option to travel to all those offices for visits if you want. So if you're working on a project with the France team and you think that it'd be easier to just work with them face-to-face, then the company will pay to fly you out to Paris for the week. Or you can work completely remotely. They don't mind either way.
I'm super excited to work with them and it feels great to be back in the job world.
Sorry about the long post, but I just wanted to tell my story and help encourage anybody out there who's going through the same thing right now.
Don't get discouraged, because you WILL find an awesome opportunity that's right for you. Get somebody to go over your resume and give you improvement recommendations. Brush up on your interviewing skills. Be sure to talk about all the projects you've worked on and how they positively impacted people and/or companies.
This is what I found interviewers responded the best to: Be sure to emphasize that you love learning new things and that you love passing along that knowledge to other people, and that your goal is to be an approachable and reliable source of knowledge for the company and to be as helpful as possible. It's important to be in a position that encourages both knowledge growth and knowledge sharing, and I think that companies really appreciate that mindset in a team member.
Moral of the story: YOU GOT THIS!16
My wifi was hacked two times last year, so I decided to change the factory credentials. Some months ago a tree fell on top of the cables on the street, cutting my internet connection. I call the ISP and when they get here they say I have no right for costumer support as I have altered my own connection.
WHAT. THE. FUCK
I had to revert the credentials to admin/admin in order get my internet back. These ISPs live in the fucking stone age. How the fuck do they force me to fucking have my router exposed with a fucking "admin/admin".
I hope some day we have a cable revolution and finally have some rights over the networks we pay for with both tax money and excesive fees with low fucking speeds. Fuck them. Really.9
After returning back from the company we were purchasing a new phone system (hardware+software, $100K+, kind of a big deal)
VP: “I need the new phone system software integration for our CRM by next week. I need to demo the system for the other VPs”
Me: “No problem. Were you able to get their API like I asked?”
VP: “Salesman didn’t know for sure what that was, but he said all the developer software documentation is on their site.”
Me: “Did he give you a URL? Their main site is all marketing mumbo-jumbo. I assume there is another one specific for developers.”
VP: “Yea, he might have said something, but I don’t understand why you need it. The salesman said the integration would be seamless. He showed me several demos.”
Me: “No, I mean I need to know, is the API a full client install? a simple dll? is this going to be a web service integration? How will I know what to program against?”
VP: “I think I heard him say something about COM? Does that sound like an API?”
Me: “It’s a start. Did he provide you anything, a disk, a flash drive, anything with the software?”
VP: “No, only thing he told me was our CRM integration would be seamless and our development team would have no problems.”
Me: “OK..OK…I get it…he’s a salesman. Is there an 1-800 number I can call? A technical support email address? Anyone technical I can reach out to?”
VP: “Probably, but I don’t understand what the problem is. I need the CRM integrated by next week. I gave the other VPs a promise we would get it done. I do not break promises.”
Me: “Wait…when are we installing the new system?”
VP: “Well, the purchase order will be cut at the end of the month’s billing cycle, the company has about a two month turnaround time to deliver and install the hardware, so maybe 3 months from now? Are you going to be able to have the integration ready for next week?”
Me: “If we won’t see any of the hardware for 3 months, what exactly am I integrating with?”
VP: “That API you wanted or whatever it is. COM…yea, it’s COM. I was told the integration would be seamless and our developers would have no problem. I don’t understand why you can’t simply write the code to make it work. Getting the hardware installed is going to be the hardest part.”
Me: “OK, so I have no documentation, we have no hardware, no software, and no idea what this ‘seamless integration’ means. I’m afraid there isn’t anything I can do right now. ”
VP: “Fine!...I’ll just have to tell the other VPs you were not able to execute the seamless integration with the CRM.”
Which he did. When the hardware+software was finally installed, they hired consultants (because I “failed”). I think the bill was in the $50K range to perform the ‘integration’ which consisted of Excel spreadsheets (no kidding). When approached with the primary CRM integration, the team needed our API documentation, a year’s development time and $300K. I was pissed off enough, and I had the API documentation, I was able to get the basic CRM integration within 3 days. When an agent receives a call, I look up the # in our database, auto-fill the form with the customer info, etc. Easy stuff when you have the documentation.
The basics worked and the VP was congratulated by ‘saving’ the company $300K. May or may not have been bonuses involved, rumors still out on that one, but I didn't see em'. Later my manager told me the VP was really ticked that I performed the integration ‘behind his back’, but because it was a success, he couldn’t fire me.10
Let me tell you a story:
One upon a time poor lil PonySlaystation received a call. It was a nice guy who cried about his WordPress website had been hacked. So the clusterfuck began...
He gave me the login credentials for the hosting back-end, DB, FTP and CMS.
A hacked WP site was not new for me. It was probably the 6th of maybe 10 I had to do with.
What I didn't expect was the hosting back-end.
Imagine yourself back in 1999 when you tried to learn PHP and MySQL and all was so interesting and cool and you had infinite possibilities! Now forget all these great feelings and just take that ancient technology to 2018 and apply it to a PAID FUCKING HOSTING PROVIDER!
HOLY FUCKING ASSRAPE!
Wanna know what PHP version?
5.3.11, released the day before gomorrah was wiped.
The passwords? Stored in fucking plaintext. Shown right next to the table name and DB user name in the back-end. Same with FTP users.
EXCUSE ME, WHAT THE FUCK?!
I have to call Elon Musk and order some Boring Company Flame Throwers to get rid of this.
Long story long, I set up a new WP, changed all passwords and told the nice guy to get a decent hoster.4
Fuck these crusty equifax cocksuckers. This equifax hack makes me livid. Here's why: the entire purpose of the company is to collect absurd amounts of information about everyone in a country through methods that the subjects of the information gathering have no means to control, and there is no immediate penalty for them being irresponsible with it. If they lose all that data, they can only lose damages in class action, and I guarantee you they will learn nothing from it.
THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL TO ALL ASSHOLES WHO THINK PRIVACY AND SECURITY IS NO BIG DEAL. THIS ISNT THE FIRST TIME, AND YET ITS STILL ONLY THE BEGINNING. HACKS LIKE THIS ARE SERIOUS ENOUGH TO RUIN PEOPLES LIVES
I say it over and over again, but nobody listens: half of the reason I don't trust these people is because they don't have a great reason to have that information and I know their IT is total shit and WILL be compromised because they probably figured Windows 2000 works why upgrade. You know I'm right. Their company has fax in the name
There's no need to explain to me why we need to have this in order for the banking and loan industry to work, im not stupid, but for fucks sake, put people's data under the care of their own hands. Have a multi key lock system so the user can control their data, and it's not just totally at your mercy. The fact that it is totally at their mercy is what makes it wildly evil.
If you own a company that is founded on the basis of personally fucking people and taking away their control and you're propped up by government regulations that limit the freedom of the market thereby securing you the freedom to never change despite your flaws, this is for you: im going to personally fuck each and every one of them through every hole in their body with an unlubricated baseball bat and force them to eat every pair of their crusty underpants and then hang them upside down and video tape them starving.
Seriously, it's not hard to design a system that still fills the need without making people surrender their god given rights. Let's just put all of these assholes in jail in Guantanamo bay for the rest of their lives. It's about fucking time.
I hate equifax, i hate credit reporting, I hate the state of personal privacy in the world today.
And I also hate pathetic little cocksuckers like Kim Jong un who are children barely conscious above the level of a single celled organism, who are forcing their subjects to live in a world where access to free information carries a death penalty.
I can hardly sleep at night knowing people are getting away with the worst crimes in the history of humanity and it's all because some developer somewhere did their bidding or did it poorly.10
So I used to do some freelancing in web development last year, nothing too fancy just some simple PHP websites. Comes the worst meeting in my life. So I am from India and we have a lot of long lasting business here being passed on over generations. TL;DR the guy was the owner of a very old business which was actually very huge and the guy was educated too, so I assumed that he'll be sensible as compared to other people.
The meeting was in an expensive cafe and he paid for it, he even told me upfront that meeting is on him. Great, right? So we sit down, order some coffee and then start discussing what he needed.
The guy needed an ecommerce website built with backend and logistics system integrated. We discussed possible designs for the website and stuff too and so far the deal looked promising to both of us.
I explained him the cost estimate and told him that I would email him the final quote from myself once we discussed server cost and shit.
So now comes the bargaining part where he asked me to give him server and domain for free.
At this point, I suspected that he didn't know that servers and domains are not something that you make. You have to purchase and renew them periodically.
So I told that guy that he didn't understand the cost estimation and explained to him that X is the cost of making this fucking thing and Y is its monthly maintenance cost, if he wanted annually could be done too. And this Y did not include server and domain costing.
Now came the fucking tide, the guy straight up turned to his shit and told me I am lying and trying to con him. So I gently asked him if he had ever gotten any website made. To which, he said No, but he knows how the costing works.
I was like "Bitch?". So I calmly tried to explain that that's not how websites are done, delivered and maintained.
He didn't seemed to be understanding and kept on fucking repeating that he knows his shit and blah blah.
At this point, I was like "Okay. Fuck this dude then. I can find another project. " and then I told him that he'll need to find someone according to his needs.
Interestingly enough, the guy called someone and then walked out of the cafe while talking on phone. I waited for 5 minutes and he didn't come back so I decided I would pay for my coffee and leave. Turns out the guy had paid his bill before my arrival and ditched me with the excuse of the call.
But oh well, I think working with such an idiot would have been much worse than paying for that coffee.4
Inner Me: Where the fuck is this bug coming from
> Set a breakpoint in every single place where the method I'm using is being called.
> Try calling the method before every function call
Inner Me: FUCKING DAMNIT! It's been hours now
Inner Me: No way it's the library I'm using.
Inner Me: That couldn't possibly be the problem
> Try running it again and delete some more shit
Inner Me: FUCK MEEEEEEEE
> Getting delirious
> Begin to look at some stupid memes.
> Come back to it.
> Have an Ah-ha moment
> Try running it again but rearrange the order of the method calls
> Still no luck
> try git stashing a bunch of my changes
> git stash apply them back
> erase the method call entirely
Inner Me: well that sort of worked, but now all my numbers are incomplete
Inner Me: FUCKING FINE!!! I'LL LOOK IN THE GODDAMN LIBRARY
Inner Me: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKK a stupid integer casting was occuring to my floats!!!
Now Talking to my girlfriend.
Me: The problem was in the library I was using
Girlfriend: How are you going to fix it if it's in the library?
Me: ... I can, because I wrote the library...
Me: FUCK ME RIGHT?
Me: I guess moral of the story; sometimes the problems starts with ourselves
GF: Hahaha. Thats Deeep2
Skipped my lectures at university just to get my new Dell laptop at home.
Here is my experience of dell account portal:
There is a 50-50 chance that your order will appear in the list of orders. It has it's own mind, sometimes it will appear, sometimes it will say it has found no orders.
Now if somehow you do see the order in the list, there is a 50-50 chance that clicking on the order number will actually show you the correct order. Most of the time it will take you to a completely different order, where you can see the name, address and other personal details of a person that you don't know. THANKS DELL!
Now if somehow clicking on the order number takes you to the right order details page, there is a 50-50 chance that there will be no courier information, it will be blank without any information. Sometimes it will show the tracking number, but no courier details.
Right, now let's say that I don't give a fuck about any of these. I stayed home, skipping my lecture, just so that I can get my laptop. They promised me that they will deliver it today and I trust them 🙂
BUT YOU MOTHERFUCKER, not only that they will not deliver it today, they haven't even bothered to give me a call and say that they won't be delivering it today. YOU PIECE OF HORSESHIT, I skipped my fucking lectures for you. Now I have to skip my lectures for another day, just to get my GODDAMN laptop.
FUCK YOU DELL, DIE IN HELL!9
Alright, this my fucking rant right here. Distraction? This whole company is a distraction! Boss decided to throw us all in an open work environment doing jobs that require careful concentration. Straight outta college I'm getting handed vague ideas, (make a desktop app that helps our customers put data on the internet, make an iPhone app) with out so much as an inkling of what technologies to use, just make it work.
Ok I will but when you hit a roadblock with very little resources to draw in it's hard to stay focused.
On top of that since I worked in support for a year I'm our senior support person! But sometimes support just doesn't use their brains and I'm using my time to solve very basic problems.
That brings me to my next point, the goddamn piece of shit that is our telephone. Fuck that thing when it rings it's never good. Moreover, since I don't want to get roasted for not being responsive I have the motherfucker forward to my personal cell. So I answer every fucking call and I get so many spam calls!
Not to mention I'm mainly running the hardware show around here. Shits broke I'm the one fixing it. Need new shit I'm putting the order together.
Tried to get a new guy to be the sys admin, ordered a 6th gen board with a 7th gen proc, had to pull 3 machines apart to get that sorted. Then he left bc family issues, and has been gone for weeks.
The other devs are also slam up busy, and the main product is about 15 people's piss on a plate of garb age spaghetti. (I got a lot of shit going on but at least I'm the only one pissing in my spaghetti) it's a constant run around if who does what with a code first plan later mentality causing confusion and delay.
Nobody wants to help anybody because they are also annoyed with this setup and are getting bitched at by customers or management.
Sales is mostly composed of a bunch of crackhead yes men and women who just want a commission and only half know the shit we sell and have sold 15 new features that had not been discussed. But management always says make it happen. In what priority? It's all a priority they say! Wtf.
So yea, then it brings me to me, dealing with this much chaos at work makes it seem like a high amount of chaos in my life is normal. I'm just now learning to control this.
I've had to do a lot of growing up as a person and as a developer. I've went from being the most junior to about the 3rd most seniors and I've no doubt my efforts have contributed to the growth of the company.
I'm a big believer in coding flow, and that it takes at least 15 mins to get in that flow and about 5 seconds to break it. There is no do not disturb on the company chat, everything always on fire it seems.
So fuck a lot of this, but I've done the research and where I'm at is the best opportunity in a 100 mile radius. So I am thankful for this job. Plus I usually win the horror story contest.
So TL;DR the biggest distraction is every fucking thing in this god forsaken place.5
> Worst work culture you've experienced?
It's a tie between my first to employers.
First: A career's dead end.
Bosses hardly ever said the truth, suger-coated everything and told you just about anything to get what they wanted. E.g. a coworker of mine was sent on a business trip to another company. They had told him this is his big chance! He'd attend a project kick-off meeting, maybe become its lead permanently. When he got there, the other company was like "So you're the temporary first-level supporter? Great! Here's your headset".
And well, devs were worth nothing anyway. For every dev there were 2-3 "consultants" that wrote detailed specifications, including SQL statements and pseudocode. The dev's job was just to translate that to working code. Except for the two highest senior devs, who had perfect job security. They had cooked up a custom Ant-based build system, had forked several high-profile Java projects (e.g. Hibernate) and their code was purposely cryptic and convoluted.
You had no chance to make changes to their projects without involuntarily breaking half of it. And then you'd have to beg for a bit of their time. And doing something they didn't like? Forget it. After I suggested to introduce automated testing I was treated like a heretic. Well of course, that would have threatened their job security. Even managers had no power against them. If these two would quit half a dozen projects would simply be dead.
And finally, the pecking order. Juniors, like me back then, didn't get taught shit. We were just there for the work the seniors didn't want to do. When one of the senior devs had implemented a patch on the master branch, it was the junior's job to apply it to the other branches.
Second: A massive sweatshop, almost like a real-life caricature.
It was a big corporation. Managers acted like kings, always taking the best for themselves while leaving crumbs for the plebs (=devs, operators, etc). They had the spacious single offices, we had the open plan (so awesome for communication and teamwork! synergy effects!). When they got bored, they left meetings just like that. We... well don't even think about being late.
And of course most managers followed the "kiss up, kick down" principle. Boy, was I getting kicked because I dared to question a decision of my boss. He made my life so hard I got sick for a month, being close to burnout. The best part? I gave notice a month later, and _he_still_was_surprised_!
Plebs weren't allowed anything below perfection, bosses on the other hand... so, I got yelled at by some manager. Twice. For essentially nothing, things just bruised his fragile ego. My bosses response? "Oh he's just human". No, the plebs was expected to obey the powers that be. Something you didn't like? That just means your attitude needs adjustment. Like with the open plan offices: I criticized the noise and distraction. Well that's just my _opinion_, right? Anyone else is happily enjoying it! Why can't I just be like the others? And most people really had given up, working like on a production line.
The company itself, while big, was a big ball of small, isolated groups, sticking together by office politics. In your software you'd need to call a service made by a different team, sooner or later. Not documented, noone was ever willing to help. To actually get help, you needed to get your boss to talk to their boss. Then you'd have a chance at all.
Oh, and the red tape. Say you needed a simple cable. You know, like those for $2 on Amazon. You'd open a support ticket and a week later everyone involved had signed it off. Probably. Like your boss, the support's boss, the internal IT services' boss, and maybe some other poor sap who felt important. Or maybe not, because the justification for needing that cable wasn't specific enough. I mean, just imagine the potential damage if our employees owned a cable they shouldn't!
You know, after these two employers I actually needed therapy. Looking back now, hooooly shit... that's why I can't repeat often enough that we devs put up with way too much bullshit.3
We've all had shitty jobs at one point or another, maybe some of us already had software engineering experience while having to work in a different field for a variety of reasons.
Well check this shit.
At one point(during my second year of school) for various reasons I had to work in retail. For those that know, retail can be a soul crushing experience...the trick is not letting management to convince you that it is an actual good job, it is not, and I have respect and sympathy for everyone currently working in it. The mind numbing retarded customers that we get are absolutely fantastic in every sense of the word.
My position in retail was as a phone salesman, for MetroPCS (which for all of y'all european ninjas is one of the low end phone carriers here in the U.S) and the people that we get as customers where I live are normally very poor which apparently in Mexican culture stands for annoyingly ignorant (I am Mexican myself, so I can really vouch for this shit)
One day a customer came in telling me that there was an app that he was using that kept giving him troubles, it was a map application for truck drivers. Now, obviously, this had nothing to do with my line of work(phone salesman) and as such I normally tried to explain that and let them be, but I imagined that it was a settings issue so I reluctantly agreed to help him. I explained to him that the app was no longer maintained and that the reason for it was probably that the developer abandoned it and that he would just have to look into the app, upon closer inspection the app itself was nothing more than a wrapper over google maps with trucker icons and a "trucker" interface, he was using the app as a GPS navigator and he could as well just have been using google maps.
The conversation was like this:
Me: Well this app is no longer supported, it will probably be taken off the google store soon, you can look for something similar or just change to Google maps
Retard: What? no! I came here in order for you to fix it, Metro needs to fix their own apps!
Me (in complete disbelief): We have no control over third party apps, and even for the ones that we provide the store has no control over them. But this app is not ours and so we can't really do anything about it.
Retard: Well WTF should I do? I have been having many issues with youtube and spotify, shouldn't Metro fix their Google store?
Me: Those apps are not ours.....wait, you seem to believe that we own youtube and spotify, those are not ours
Retard: How the fuck they are not yours! its your phone isn't it?
Me: Eh no.....Metro does not(at this point I was sort of smiling because I wanted to laugh) own youtube or spotify or the play store or even this phone, metro does not own Android or Samsung(his phone was a samsung core prime)
Retard: Well You need to fix this
Me: No I do not and I can not, the developer for this app abandoned it and has nothing to do with us
Retard: Well call the developer and tell him to fix it
At this point I was on a very bad mode since this dude was being obnoxiously rude from the beginning and it annoyed me how he was asking for dumb shit.
Me: Did you pay for this app?
Me: So you expect that some developer out there will just go about and get working for something that you did not pay for?
Why don't you just use Google maps as your GPS?
Retard: Don't be stupid, Google has no maps
At this point I show him the screen where there is a lil app that said maps, pressed it and voila! map comes to life
Retard: Well....I did not know
Me: Yeah....but I am the stupid one right?
** throws phone for him to catch
Me: Have a good one bud.
And my manager was right next to me, he was just trying to control his laughter the whole time. I really despised working in there and was glad when I left. Retail man.......such a horrible fucking world.7
Parents had asked me to assemble some furniture, fix the pc and so some other "brain" work
Me: *Stops to check something in the manual*
Parents: Are you stuck? Maybe try assembling the door upside down
Me: No, it is the right way
Parents: *Ramble, ramble*
Me: Just let me work, shut the hell up
Me: *Checks cables, checks logs, ect*
Parents: Maybe it is the problem with (insert random tech word there)?
Parents: W h y?
Me: Let me finish, it isnt that, (tech word) isnt even correlated to that
Parents: But, but, you never talk to me... (ramble ramble)
Me: Get the hell outta the room
*Argumemt breaks out*
Me: *Finnaly manages to fix it after the heated argument*
Me: I finished, everything works
Parents: Great, but you are mean
Me: I managed to finish the work in 15 min, you dont even have enough strengh to call for a specialist, (but knowing me i wouldnt allow it anyway because a lot of them make a poor job), so in order to make it properly and to relieve you from learning how to fucking google i want you to stay out of this so i can just finish my job. Your interruptions waste time and i dont need your help at all. Everytime you tried to fix stuff you always managed to fuck shit up when you tried to do anything.
Me: SHUT THE FUCK UP, LEAVE MY ROOM
Parents: *Leave the room*
1h later i get 25$ for the job perfectly done
Sometime i wish they were tech independent, so i can save my sanity and time but money is nice.
If anybody tries to argue that i should respect them:
I tried talking to them nicely countless times through years, but they always force themself to a project and they always fuck shit up because of it. I tried telling them about my problems and they tried helping me but after it didnt work they retured to the old: "it is the pc fault" and similar. Even if they couldnt help me i juat wanted them to understand my situation, but no that didnt happened.
First i fix my life then i will fix the relationship
But but greeeeeg, relationships should be cared for always!
Eat shit. There is time for family and there is time for me especialy when my life can suddenly colapse due to my problems.5
I got a ticket near the end of the day, asking to install a printer on a computer. The branch in question was in a different time zone (I'm in US-Pacific [GMT-07] and the computer was in US-Eastern [GMT-04]). I figured I wouldn't worry about it; after all, I had other tickets to work on that were much higher priority.
The next day I come into work and immediately get a message from one of my East Coast coworkers, telling me that this branch is calling and asking how the printer is coming. I told him to tell them I would call them a bit later. I do a couple of easy jobs and then begrudgingly call the branch. I listen to the phone tree that they have (which requires two button presses instead of one in order to speak with someone) and finally get in contact with a person... only to have the call disconnect.
I call back and ask for the person who called in the ticket and then followed up, who had apparently gone to lunch. I informed the person that I was just going to install the printer and it would be good to go. This would be fine... up until she mentioned she needed scanning functionality.
Now I wasn't sure if the driver we have in AD is set up with the scan functionality, so I said okay, but that meant I would have to get the driver from the website. The connection to our branches are about 1Mbps, so even downloading Java updates (60-ish MB) take about 5-10 minutes on a good day. The file for this printer was about 700MB (thanks HP). So I went and did other stuff while that downloaded.
I come back after it finished and started the install process. Right away it asks to re-seat the USB cable. So I call the branch. The call disconnects. I call again. It disconnects. I call one more time, and finally get the person who called the ticket in. I instruct him to re-seat the cable. He does. The driver starts doing its thing. I tell him I'll call back if I run into any issues and we hang up.
The driver goes through the install process for about 20 minutes, stops at 99%, then fails. I want to restart the computer, just in case there's a conflict somewhere, but that would require calling the store again, so I put it off.
About an hour later I get a message from another East Coast coworker, telling me the branch is calling about the printer again. I was in the middle of another call and said I would call back later. I do. It disconnects. I call again, and get the person who called the ticket in again. I tell him I want to restart the computer, but wasn't sure if it was okay. He checks with the people using it, who says it's okay, so I reboot. I hang up.
Once the computer comes back up I start the install process again. It asks to re-seat the cable. Fuck. I don't want to call the store again, so I open notepad and say "Please take out the printer's USB connection from the back of the computer."
Three. Fucking. People. Saw it. They moved the window and one even tried to close it, but they didn't re-seat the cable. I opened another window, telling them to call me at my number. They didn't. I called them. Got disconnected. I called them again, finally got someone, told them to re-seat the printer cable again. They do, thank god.
I say thank you and hang up. Continue the installer. It stops at 99% again and fails. I reboot the computer; screw it, I'm just going to install the driver from Active Directory. Check Devices and Printers. It's installed successfully. Hallelujah!
I get the printer set up for the various programs they use and print a test page. I call them one last time; their phone system sounding like they were connected via an underwater line connected by tin cans. I get someone.
$me: Hi, I want to know if the printer has printed something.
$them (garbled): -et me shee... yesh, it -rint-d a *beezelborp*.
$me: Perfect, I'm going to close this ticket! Thanks, goodbye! *hangs up*
tl;dr - I hate printers
I forgot to put myself out of office today on our call schedule... Thought I'd get away with it because I shouldn't get calls anyways. Got a call. Not handling it, passed it on, but it woke me up... :(2
VIM! ViM! vim! Vi Improved! Emacs (Wait ignore that one). What’s this mysterious VIM? Some believe mastering this beast will provide them with untold mastery over the forces of command line editing. Others would just like to know, how you exit the bloody thing. But in essence VIM is essentially a command line text editor at heart and it’s learning curve is so high it’s a circle.
There’s a lot of posts on the inter-webs detailing how to use that cruel mistress that is VIM. But rather then focus on how to be super productive in VIM (because honestly I’ve still not got a clue). This focus on my personal journey, my numerous attempts to use VIM in my day to day work. To eventually being able to call myself a novice.
My VIM journey started in 2010 around the same time I was transiting some of my hobby projects from SVN to GIT. It was around that time, that I attempted to run “git commit” in order to commit some files into one of my repositories.
Notice I didn’t specify the “-m” flag to provide a message. So what happened next. A wild command line editor opened in order for me to specify my message, foolish me assumed this command editor was just like similar editors such as Nano. So much CTRL + C’ing CTRL + Z’ing, CTRL + X’ing and a good measure of Google, I was finally able to exit the thing. Yeah…exit it. At this moment the measure of the complexity of this thing should be kicking in already, but it’s unfair to judge it based on today’s standards of user friendly-ness. It was born in a much simpler time. Before even the mouse graced the realms of the personal computing world.
But anyhow I’ll cut to the chase, for all of you who skipped most of the post to get to this point, it’s “:q!”. That’s the keyboard command to quit…well kinda this will quit the program. But…You know what just go here: The Manual. In-fact that’s probably not going to help either, I recommend reading on :p
My curiosity was peaked. So I went off in search of a way to understand this: VIM thing. It seemed to be pretty awesome, looking at some video’s on YouTube, I could do pretty much what Sublime text could but from the terminal. Imagine ssh’ing into a server and being able to make code edits, with full autocomplete et al. That was the dream, the practice…was something different. So I decided to make the commitment and use VIM for editing one of my existing projects.
So fired the program up and watched the world burn behind me. Ahhh…why can’t I type anything, no matter what I typed nothing seemed to appear on screen. Surely I must be missing something right? Right! After firing up the old Google machine, again it would appear there is this concept known as modes. When VIm starts up it defaults to a mode called “Normal” mode, hitting keys in this mode executes commands. But “Insert” entered by hitting the “i” key allows one to insert text.
Finally I thought I think I understand how this VIM thing works, I can just use “insert” mode to insert text and the arrow keys to move around. Then when I want to execute a command, I just press “Esc” and the command such as the one for saving the file. So there I was happily editing my code using “Insert” mode and the arrow keys, but little did I know that my happiness would be short lived, the arrow keys were soon to be a thorn in my VIM journey.
Join me for part two of this rant in which we learn the untold truth about arrow keys, touch typing and vimrc created from scratch. Until next time..
A conversation between an offshore developer and his manager at a fortune 500:
I'm a software developer and the company I work for is a vendor for $manager's and $offshore_dev's company. They provide endless hours of entertainment/terror. Recently, we've been trying to convince them that they need to stop sending sensitive information plaintext over HTTP and set up TLS/HTTPS which has led to tons of fun conversations such as this one they had during a conference call:
* $manager: "Did $offshore_dev implement TLS1.2?"
* $offshore_dev: "Yes, we enabled a parameter in the code to enable TLS1.2 in the code but according to $me's email, this requires HTTPS in order to work."
* $manager: "No this works, we're using TLS in $other_application right now."
* $offshore_dev: "Well, $manager, it's implemented but it currently doesn't encrypt anything as such."
* $manager: "Okay, HTTPS is in the roadmap in the next quarter, we can move forward without this for now."5
300 global variables.. THREE HUNDRED FUCKING GLOBAL VARIABLES?
Are you for real?
Now let me check the line numbers again..
hmm.. line 97 to .. yep line 410, just a few new lines to seperate some of them or.. group? Idk, I've given up on trying to understand those.
Now you may ask "But ThatPerlDeb, where did you see this and what was the intention?"
Low and behold, take a chair and I may explain this to you.
First of all: Fuck the dev that wrote this!
Second: Fuck all the devs that kept up with this practice or whatever you want to fucking call this!
Now, the application is our POS system that our customers can use for a monthly fee (That this piece of garbage even requires payment is disgusting) but anyway..
The global variables sometimes are declared for labels, sometimes for some frames, sometimes just for random values to be there.
We're using Perl for the POS system and Perl ain't the best at OOP, so in the dev's defense I can understand why you'd use a few global variables, but not fucking 300!! FUCK OFF WITH THIS BULLSHIT!!
So now I'm going through this torture slowly but surely deleting globals and putting them into some sort of scope and always MANUALLY test if something broke. Again, this company sucks ass and there's nothing that could even be considered a "unit test" or something like that, so fuck that, too.
After two hours I've brought down the count of global variables to about 260, so there's progress being made..
But then, there comes more!
"But how???" you may ask, and you're right, I've asked that myself.
Now to resolve the global stuff in each file some of the initial globals are used, we got about 20-30 files which do different stuff, all fair and square, at least there was an attempt at seperating functions but god this mess is so fucking fucked up. So in order to "safely" delete a global variable I have to check if any of the variables are used in another file, and if so, in which scope and how they are used.
Spaghetti would be a compliment for this fucking disgusting piece of utter bullshit.
Let alone the code quality of this "code"
Indendation? Dafuq is dat?
Scope? Nah, we got everything global anyway
Function size? Well, some are 5 lines, some are 900 lines, who cares anyways, right?
I'm so fucking glad once I leave this shithole, for real.6
Nice to do some refactoring of the whole data access layer of our core logistics software, let me tell an story.
The project is around 80k lines of code, with a lot of integrations with an ERP system and an sql database.
The ERP system is old, shitty api for it also, only static methods through an wrapper to an c++ library
imagine an order table.
To access an order, you would first need to open the database by calling Api.Open(...file paths) (yes, it's an fucking flat file type database)
Now the database is open, now you would open the orders table with method Api.Table(int tableId) and in return you would get an integer value, the pointer.
Now for the actual order. first you need to search for it by setting the search parameter to the column ID of the order number while checking all calls for some BS error code
Api.SetInt(int pointer, int column, int query Value)
Then call the find method.
Then to top this shitcake of an api of: if it doesn't find your shit it will use the "close enough" method of search.
And now to read a singe string 😑
First you will look in the outdated and incorrect documentation given to you from the devil himself and look for the column ID to find the length of the column.
Then you create a string variable with ALL FUCKING SPACES.
Now you call the Api.GetStr(int pointer, int column, ref string emptyString, int length)
Now you have passed your poor string to the api's demon orgy by reference.
Then some more BS error code checking.
Now you have read an string value 😀
Now keep in mind to repeat these steps for all 300+ columns in the order table.
News from the creators: SQL server? yes, sql is good so everything will be better?
Now imagine the poor developers that got tasked to convert this shitcake to use a MS SQL server, that they did.
Now I can honestly say that I found the best SQL server benchmark tool. This sucker creams out just above ~105K sql statements per second on peak and ~15K per second for 1.5 second to read an order. 1.5 second to read less than 4 fucking kilobytes!
Right at that moment I released that our software would grind to an fucking halt before even thinking about starting it. And that me & myself and I would be tasked to fix it.
4 months later and two weeks until functional beta, here I am. We created our own api with the SQL server 😀
And the outcome of all this...
Fixes bugs older than a year, Forces rewriting part of code base. Forces removal of dirty fixes. allows proper unit and integration testing and even database testing with snapshot feature.
The whole ERP system could be replaced with ~10 lines of code (provided same relational structure) on the application while adding it to our own API library.
Best part is probably the performance improvements 😀. Up to 4500 times faster and 60 times less memory usage also with only managed memory.3
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
>Working on code
>Shit works as intended first try, nice
>Goes to play strange bootleg Gameboy Color ROM sent by a friend
>ROM immediately fucking dies
>Pop emulator's debugger
we're executing from VRAM, stack's firmly embedded in ROM
>Add execution breakpoint to entrypoint of game, restart emulated system (because i'm actually using the legit bios i hacked so it allows null/corrupted games to run)
>Step through everything, everything goes well until all of a sudden we call a function and shit hits the goddamn fan
well we have the culprit
>step through subroutine
if <unused_byte_in_HRAM> != 0 then stackPointer+=32;tryAgain();else return
>Realize this is using a bootleg Memory Bank Controller with hard-backed encryption so none of the bytes executed or read as data are the right byte
>Find emulator that'll handle the jank MBC
>read code to try and figure out how it works
if checksumExtendedLogoBlob == some_number then set MBC_Bootleg1 else if checksumExtendedLogoBlob == some_other_number then set MBC_Bootleg2 else if...
>Spend 10 minutes finding the right bootleg MBC
>code shows 8 possible tables for real bit order based on some value in the cart header
>look for code that gets this value
>not in the header
>not in ANY header in this 1000+ file emulator
>not in any related cpp files???
>"Delivery failed: email doesn't exist"
fuck me i guess2
I just fucked up real bad:
My phone was giving some error about not being able to install an update. Fair enough, i think to myself, so i try rebooting. Still nothing...
I then remember that i at some point OEM unlocked it for some testing, so i start up adb and see if i can connect during the update process. I can't. This is bad: I can't get into my home environment, nor can i connect with adb
Then i try booting into recovery, but instead of booting to ACTUAL recovery, it boots to some custom made "E-Recovery" made by huawei (my phone is a huawei p9 lite), which only gives me the option to download the update, which crashes, and no way of resetting. However, from here, i am finally able to connect to my internal storage via hisuite to make a backup
Next up: Bootloader
So i next load up the unlocked bootloader to try and manually flash the update. That works great, but it still wont boot normally. So i figure: it must think my device is in fact a different device. At this point i'm pretty fucked: Even though i have my data backed up, i can't manually download the update from huawei's site because i don't have the right keys, and i can't download an OTA because their site sucks and half of the downloads don't work, including the one i need. So now i'm stuck here with a bricked phone because EMUI doesn't know how to install an update.
I then did the stupidest thing i have done to date: i wanted to flash a custom recovery image over the "E-Recovery" in order to do some troubleshooting, but instead of writing
"fastboot (mydeviceid) flash recovery recovery.img"
"fastboot (mydeviceid) flash boot recovery.img"
Meaning i flashed my BOOT partition with a custom recovery image that turned out to not be able to run. Great! Now i've totally fucked my boot sequence
I can't call their support line either, because as soon as they realize i've tried to restore it myself, and therefor had my OEM unlocked, they basically just hang up.7
Isn't it fun when you are given a library or framework and that in order to debug it you have to use some hacky way of hooking the code to a special instance of the project?
Even more fun: the developers by default don't debug the project with tools, but rather with logic. Ok, that's a good way to debug but it shouldn't be the only way to debug. I don't want to go back to the age of coding on paper. At least give me a stacktrace that's halfway clear on what's happening there. Even worse is when the framework doesn't document its own problems! stacktrace.someMagicalMethodNoOneKnowsWhatItDoes(). Having to read the even more mystic and overly verbose documentation! You're just left there trying and guessing shit, even for the senior devs!
And do you know what's more fucked up?! Fucking using println() to debug!! And they take this shit seriously! I don't understand how these people call themselves programmers. No breakpoints? What the fuck, man!
Just give me Visual Studio for fuck's sake. I don't want to code in a broken IDE with a broken framework. Development on its own is already hard enough, so don't make it harder by giving me crappy frameworks and crappy IDE's that only work half the time.
Debugging without a debugger, with broken IDE's, with broken frameworks, I'm sorry but that's just not for me. And then the framework dares advertise that it 'lets the developer focus on business code!' (how many times have you heard this crap before?). Right, the only thing I focus on constantly is trying to figure out why their broken framework doesn't work.
So a bit ago I posted a rant saying that I would be getting ElementaryOS onto my computer and trying it out, buckle up kiddos because this goes to shit in just a moment.
I did everything right, used Rufus correctly and didn't destroy my computer nor my installer, good! I set it up, get everything going and everything is running smoothly. One problem... I couldn't download **any** programs that weren't from the Ubuntu Store, which really annoyed me because I like to use Brackets, and I couldn't find it in the UStore...
So I messed up **really** bad here... I didn't *format* my Elementary Installer, but tried to delete the files like a pleb and stick an Ubuntu ISO in it's place, I didn't even think on going through Rufus again, I just slapped that shit in there without a thought.
I restart my computer, I read a forum stating that I would get an option that allows Ubuntu (or another Linux distro) to take over the partition of a previous distro. Neat! Another bloody problem is that I decided to use "Win + R" and manually delete the Elementary partition **myself**... What is even wrong with me...
So I restarted it, and before my father left to go shopping, he said I should go into the BIOS to change the boot order (Now this is where I **really fucked up**. Thought what I said before was bad?).
Cool, so I boot my PC and go into the BIOS, now I couldn't figure out on my computer where the boot order was, when it was right in my face the whole damn time... I managed to almost destroy my entire BIOS with the fucking file in my USB stick, because I was being an idiot...
I restart, GRUB opens up with a black screen and white text in the top left corner, know what the most important line is in that small block of words? "unknown filesystem"... Of fucking course I fucked it that bad, GRUB didn't even give me the option of just using Windows 10 instead, just quietly gave me the middle finger since I basically nearly fucked everything.
What's funny is that I had someone (who lives with us, let's call him Jeff) look at my computer because I was done being a dumbass.
He told me that I still had my BIOS (which was a bloody relief, because I thought I basically destroyed my computer doing what I did) and that all I need to do is fix the installer I tried to use.
I gave him the USB and just started to play on my phone.
Then I remembered something maybe an hour or so ago... I had an older installer that I used on my shitty laptop awhile back, if I can find it again I could just use that instead of waiting on Jeff. I dug around my room and found the USB that had a working Ubuntu ISO on, correctly placed inside this time.
I basically walked up to my computer, plugged it in and started it up, and it worked. I got Ubuntu and Windows 10 back, and I was basically laughing like I just saved a man's life.
Moral of this story: Don't be like me and do something stupid, especially if you don't know what the fuck you're attempting at...
I just finished posting this but think it deserves its own post.
If you're creating a business or "startup" (as people like to call it these days) don't assume the idea is novel or investors will just jump on board. Focus on the business fundementals, money and cash flow, even before launch, unless you can afford not to. But really you can't afford not to. Selling before launch means that you're effectively doing two things 1 you're collecting new customers and income for the business and 2 you're. raising awareness at the same time. Obscurity is death and failure.
Get you a good sales team and marketer when the time is right.
Have a year of runway.
Identify the sites and groups your target audience and investors frequent. Start conversations now, buzz is the hardest thing to generate.
Start building relations with customers and potential clients now. Discuss launch, ask them if they'd be willing to pay up front before launch, in order to secure a "lifetime membership", offer it as an early opportunity and charge extra. Giving a discount out of the gate is a mistake B/c it says to potential investors that you don't think it's ready or worth it yet. Of course if it's between making 1. Some money or 2. No money, don't let it be a deal breaker, offer a discount. Going from no clients to any clients is a BIG deal. If you can do 1 you can make it to 10, if 10, you can reach 100, we etc.
No one likes asking for money and yet it is as important if not more important than development.
I'm in need of advice. I reckon this is no stack overflow but that's probably for the best as I wouldn't feel as comfortable posting there as I am doing it here. So, back to the question: I'm currently working with legacy code, written in .NET 2.0. This code is responsible for calling upon PEC services in order to finally create personal smart cards. I was tasked with the job of creating a repository system that would allow the program to call on the old legacy services or the new ones without any distinction. We are talking about SOAP services in both cases. The issues is: the new service definition is comprised of soap policies. This wouldn't be a problem per se, with more modern version of the framework, but with .NET 2.0? Yes, it is. It doesn't support policies and signing the body with a certificate right out of the box. How can I manage this? I feel like the only way would be letting the proxy class do its thing up until the very last moment: intercept the SOAP request before its sent and modify it according to the specifications. But I reckon this is very bad practice. Is there any other way out of this?
Thanks for anyone that would like to help. 🙂6