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I work for a company that develops a variety of software solutions for companies of varying sizes. The company has three people in charge, and small teams that each worked on a certain project. 9 months ago I joined the company as a junior developer, and coincidentally, we also started working on our biggest project so far - an online platform for buying groceries from a variety of vendors/merchants and having them be delivered to your doorstep on the same day (hadn't been done to this scale in Estonia yet). One of the people from management joined the team working on that. The company that ordered this is coincidentally being run by one of the richest men in Estonia. The platform included both the actual website for customers to use, a logistics system for routing between the merchants, the warehouse, and the customers, as well as a bunch of mobile apps for the couriers, warehouse personnel, etc. It was built on Node.js with Hapi (for the backend stuff), Angular 2 (for all the UIs, including the apps which are run through a WebView wrapper), and PostgreSQL (for the database). The deadline for the MVP we (read: the management) gave them, but we finished it in about 7 months in a team of five.
The hours were insane, from 10 AM to 10 PM if lucky. When we weren't lucky (which was half of the time, if not more), we had to work until anywhere from 12 PM to 3 AM, sometimes even the whole night. The weekends weren't any better, for the majority of the time we had to put in even more extra hours on the weekends. Luckily, we were paid extra for them, but the salary was no way near fair (the majority of the team earned about 1000€/mo after taxes in a country where junior developers usually earn 1500€/month). Also because of the short deadline given to us, we skipped all the important parts like writing tests, doing CI, code reviews, feature branching/PR's, etc. I tried pushing the team and the management to at least write tests and make feature branches/PRs, but the management always told me that there wasn't enough time to coordinate and work on all that, that we'll do that after launching the MVP, etc. We basically just wrote features, tested them by hand, and pushed into the "test" branch which would later get tested and merged into master.
During development, one of the other juniors managed to write the worst kind of Angular code you could imagine - enormous amounts of duplication, no reusable components (every view contained the everything used in the view, so popups and other parts that should logically be reusable were in every view separately), fuck - even the HTML was broken (the most memorable for me were the "table > tr > div > td" ones, but that's barely scratching the surface). He left a few months into the project, and we had to build upon his shit, ever so slightly trying to fix the shit he produced. This could have definitely been avoided if we did code reviews.
A month after launching the MVP for internal testing, the guy working on the logistics system had burned out and left the company (he's earning more than twice the salary he got here, happy for him, he is a great coder and an even better team player). This could have been avoided if this project had been planned better, but I can't really blame them, since it was the first project they had at this scale (even though they had given longer deadlines for projects way smaller than this).
After we finished and launched the MVP, the second guy from management joined, because he saw we needed extra help. Again I tried to push us into investing the time to write tests for the system (because at this point we had created an unstable cluster fuck of a codebase), but again to no avail. The same "no time, just test it manually for now, we'll do that later when we have time" bullshit from management.
Now, a few weeks ago, the third guy from management joined. He saw what a disaster our whole project was. Him joining was simply a blessing from the skies. He started off by writing migrations using sequelize. I talked to him about writing tests and everything, and he actually listened. He told me that I'm gonna be the one writing them, and also talked to the rest of management about it. I was overjoyed. I could actually hear the bitterness in the voices of the rest of management when they told me how to write the tests, what to test, etc. But I didn't give a flying rat's ass, I was hapi.
I was told to start off by writing a smoke test for the whole client flow using Puppeteer. I got even happier, since I was finally able to again learn new things (this stopped at about 4 or 5 months into the project).
I'm using jest as the framework and started writing the tests in TypeScript. Later I found a library called jest-extended, but it didn't have type defs, so I decided to write them and, for the first time in my life, contribute to the open source community.20
Worst exp. on a collab/group project?
Had a few, here is one.
Worked with a dev team (of two devs) in Norway to begin collaboration on providing a portal into our system (placing orders, retrieving customer info, inventory control, etc)
They spoke very good English, but motivation was the problem. Start the day around 10:00AM...take a two hour lunch...ended the day at, if I was lucky, 4:00PM (relative to Norway time). Response time to questions took days, sometimes weeks. We used Skype, which helped, but everything was "Yea...I'll do that tomorrow...waiting on X....I have a wedding to go to, so I'll finish my part next week."
I didn't care so much, I had other projects to do, but the stakeholders pounded me almost everyday demanding a progress report (why aren't you done yet...etc..etc.)
The badgering got so bad I told the project owner (a VP) if he wanted this project done by the end of the year, the company would have to fly me to Norway so I personally push things along.
When real money was on the line, he decided patience was warranted.
A 3 month project turned into 9, and during a phone meeting with the CEO in December
O: "Thanks guys, this project is going great. We'll talk again in February. Bye."
PM: "Whoa...what! February!"
O: "Um..yes? It's Christmas time. Don't you Americans take off for Christmas?"
PM: "Yes, but not until Christmas. Its only December 12th. Your taking the whole month of December and January for Christmas?"
O:"Yes, of course. You Americans work too hard. You should come over here and see how we celebrate. Takes about a month so we can ease back into the flow of things."
<Jack is the VP>
PM: "Jack wanted this project completed by the end of the year, that is what everyone agreed to."
O:"Yes, I suppose, but my plane is waiting on me. Not to worry, everything will be fine."
<ceo hangs up>
PM: "Oh shit..oh shit..oh shit. What are you going to do!?"
Me: "Me!?..not a darn thing. Better go talk with Jeff."
<Jeff is the VP>
J: "This is unacceptable. You promised this project would only take a few months. I told you there would be consequences for not meeting the deadline."
PM:"But..but...its not our fault."
J: "I don't care about fault. I care about responsibility. I've never had to fire anyone for not meeting a deadline, but .."
Me: "Jeff, they are in Norway and no one is working this project for the next two months. You've known for months about them dragging their asses on this project. We're ready to go. Services have been tested and deployed. Accounting has all the payment routing ready. Only piece missing is theirs."
J: "Oh. OK. Great job guys. I guess we'll delay this project until February."
<leave the office>
PM: "Holy shit I'm glad you were there. I thought I was fired."
Me: "Yea, and that prick would have done it not giving a crap that it's Christmas."
<fast forward to Feb>
O: "Our service provider fell through, so I'm hosting with another company. You guys know PHP? Perl? I don't know what they called it, but it sounded so cool I bought the company."
PM: "You bought what? Are we still working with Z and B?"
O:"Yea, sort of. How's your German? New guy only speaks German."
PM: "Um, uh... no one here speaks German"
O:"Not to worry, I speak German, French, and Italian. I'll be your translator."
PM: "What? French and Italian?"
O: "On my trip to France I connected with a importer who then got me in touch with international shipper in Italy. I flew over there and met a couple really smart guys than can help us out. My new guy only speaks German, J only speaks French, and R speaks Italian, Russian, and a little English. Not to worry, I'm full time on this project. You have my full attention."
We believe the CEO has/had some serious mental issues, including some ADD. He bailed within the first month (took another vacation to Sweden to do some fishing) and left me using Google Translate to coordinate the project. Luckily, by the end, the Norwegian company hired a contractor from England who spoke German and hobbled together the final integration.3
we are learning how a disk rotates in order to preserve memory on the physical computer hardware. in order for this disk to preserve memory, it has to rotate by following laws of physics as a circular sphere with sine and cosine waves on the coordinate system. these sine and cosine waves that vibrate independently and periodically, which means that the disk rotates 10,000 orbits per second. a drill rotates 2000 orbits per second. 10,000 orbits per second is fast enough to cut your hand off in less than 1 millisecond. we are learning that this disk has to rotate so fast in order to preserve the memory which was stored by the database system with sql.
on a subject called sql databases.13
I have a meeting today with our UX designer to explain why we can't provide a Photoshop resizing functionality to a block level element inside a content editable div. That will be hard.2
in teams with backenders and frontenders, how do you guys coordinate introducing breaking changes to the API while the system is live ?15
I usually don’t want to speak ill of my university (applied science). But this is just ridiculous.
They want us to deliver an Android-App that offers UI and controls for a fictional drone-scenario. The task is about making a usable UI, so an API/Backend for the drone simulation is given.
It is required to offer drone control elements, like climb/decent, turn left/right, go faster/slower… easy enough.
Then, a map is required that visualizes the drone in its environment. Simple map, just like a coordinate-system, no images and stuff. There may be obstacles at certain coordinates, that need to be visualized. These obstacles also move.
But this just covers X/Y, you also need to visualize the height (Z) somehow. And to visualize the course/direction and inclination (angle).
As the drone can go faster/slower, the map and the height-graphs have to scale accordingly.
The fictional drone has radar, so the radar coverage has to be visualized on the map but also according to the ground. So like a triangle that may (Not) connect to the ground, which indicates whether the radar can detect obstacles at the current height.
(It is supposed to detect ground vehicles, so nothing within the air)
Yeah ok, that’s a do-able task, no complains. It might be fun, it might be difficult for a 5“ screen. But all-in-all do-able.
They gave us three weeks to deliver the App. That accounts for 18h study time in the lab plus xh homework.
Within the first 6h Lab-Session, my colleagues failed to even set up an android project with some sample classes/files.
Within the second 6h Lab-Session we were taught to build an App where you can move an image with your finger around. My colleagues didn’t even complete that, because no programming-practice.
And we’re now supposed to deliver that fancy app on Friday.
I didn’t start yet, much organizational tasks around my thesis, as we‘re in the final semester.
But the amount of work for that App?! Ridiculous. I might finish it in time. But my colleagues are never going to even do something until Friday?!
The tricky things are scaling and moving of the map, drawing a graph, etc. we are allowed to use libraries tho.
But even then, the workload is unbelievable, if you didn’t make a real Android app before.
I‘m a good and experienced developer (but no android experience), I will figure it out. But I don’t even know basic keywords for what to search in the documentation. 😩
If a client ask me for such an App, my estimates wouldn’t be near three weeks.
Or that 18h plus like 18h at home, never.
But my colleagues can’t figure out how to: download an HTML document within a browser, set up an Android app project or recognize that they are trying to paste JS code in a C# file.
Keep your fingers crossed, I’ve to finish this thing till Friday!