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An intern I was supposed to lead (as an intern) and work with. Which sounded kinda crazy to me, but also fun so I rolled with it. But when I met her I quickly found out she didn't even have a coding editor installed and when I advised one she was "scared of virusses". She had Microsoft Edge in her toolbar, and some picture of a cat as a background. We were given some project by our boss, and a freelance programmer helped us set it up on Trello. Great, lets start! Oke maybe first some R&D, she had to reaeach how to use the Twilio API. After catching her on WhatsApp a few times I realised this wasnt gonna go anywere. After a few weeks of coding and posting a initial project to git I asked her if she could show me the code of the API she made so far..
She told me she was using the quickstart guide (the last 3 FUCKING weeks) which contained some test project with specific use cases.
The one that I did 3 weeks ago that same fucking morning.
AND SHE WAS STILL NOT DONE...
A few days later I asked her about the progress (strangly, I wasn't allowed ti give her another task bcs the freelanc already did) and guess what... She got fking pissed at me
Her: "I will come to you when im done, ok?"
Me: "I just want to see how it is going so far and if you are running into any problems!"
Her: "I dont want to show you right now"
She then goes to my fucking boss to tell him I am bothering her.
And omg... Please dear god please kill me now...
Instead of him saying the she probably didn't do shit. He says to me that the girl thinks im looking down on her and she needs a stress free environment to work in. She will show me when its done. ITS A FUCKING QUICKSTART GUIDE YOU DUMB BITCH.
He then procceeded to whine to me about the email template (another project I do at the same time) which didn't look perfect in all of his clients.
Dont they understand that I am not a frontend developer? Can you stop please? I know nothing about email templates, I told you this!!!
Really... the whole fucking internship the only thing the girl did was ask people if they want more tea. Then she starts cleaning the windows, talk to people for an hour, or clean everyone's dask.
all this while I already made 50% of the fucking product and she just finished the quickstart tutorial 😭. Truly 2 months wasted, and the worse thing is I didn't get any apprication. They constantly blamed me and whined at me. Sometimes for being 3 minutes late, the other for smoking too much, or because I drink to much coffee, or that I dont eat healthy. They even forced me to play Ping Pong. While im just trying to do my job. One of the worst things they got mad at me for if when my laptop got hacked bcs it was infected with some virus. He had remote access and bought 5 iPhones 6's with my paypal while I was on break. I had to go home and quickly reset all my passwords and make sure the iPhones wouldnt get delivered. strange this was, this laptop I only used at the company. So it must have been software I had to download there. Probably phpstorm (torrent). Bcs nobody would give me a license. And the freelancer said I * have to *.
the monday after I still had to reinstall windows so I called them and said I would be late. when I came they were so disrepectfull and didn't understand anything. It went a little like this:
Boss: why u late?
Me: had to reinstall my laptop, sorry.
Boss: why didnt you do this in your own time?
Me: well, I didn't have any time.
Boss: cant you do this in the weekend or something? Because now we have to pay you several hours bcs you downloaded something at home.
Me: I am only using this laptop for work so thats not possible.
Boss: how can that even be possible? You are not doing anything at home with your laptop? Is that why you never do anything at home?
Me: uhm, I have desktop computer you know. Its much faster. And I also need to rest sometimes. Areeb (freelancer) told me to torrent the software. He gave me the link. 2 days later this happends
Boss: Ahh okeee I see.. Well dont let it happen again.
After that nobody at the compamy trusted me with anything computer related. Yes it was my own fault I downloaded a virus but it can happen to anyone. After that I never used Windows again btw, also no more auto login apps.8
#2 Worst thing I've seen a co-worker do?
Back before we utilized stored procedures (and had an official/credentialed DBA), we used embedded/in-line SQL to fetch data from the database.
var sql = @"Select
Id = @ID"
In attempts to fix database performance issues, a developer, T, started putting all the SQL on one line of code (some sql was formatted on 10+ lines to make it readable and easily copy+paste-able with SSMS)
var sql = "Select ... From...Where...etc";
His justification was putting all the SQL on one line make the code run faster.
T: "Fewer lines of code runs faster, everyone knows that."
Mgmt bought it.
This process took him a few months to complete.
When none of the effort proved to increase performance, T blamed the in-house developed ORM we were using (I wrote it, it was a simple wrapper around ADO.Net with extension methods for creating/setting parameters)
T: "Adding extra layers causes performance problems, everyone knows that."
Mgmt bought it again.
Removing the ORM, again took several months to complete.
By this time, we hired a real DBA and his focus was removing all the in-line SQL to use stored procedures, creating optimization plans, etc (stuff a real DBA does).
In the planning meetings (I was not apart of), T was selected to lead because of his coding optimization skills.
DBA: "I've been reviewing the execution plans, are all the SQL code on one line? What a mess. That has to be worst thing I ever saw."
T: "Yes, the previous developer, PaperTrail, is incompetent. If the code was written correctly the first time using stored procedures, or even formatted so people could read it, we wouldn't have all these performance problems."
DBA didn't know me (yet) and I didn't know about T's shenanigans (aka = lies) until nearly all the database perf issues were resolved and T received a recognition award for all his hard work (which also equaled a nice raise).7
Worst fight I've had with a co-worker?
Had my share of 'disagreements', but one that seemed like it could have gone to blows was a developer, 'T', that tried to man-splain me how ADO.Net worked with SQLServer.
<T walks into our work area>
T: "Your solution is going to cause a lot of problems in SQLServer"
Me: "No, its not, your solution is worse. For performance, its better to use ADO.Net connection pooling."
T: "NO! Every single transaction is atomic! SQLServer will prioritize the operation thread, making the whole transaction faster than what you're trying to do."
<T goes on and on about threads, made up nonsense about priority queues, on and on>
Me: "No it won't, unless you change something in the connection string, ADO.Net will utilize connection pooling and use the same SPID, even if you explicitly call Close() on the connection. You are just wasting code thinking that works."
T walks over, stands over me (he's about 6.5", 300+ pounds), maybe 6 inches away
T: "I've been doing .net development for over 10 years. I know what I'm doing!"
I turn my chair to face him, look up, cross my arms.
Me: "I know I'm kinda new to this, but let me show you something ..."
<I threw together a C# console app, simple connect, get some data, close the connection>
Me: "I'll fire up SQLProfiler and we can see the actual connection SPID and when sql server closes the SPID....see....the connection to SQLServer is still has an active SPID after I called Close. When I exit the application, SQLServer will drop the SPD....tada...see?"
T: "Wha...what is that...SQLProfiler? Is that some kind of hacking tool? DBAs should know about that!"
Me: "It's part of the SQLServer client tools, its on everyone's machine, including yours."
T: "Doesn't prove a damn thing! I'm going to do my own experiment and prove my solution works."
Me: "Look forward to seeing what you come up with ... and you haven't been doing .net for 10 years. I was part of the team that reviewed your resume when you were hired. You're going to have to try that on someone else."
About 10 seconds later I hear him from across the room slam his keyboard on his desk.
100% sure he would have kicked my ass, but that day I let him know his bully tactics worked on some, but wouldn't work on me.7
Biggest challenge I overcame as dev? One of many.
Avoiding a life sentence when the 'powers that be' targeted one of my libraries for the root cause of system performance issues and I didn't correct that accusation with a flame thrower.
What the accusation? What I named the library. Yep. The *name* was causing every single problem in the system.
Panorama (very, very expensive APM system at the time) identified my library in it's analysis, the calls to/from SQLServer was the bottleneck
We had one of Panorama's engineers on-site and he asked what (not the actual name) MyLibrary was and (I'll preface I did not know or involved in any of the so-called 'research') a crack team of developers+managers researched the system thoroughly and found MyLibrary was used in just about every project. I wrote the .Net 1.1 MyLibrary as a mini-ORM to simplify the execution of database code (stored procs, etc) and gracefully handle+log database exceptions (auto-logged details such as the target db, stored procedure name, parameter values, etc, everything you'd need to troubleshoot database errors). This was before Dapper and the other fancy tools used by kids these days.
By the time the news got to me, there was a team cobbled together who's only focus was to remove any/every trace of MyLibrary from the code base. Using Waterfall, they calculated it would take at least a year to remove+replace MyLibrary with the equivalent ADO.Net plumbing.
In a department wide meeting:
DeptMgr: "This day forward, no one is to use MyLibrary to access the database! It's slow, unprofessionally named, and the root cause of all the database issues."
Me: "What about MyLibrary is slow? It's excecuting standard the ADO.Net code. Only extra bit of code is the exception handling to capture the details when the exception is logged."
DeptMgr: "We've spent the last 6 weeks with the Panorama engineer and he's identified MyLibrary as the cause. Company has spent over $100,000 on this software and we have to make fact based decisions. Look at this slide ... "
<DeptMgr shows a histogram of the stacktrace, showing MyLibrary as the slowest>
Me: "You do realize that the execution time is the database call itself, not the code. In that example, the invoice call, it's the stored procedure that taking 5 seconds, not MyLibrary."
<at this point, DeptMgr is getting red-face mad>
AreaMgr: "Yes...yes...but if we stopped using MyLibrary, removing the unnecessary layers, will make the code run faster."
<typical headknodd-ers knod their heads in agreement>
Dev01: "The loading of MyLibrary takes CPU cycles away from code that supports our customers. Every CPU cycle counts."
Me: "I'm really confused. Maybe I'm looking at the data wrong. On the slide where you highlighted all the bottlenecks, the histogram shows the latency is the database, I mean...it's right there, in red. Am I looking at it wrong?"
<this was meeting with 20+ other devs, mgrs, a VP, the Panorama engineer>
DeptMgr: "Yes you are! I know MyLibrary is your baby. You need to check your ego at the door and face the facts. Your MyLibrary is a failed experiment and needs to be exterminated from this system!"
Fast forward 9 months, maybe 50% of the projects updated, come across the documentation left from the Panorama. Even after the removal of MyLibrary, there was zero increases in performance. The engineer recommended DBAs start optimizing their indexes and other N+1 problems discovered. I decide to ask the developer who lead the re-write.
Me: "I see that removing MyLibrary did nothing to improve performance."
Dev: "Yes, DeptMgr was pissed. He was ready to throw the Panorama engineer out a window when he said the problems were in the database all along. Didn't you say that?"
Me: "Um, so is this re-write project dead?"
Dev: "No. Removing MyLibrary introduced all kinds of bugs. All the boilerplate ADO.Net code caused a lot of unhandled exceptions, then we had to go back and write exception handling code."
Me: "What a failure. What dipshit would think writing more code leads to less bugs?"
Dev: "I know, I know. We're so far behind schedule. We had to come up with something. I ended up writing a library to make replacing MyLibrary easier. I called it KnightRider. Like the TV show. Everyone is excited to speed up their code with KnightRider. Same method names, same exception handling. All we have to do is replace MyLibrary with KnightRider and we're done."
Me: "Won't the bottlenecks then point to KnightRider?"
Dev: "Meh, not my problem. Panorama meets primarily with the DBAs and the networking team now. I doubt we ever use Panorama to look at our C# code."
Needless to say, I was (still) pissed that they had used MyLibrary as dirty word and a scapegoat for months when they *knew* where the problems were. Pissed enough for a flamethrower? Maybe.10
Hired a new BI developer. She tested reasonably ok in SQL, and certainly showed good strengths in visualising data, plus had a good attitude in the interview. We hired her. She broke her laptop the first day. We got her another then she complained the camera didn't work but didn't realise the lever in front of the camera was to move the privacy shutter off and on.
Assigned her some work of taking queries that are used in a BI tool that targets the transactional database directly, and re-jigging them for Snowflake which we're using as a data warehouse now, aggregating all our data into one place. Yet, she's struggling to understand why the SQL query she's pasted in doesn't work as-is.
I go over it again; the source schemas and tables are this, but in Snowflake we've named them this. She then bemoans how much work that is to change them all - I say use find and replace. She then struggles with Snowflake syntax errors and asks for a guide on T-SQL to Snowflake. I show her Google and say "this is what I did when I hit these problems - search for 'Snowflake equivalent to T-SQL getdate()' or 'how to get current date in Snowflake' but she still doesn't understand. I ask if she's every had to work between T-SQL and MySQL or MySQL and PostgreSQL or Oracle and so on and she says yes. I say the syntax isn't the same, is it? And she goes oh, now I understand.
She scored reasonably in her SQL test but I'm now concerned there's something fundamental missing in her grasp of SQL. I gave her a detailed demo of the tools, I explained in the interview and on her start about our move to a data warehouse for all our apps, and put her through some training plus gave her time to work through our Confluence pages - not expecting she'll remember everything, but more to ensure she recalls they exist and what the general contents are.
Anyhow, that's my rant.7
them: welcome new project members, this is our CI/CD pipeline which is completely different from the rest of the company, there won't be any great knowledge transfer, we just expect you to be able to know and use everything. but also, we expect you to work on your tasks and don't waste any time.
me: okay, so my tasks aren't going as fast as expected, because I need to invest some learning so i can set up my project correctly.
later: some help would be nice, i'm stuck right now
coworker: *helps me to fix my problems, which were partly due to misconfigured build servers* i know it's a lot, and unfortunately, for this topic sources on the web aren't so good. i can really recommend this book, this will give a deeper understanding of the topic.
me: okay, yeah i mean, tbh, i'll read the book if the project invests some time for me so i can learn everything that's required, but this won't happen. also, some initial workshop on the topic or anything would have been nice.
coworker: well, i mean, i am a software developer. for me, it is normal that i learn all that stuff in my free time. and i think that's what the PM expects from us.
me: okay, that's fine for you, i mean, if i'm interested in a topic, i will invest my private time. but in this case, PM would just expect me to do unpaid labor, to gain knowledge and skills that i can use in this specific project. i'm not willing to do that.
it's not that i don't want to learn. the thing is that there isn't any energy left by the end of the day. i'm actually trying to find some work life balance, because i don't feel balanced right now, haven't felt since i started this job.
also, this is only one of several projects i'm working on. it's like they expect me this project has top priority in my life. if it wasn't so annoying on different levels, maybe i'd have a more positive attitude towards it.
also, at the moment i find it fucking annoying that i have to invest so much time in this dev ops bullshit and this keeps me from doing my actual work.
if they are unhappy with my skills, either they can invest in my learning or kick me out. at this point, either is fine for me..10
Before becoming a developer I used to work in IT, and I really liked the fact that I can solve so many computer problems and the troubleshooting part.
Now I just feel very stupid when something is not working the way it's supposed to do.3
I took a job with a software company to manage their product, which was a SaaS property maintenance system for real estate, social housing, etc.
There was no charge to real estate agents to use it but maintenance contractors had to use credits to take a job, which they pre-purchased. They recharged their credit costs back to the real estate agent on their invoice).
Whether this pricing model is good or not, that's what it was. So, in I came, and one of the first things management wanted me to deal with was a long-standing problem where nobody in the company ever considered a contractor's credits could go into the negative. That is, they bought some credits once, then kept taking jobs (and getting the real estate agent to pay for the credits), and went into negative credits, never paying another cent to this software company.
So, I worked with product and sales and finance and the developers to create a series of stories to help get contractors' back into positive credits with some incentives, and most certainly preventing anyone getting negative again.
The code was all tested, all was good, and this was the whole sprint. We released it ...
... and then suddenly real estate agents were complaining reminders to inspect properties were being missed and all sorts of other date-related events were screwed up.
I couldn't understand how this happened. I spoke with the software manager and he said he added a couple of other pieces of code into the release.
In particular, the year prior someone complained a date on a report was too squished and suggested a two-digit year be used. Some atrocious software developer worked on it who, quite seriously, didn't simply change the formatting of that one report. No, he modified the code everywhere to literally store two-digit years in the database. This code sat unreleased for a year and then .... for no perceivable reason, the moron software manager decided he'd throw it into this sprint without telling me or anybody else, or without it being tested.
I told him to rollback but he said he'd already had developers fixing the problems as they came up. He seemed to be confident they'd sort it out soon.
Yet, as the day went on more and more issues arose. I spoke to him with the rest of the management team and said we need to revert the code but he said they couldn't because they hadn't been making pull requests that were exclusive to specific tickets but instead contained lots of work all in one. He didn't think they could detangle it and said the only way to fix was "play whack-a-mole" when issues came up.
I only stayed in that company for three months; there was simply way too much shit to fix and to this day I still have no idea the reasoning that went on in the head of anyone involved with that piece of code.2
So I'm working on something and I get a message from the business owner saying that something is missing in production, we need to fix this quickly. Turns out it's some missing images. We have a placeholder in place, so no harm done, users just see a placeholder image there and it's a minor thing. (These images cannot be uploaded by the user, because no one had the time to complete a feature for it. So business people bother developers.)
Anyway, the business owner escalates this into a request to add those images quickly to the repo and push it to production asap. I said that it can be done, because it is very low risk, but as I've seen this kind of "going straight to the developer with my problems" behavior before, I wanted to bring the issue to a broader audience. Then the product owner (PO) steps in and asks why wasn't he involved in this. Then other PO's step into the conversation as well, because they manage the process to prioritize and handle bug reports. Then someone posts the bug and error prioritization assessment and what do you know, judging the issue from that scale, it ranks as being "low".
"But what do we tell the customers?!". Oh, fuck you! It's one customer! Not everything can be prioritized as critical! If we stop work to fix every single thing we get feedback on without doing a proper assessment and prioritization, that's all we will be doing.
This is why PO's exist. They will push the breaks and assess the situation, then prioritize the work accordingly.3
Was working on a high priority security feature. We had an unreasonable timeline to get all of the work done. If we didn’t get the changes onto production before our deadline we faced the possibility of our entire suit being taken offline. Other parts of the company had already been shut down until the remediations could be made -so we knew the company execs weren’t bluffing.
I was the sole developer on the project. I designed it, implemented it, and organized the efforts to get it through the rest of the dev cycle. After about 3 month of work it was all up and bug free (after a few bugs had been found and squashed). I was exhausted, and ended up taking about a week and a half off to recharge.
The project consisted of restructuring our customized frontend control binding (asp.net -custom content controls), integrations with several services to replace portions of our data consumption and storage logic, and an enormous lift and shift that touched over 6k files.
When you touch this much code in such a short period of time it’s difficult to code review, to not introduce bugs, and _to not stop thinking about what potential problems your changes may be causing in the background_.3
One of the most headache-inducing things about being a developer is having to find a solution to every little ailment that software has.
An example would be: working with a particular stack. LEAN, MEAN, LAMP, WAMP,.. The nightmare of having to deal with every single error in PHP, NodeJS, Apache Server, Nginx, the HTTP spec intricacies, the HTML5 spec, API problems..
Sometimes it's just a lot to deal with and I'm trying not to lose my patience.9
Isn’t it delightful when you come in to a large project to discover that they have a large underlying core that no one wants to touch but everyone relies on.
Quickly perusing the code you realize that the base was clearly created by someone who found their first tutorials for Java, but were previously a c developer.
It’s funny cause this code is of course from ~20 years ago and in different sections you can tell they were a C developer, a business admin, a Db admin, a junior conforming to pressures from others.
I recently looked at the deep rooted abuses of Java beans, and this entire internally created state management engine that serves no purpose but to create contrived complexity.
The use of propriety tools, that they paid lots for that perform incredibly simple tasks that have long since been solved by the open source community. Many of which are long defunct.
And the constant focus is on monkey patching the engine to solve small issues, which bloat the time to deal with issues. Since everything needs to be tested by their methodologies.
The inability to understand that the underlying structure is the issue and that tackling that, rather than just shifting the entire solution to new languages will suddenly solve the problems(or other underlying systems).
It’s just sad.1
I have a question about the life as a developer in a big, open office. I'm a relatively active thinker and have to walk around, draw on whiteboards, etc. to get a better outlook on my problem.
What do I do in a big office with mutliple people? I can't just stand up and walk around or write/draw on a whiteboard all the time.
Has anyone experienced the same and knows what to do? I'd like to prepare for a life in the office.2
I imagine being a schizophrenic developer must be entertaining, like imagine you're fixing a bug and your homie comes up with a genius suggestion, I mean, more minds help resolve problems faster.4