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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,
I recently joined the dark side - an agile consulting company (why and how is a long story). The first client I was assigned to was an international bank. The client wanted a web portal, that was at its core, just a massive web form for their users to perform data entry.
My company pitched and won the project even though they didn't have a single developer on their bench. The entire project team (including myself) was fast tracked through interviews and hired very rapidly so that they could staff the project (a fact I found out months later).
Although I had ~8 years of systems programming experience, my entire web development experience amounted to 12 weeks (a part time web dev course) just before I got hired.
I introduce to you, my team ...
Scrum Master. 12 years experience on paper.
Rote memorised the agile manifesto and scrum textbooks. He constantly went “We should do X instead of (practical thing) Y, because X is the agile way.” Easily pressured by the client to include ridiculous (real time chat in a form filling webpage), and sometimes near impossible features (undo at the keystroke level). He would just nag at the devs until someone mumbled ‘yes' just so that he would stfu and go away.
UX Designer. 3 years experience on paper ... as business analyst.
Zero professional experience in UX. Can’t use design tools like AI / photoshop. All he has is 10 weeks of UX bootcamp and a massive chip on his shoulder. The client wanted a web form, he designed a monstrosity that included several custom components that just HAD to be put in, because UX. When we asked for clarification the reply was a usually condescending “you guys don’t understand UX, just do <insert unhandled edge case>, this is intended."
Developer - PHD in his first job.
Invents programming puzzles to solve where there are none. The user story asked for a upload file button. He implemented a queue system that made use of custom metadata to detect file extensions, file size, and other attributes, so that he could determine which file to synchronously upload first.
Developer - Bootlicker. 5 years experience on paper.
He tried to ingratiate himself with the management from day 1. He also writes code I would fire interns and fail students for. His very first PR corrupted the database. The most recent one didn’t even compile.
Developer - Millennial fratboy with a business degree. 8 years experience on paper.
His entire knowledge of programming amounted to a single data structures class he took on Coursera. Claims that’s all he needs. His PRs was a single 4000+ line files, of which 3500+ failed the linter, had numerous bugs / console warnings / compile warnings, and implemented 60% of functionality requested in the user story. Also forget about getting his attention whenever one of the pretty secretaries walked by. He would leap out of his seat and waltz off to flirt.
Developer - Brooding loner. 6 years experience on paper.
His code works. It runs, in exponential time. Simply ignores you when you attempt to ask.
Developer - Agile fullstack developer extraordinaire. 8 years experience on paper.
Insists on doing the absolute minimum required in the user story, because more would be a waste. Does not believe in thinking ahead for edge conditions because it isn’t in the story. Every single PR is a hack around existing code. Sometimes he hacks a hack that was initially hacked by him. No one understands the components he maintains.
Developer - Team lead. 10 years of programming experience on paper.
Writes spaghetti code with if/else blocks nested 6 levels deep. When asked "how does this work ?”, the answer “I don’t know the details, but hey it works!”. Assigned as the team lead as he had the most experience on paper. Tries organise technical discussions during which he speaks absolute gibberish that either make no sense, or are complete misunderstandings of how our system actually works.
The last 2 guys are actually highly regarded by my company and are several pay grades above me. The rest were hired because my company was desperate to staff the project.
There are a 3 more guys I didn’t mention. The 4 of us literally carried the project. The codebase is ugly as hell because the others merge in each others crap. We have no unit tests, and It’s near impossible to start because of the quality of the code. But this junk works, and was deployed to production. Today is it actually hailed as a success story.
All these 3 guys have quit. 2 of them quit without a job. 1 found a new and better gig.
I’m still here because I need the money. There’s a tsunami of trash code waiting to fail in production, and I’m the only one left holding the fort.
Why am I surrounded by morons?
Why are these retards paid more than me?
Why are they so proud when all they produce is trash?
How on earth are they still hired?
And yeah, FML.7
Had an interesting time these past few days. Had a customer who, when I left for vacay, was complaining that he couldn't get access to our private package registry. Get back, this issue is still active.
We'd granted access to his github enterprise, and for some reason he wasn't getting the activation email. We spent about 22 hours of customer support time on his failing to help himself before he finally escalated to the standard 40 person IT enterprise tantrum/come to jesus meeting.
Long story short, he had somehow ignored repeated attempts (35 email replies to the ticket chain, 4 phone calls) to get him to check his spam folder. In which, as it was revealed to all the hollywood squares in attendance, there were no less than 35 activation emails from github granting him access. Of course, none of this was his fault. And while screensharing his big brain to god and everyone he decides the problem is now actually Microsoft because their office 365 spam email filtered his emails incorrectly. We of course agreed with his big brain, smoothed over his bruised ego and went about our day.
I mean, fair enough, it's kind of dumb that Microsoft ever spam lists github, but still. I was just a fly on the wall, and he burned all his paid support tickets on the issue, so hopefully we won't be dealing with him again this year.
Also, this is an edge case with our new product line, most of our customers are painless.4
We called it "Project Hindenburg".
A huge planning and logistics app with hundreds of screens and dozens of interwoven subfunctions, suddenly needed to be able to support multiple time zones. Our project was to retrofit every area that touched on dates or times, to allow the user to specify, and work in, any time zone.
At this point in the story I can tell whether you have had to work with time zones in code. People who haven't are butting in with something that begins, "that should be fairly simple, you just need to..." followed by some irrelevant noise that betrays their ignorance.
People who have worked with time zones are nodding in shared pain, like fellow attendees of a survivors meeting.
You see, programmers tend to think of time zones as arithmetic; in reality, they are confusing, ambiguous, chaotic, and individual. You can't translate everything into a central time zone (eg UTC) because you lose the user's intent. For example, if you schedule a meeting for 3pm and then move it to the next day, you want it at 3pm even if the clocks have changed.
Project Hindenburg ended up using the entire development staff of the company for well over a year. It smashed our release projections to rubble, made an already tangled code base completely unmaintainable, introduced mind-bending edge case bugs that reduced staff across the company to tears (literally), and led to most of the mid-level and senior developers eventually quitting (including me).
I am @fuckfuckityfuck, and that was the story of Project Hindenburg.11
I have been gone a while. Sorry. Workplace no longer allows phones on the lab and I work exclusively in the lab. Anyway here is a thing that pissed me off:
Systems Engineer (SE) 1 : 😐 So we have this file from the customer.
Me: 😑 Neat.
SE1: 😐 It passes on our system.
Me: 😑 *see prior*
Inner Me (IM): 🙄 is it taught in systems engineer school to talk one sentence at a time? It sounds exhausting.
SE1: but when we test it on your system, it fails. And we share the same algorithms.
Me: 😮 neat.
IM: 😮neat, 😥 wait what the fuck?
Me: 😎 I will totally look into that . . .
IM: 😨 . . . Thing that is absolutely not supposed to happen.
*Le me tracking down the thing and fixing it. Total work time 30 hours*
Me: 😃 So I found the problem and fixed it. All that needs to happen is for review board to approve the issue ticket.
SE1: 😀 cool. What was the problem?
Me: 😌 simple. See, if the user kicked off a rerun of the algorithm, we took your inputs, processed them, and put them in the algorithm. However, we erroneously subtracted 1 twice, where you only subtract 1 once.
SE1: 🙂 makes sense to me, since an erroneous minus 1 only effects 0.0001% of cases.
*le into review board*
Me: 😐 . . . so in conclusion this only happens in 0.0001% of cases. It has never affected a field test and if this user had followed the user training this would never have been revealed.
SE2: 🤨 So you're saying this has been in the software for how long?
Me: 😐 6 years. Literally the lifespan of this product.
SE2: 🤨 How do you know it's not fielded?
Me: 😐 It is fielded.
SE2: 🤨 how do you know that this problem hasn't been seen in the field?
Me: 😐 it hasn't been seen in 6 years?
IM: 😡 see literally all of the goddamn words I have said this entire fucking meeting!!!
SE2: 😐 I would like to see an analysis of this to see if it is getting sent to the final files.
Me: 🙄 it is if they rerun the algorithm from our product. It's a total rerun, output included. It's just never been a problem til this one super edge case that should have been thrown out anyway.
SE2: 🤨 I would still like to have SE3 run an analysis.
Me: 🙄 k.
IM: 😡 FUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOU
*SE3 run analysis*
SE3: 😐 getting the same results that Me is seeing.
Me: 😒 see? I do my due diligence.
SE2: 😐 Can you run that analysis on this file again that is somehow different, plus these 5 unrelated files?
SE3: 😎 sure. What's your program's account so I can bill it?
IM: 😍 did you ever knooooow that your my heeeerooooooo.
*SE3 runs analysis*
SE3: 😐 only the case that was broken is breaking.
SE2: 😐 Good.
IM: 🤬🤬🤬🤐 . . . 🤯WHY!?!?
Me: 😠 Why?
SE2: 😑 Because it confirms my thoughts. Me, I am inviting you to this algorithm meeting we have.
Me/IM: 😑/😡 what . . . the fuck?
*in algorithm meeting*
Me: 😑 *recaps all of the above* we subtract 1 one too many times from a number that spans from 10000 to -10000.
Software people/my boss/SE1/SE3: 🤔 makes sense.
SE2:🤨 I have slides that have an analysis of what Me just said. They will only take an hour to get through.
Me: 😑 that's cool but you need to give me your program's account number, because this has been fixed in our baseline for a week and at this point you're the only program that still cares. Actually I need the account to charge for the last couple times you interrupted me for some bullshit.
*we are let go.*
And this is how I spent 40+ useless hours against a program that is currently overrunning for no reason 🤣🤣🤣
Moral: never involve math guys in arithmetic situations. And if you ever feel like you're wasting your time, at least waste someone else's money.10
I DID IT.
Arter being stuck on a freaking hellish bug that had to do with some obscure edge case for a month i've finally fixed it.
All i had to do was remove ONE condition from a while loop 🙃4
So here is my week 72 as a reviewer. But first, let me ask y'all. Am I weird to think that you should finish coding the thing and testing the thing before kicking it out to review? Cuz that's how I do it. And that is the process at my work place.
So anyway, I was doing this review. And it was very wrong. Like really, really wrong. We give a thorough intro to our product (perhaps too thorough) so this guy should have known every test case he had to cover. Or at least, if he was unsure, asked. It was all documented.
Anyway, he kicks out this peer review. First thing I notice, it is not following the standard. Fair enough, we didn't give him the coding standard. BUT HE DIDN'T EVEN MAINTAIN THE FORMAT OF THE ORIGINAL FILE. HE JUST DID HIS OWN THING!!! So I email him the coding standard and make a comment in the review. He denies the finding. No reason. Just turns it down. Strike 1.
Then, I'm going through and he didn't even cover all of the core cases. I found several core cases that he missed. And every edge case. Make a not of it. He fixes only the couple of examples I gave him. Strike 2.
Guy decided to redesign a major chunk of our interfaces. Our interfaces are not just used by us (hence interfaces). We designed them the way they were for a reason. It was not a fun design process. Myself, the architect, one of our customers, and the guy that did the implementation all told him to roll back his change. Especially since it wasn't in the scope of what he was doing. He wouldn't. Strike 3.
I go to the lead and bring him in. He has a talk with him. All of the sudden he is putting out multiple builds per finding. Like most times I will put out like 2 to 4 for the whole peer review. No he kicks out minimum one per finding and chokes the review queue. Strike 4.
Strike 5: he tells me, a former DBA, that I didn't know what I was talking about when I told him to move something into a new table, even after I told him that "while in database terms it doesn't make sense, this is for product robustness".
Strike 6: he was just a condescending asshole. Bragging about how he did this job and that job over his career. His longest position held was about 18 months. Bragged about working at my company and being some hotshot at the company: only worked here for 8 months and that was 5 years ago.
You know. I have never really wanted to fight someone after about undergrad. But he came close.7
Every single fucking time I run into problems, the problems are very specific edge cases of common problems.
The search results however, are created by an army of retards, they're a sea of answers to the common problem. They drown out my super specific edge case.
And then someone dares to half-read my stackoverflow question, and immediately mark it as duplicate.
Frustrated, tired and a bit lost.
I'm a "Senior PHP Backend Dev", which includes not the greatest tech stack nor the best job title, but it pays fine, and the company is awesome to work for.
I suck at writing features, but I'm great at bitching, and I easily put complex abstract concepts into usable models. So I'm also QA, tester, tech lead, database architect, whatever.
That makes writing PHP less annoying, because I create the rules, and whip devs around when they forget a return type definition or forget to handle an edge case. But I don't write a lot of code anymore, I mostly read (bad) code.
Lately I REALLY feel like doing something else... problem is that I know JS/ES6, but really dislike React/Vue and the whole crappy modern frontend toolchainchootrain of babelifyingwebpackingyarnballs. I know Python/Tensorflow/etc, but don't feel like I want to go into data science or AI. And then I'm awesome at the shit no one uses, like Haskell, Go and Rust (and worse).
I got a job offer which combines a very interesting PHP codebase with a Java infrastructure, where I could learn a lot... and I'm kind of tempted.
Problem is, everyone always shits on Java. I always made a bit of fun of Java myself. Don't even know exactly why, probably some really cruel instinct which causes kids to bully the least popular kid.
I know the basics, I've written the hello world, and a small backend app for a personal project. I know how strict and verbose it can be. I love the strictness in Haskell and Rust.... but those are both also quite terse.
Should I become a Java dev? I'm not talking about Android SDK, but an insane enterprise codebase at a life sciences corporation.
To the pro Java devs: What are the best and worst things about your job, about the weekly processes, about the toolchains? Have you ever considered other languages? Do you unconditionally love and believe in Java, or do you believe Swift, Kotlin, Scala or whatever will eventually make it completely obsolete?
Will Java hasten my decline into the cynical neckbeard I was always destined to be?
There are a lot more fun langauges, but looking at realistic demand and career value...20
Backstory: A few months ago, I wrote an inventory management web app for internal use by the sales team, logistics, and whoever else might need to use it.
Earlier this week: A few minutes before I usually leave, my phone rings. It's some dude I've never heard of. No idea what his function at the company is, still don't, probably never will, don't care. He's never used the app before, and says he's having problems. His cube's on my way out, so I swing by.
I'm not making this next part up. This dude is probably 60 years old, and he's using a very old looking gateway desktop (with the cow print logo thing on the chassis), running Windows XP (not a typo), using IE7.
I don't know what to say, so I just stare at the desktop, look at dude, laugh, and eventually explain that he's never going to be able to use the system via the web app until his rig is replaced.
What the fucking fuck is this. How could this have happened. How do our it people still fucking have jobs. Better question, how did this thing survive the y2k bug?9
I recently found a ridiculous edge case that no test case caught and is very hard to debug and fix.
Then, I was assigned to find and fix it.
What the fuck! Just witnesed this at university. The guy in question is in the same cs course as me. Using edge, okay. But searching for a picture on google (a icon in that case), copy it to memory, open powerpoint, paste it, manipulate the color aellsettings to make it gray and then save it from powerpoint? That's not how you fucking do it! Fucker!6
Not mine, but absolutely essential rant:
"You start by meeting Mary, project leader for a bridge in a major metropolitan area. Mary introduces you to Fred, after you get through the fifteen security checks installed by Dave because Dave had his sweater stolen off his desk once and Never Again. Fred only works with wood, so you ask why he's involved because this bridge is supposed to allow rush-hour traffic full of cars full of mortal humans to cross a 200-foot drop over rapids. Don't worry, says Mary, Fred's going to handle the walkways. What walkways? Well Fred made a good case for walkways and they're going to add to the bridge's appeal. Of course, they'll have to be built without railings, because there's a strict no railings rule enforced by Phil, who's not an engineer. Nobody's sure what Phil does, but it's definitely full of synergy and has to do with upper management, whom none of the engineers want to deal with so they just let Phil do what he wants. Sara, meanwhile, has found several hemorrhaging-edge paving techniques, and worked them all into the bridge design, so you'll have to build around each one as the bridge progresses, since each one means different underlying support and safety concerns. Tom and Harry have been working together for years, but have an ongoing feud over whether to use metric or imperial measurements, and it's become a case of "whoever got to that part of the design first." This has been such a headache for the people actually screwing things together, they've given up and just forced, hammered, or welded their way through the day with whatever parts were handy."
Well... I can think of several bugs that I found on a previous project, but one of the worst (if not the worst, because the damage scope) it's one bug that only appears for a couple of days at the end of every month.
What happens is the following: this bug occurs in a submodule designed (heh) to control the monthly production according the client requirements (client says "I want 1000 thoot picks", that submodule calculates the daily production requirements in order to full fill the order).
Ideally, that programming need to be done once a week (for the current month), because the quantities are updated by client on the same schedule, and one of the edge cases is that when the current date is >= 16th of the month, the user can start programming the production of the following month.
So, according to this specific case, there's an unidentified, elusive, and nasty bug that only shows up on the two last days of every month, when it doesn't allow to modify/create anything for the following month. I mean, normally, whenever you try to edit/create new data, the application shows either an estimated of the quantities to produce, or the previous saved data. But on those specific days it doesn't show any information at all, disregarding of there's something saved or not.
The worst thing is that such process involves both a very overcomplicated stored procedure, and an overcomplicated functionality on the client side (did I mentioned that it dynamically generates a pseudo-spreadsheet with the procedure dataset? Cell by cell), that absolutely no one really fully understands, and the dude that made those artifacts is no longer available (and by now, I'm not so sure that he even remember what he done there).
One of the worst thing is that at this point, it's easier to handle with that error rather to redesign all of that (not because technical limitations, but for bureaucratic and management issues).
The another worst thing (the most important none) is that this specific bug can create a HUGE mess as it prevents the programming of the production to be done the next day (you know, people tends to procrastinate and start doing things at the very end of the day/week/month)... And considering that the company could lose a huge amount of money by every minute without production, you can guess the damage scope of this single bug.
Anyway, this bug has existed since, I don't know, 2015 (Q4?) and we have tried so many things trying to solve it, but that spaghettis refuse to be understood (specially the stored procedure, as it has dynamically generated queries). During my tenure (that ended last year) I spent a good amount of time (considering what I mentioned on the last rant, about the toxic environment) trying to solve that, just giving up after the first couple of weeks.
Anyway... I'm guessing that this particular bug will survive another 4-ish years, or even outlive the current full development team... But, who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?
I see a lot of posts about old code which is dirty and full of bugs. I find it kinda weird because when I started coding I made sure that my code was clean and readable, if it was something simple I implemented almost every edge case and spent hours removing bugs every ten lines written. Now though it's all opposite. I slap something together real quick, check for bugs in the end all the time and don't even care about readability.
Am I a maniac or are there people like me too?2
I really resent people who reduce the occupation to tickets. Our world is just tickets, tickets all the way down.
"well the ticket just says this, but that's vague, so what should I do?"
You either ask for clarification, or you get creative with the blank canvas you were handed.
"well that edge case wasn't called out in the ticket's specs"
this is _why_ we do TDD - to design our code to be able to function as expected for ALL cases
"is there a ticket to refactor that?"
what?! no, it's your job to always leave code better than when you found it (within scope/reason of course)
FFS we are not hired to be code monkeys or glorified typists. There should be joy that comes from getting to be more clever than the average bear and to solve problems and improve things with your code and logic.
shit bums me out.9
Our PM just send a mail to our team, that after testing the latest extension we made to the project, he could not find a single issue or bug (usually there are some minor UI problems or some edge case bugs we did not think about or know existed)
and what a incredibly great job we did, and he also forwarded the mail to all our managers up the hierarchy right under the CEO.
The appreciation is a nice change to the self-hatred I feel while coding3
I am a Technical Lead in the department in my company that writes code for our clients that have money but doesn't have the technical expertise to handle the complexities of our own software.
Part of my tasks involve taking care of a few projects written by employees that have left after using third-party tools rather than using our own software. No one else in this department knows these third-party tools, they only know our own, and my *still limited* web development experience means I get dumped these things in my lap.
And I'm SO pissed at these projects and their authors and the manager that let these ex-employees write these things. There is this one project that was managed by two different "developers" (I don't know they deserve this title) at two different times, and it is so riddled with different technologies it makes me want to throw up almost daily.
Don't believe me? Here is a complete list of the dependencies listed in the package.json of this project: babel-polyfill, body-parser, cookie-parser, debug, edge, edge-sql, excel-to-json, exceljs, express, html-inline, jade, morgan, mssql, mysql, pug, ramda, request, rotating-file-stream, serve-favicon, webpack, xlsx, xml2js
What this doesn't even show, is that one part of this project (literally one page) is made using react, react-dom, react-redux, and jade. The other part (again literally one page) is made using Angular and Pug. In case you missed it while picking up your jaw, there's also mssql, mysql, edge and edge-sql. excel-to-json, exceljs, xlsx.
Oh you want *more* juicy details? This project takes the entire data object used by the front-end, stringifies it into JSON, and shoves it into the database *as a single field*. And instead of doing WHERE clauses in the SQL queries, it grabs the entire table, loops, parses the json, and does a condition on it. If even one of those JSON entries gets corrupted, the entire solution breaks because these "developers" don't know what try/catch is.
The client asked for a very simple change in their app, which was to add a button that queries the back-end for a URL, shows it in a modal dialog, after which a button is clicked to verify the link by doing a second query to the back-end before modifying a couple of fields in the page.
This. Took. Me. Two. Months*. Save me. Please, save me.
*between constant context switches between this and other projects that were continuously failing because of their mistakes.4
So I work at a startup working on “cutting edge” technology with two other devs. Our lead engineer is an interesting fellow. The guy never ever writes a single line of code, just looks for similar projects online and receives a lot of credit for it, I have to hand it to him though, he has an ability to scheme through information and pick the gist of what’s going on but when it comes to detail, he’s seriously lacking. We recently started a projects a couple of weeks back and it was supposed to be an easy two days of hacking and we would be done but instead the guy looks for code online copies it I change the necessary variables to match the use case then it doesn’t work. So we’ve spent weeks debugging this code because someone is afraid to get their hands dirty. I can’t complain to the bosses because they’re not techies and the trust him more since I’m still new to the company.
I love their attitude though, they honestly believe they have a chance against some giants in tech and from the actual talent I’ve witnessed they’ll only get there through sheer luck.
I have to sit there and listen to them shit on more successful tech companies and that they have better ideas.
Maybe someone can change my mind on this issue as I’m still young and new to this industry.8
So, I have a major deadline coming up and was writing some edge case tests when the gf calls.
I'm already in the "dog house" for beeing an obsesive twat lost in my thoughts and not listening to her so I decide to answer.
She called to vent about some coworker of hers and how she got screwed out of an advertising project.
The moment I heard "let me tell you what she said.." I instantly tuned her out, went into aha, yeah, aha mode and back to my tests (the irony is not lost on me).
Her: blablabla blablabla
Her: and then blablalba blabla bla
Me: wow, aha
This goes on for about 4-5 min up until I heard a change in the blabla pattern.
To self: Oh crap, that was a question!
To self: Wtf did she ask? Quick, say something!
Me: Uhm, yeah, of course!
Her: Yaaaaay, I love you! I'll get the tickets!
To self: aaaaaaaaw crap, what the fuck did I just agree to?!
Me: Sure thing! I'll see you tonight.
Hey everybody, guess who's going to London next week to spend four whole days with her old colledge artsy-fartsy-stoner friends?
I hate those assholes!4
Everytime i buy any electronics , my brother would suggest me to buy latest ones with the newest configuration . His logic was " If you buy a not-so new tech now.. It will outdate fast and you will end up with an outdated one soon.. So the extra 10K is worth considering that " .
Considering the development trend i personally think it is useless to invest in electronics unless necessary . Everytime i buy an electronic product , within 2 or 3 months i find the same good at almost 75% of the price.. So with tech prices falling like this.. i think it is worth saving that money instead of the cutting edge tech which i wont need for another 2 years .
(The cousin brother i mentioned does this everytime he buys a phone and ends up changing the phone 4 times faster than me.. and the use case is similar to mine if not worse..)1
Who actually started the reign of mixed character passwords? because seriously it sucks to have an unnecessarily complex password! Like websites and apps requesting passwords to contain Upper/Lower case letter, numeric characters and symbols without considering the average user with low memory threshold (i.e; Me).
Let's push the complaint aside and return back to the actual reason a complex password is required.
Like we already know; Passwords are made complex so it can't be easily guessed by password crackers used by hackers and the primary reason behind adding symbols and numbers in a password is simply to create a stretch for possible outcome of guesses.
Now let's take a look into the logic behind a password cracker.
To hack a password,
1) The Password Cracker will usually lookup a dictionary of passwords (This point is very necessary for any possible outcome).
2) Attempts to login multiple times with list of passwords found (In most cases successful entries are found for passwords less than 8 chars).
3) If none was successful after the end of the dictionary, the cracker formulates each password on the dictionary to match popular standards of most website (i.e; First letter uppercase, a number at the end followed by a symbol. Thanks to those websites!)
4) If any password was successful, the cracker adds them to a new dictionary called a "pattern builder list" (This gives the cracker an upper edge on that specific platform because most websites forces a specific password pattern anyway)
would be cracked faster compared to
Because the former is short and follows a popular pattern.
In reality, password crackers don't specifically care about Upper-Lowercase-Number-Symbol bullshit! They care more about the length of the password, the pattern of the password and formerly used entries (either from keyloggers or from previously hacked passwords).
So the need for requesting a humanly complex password is totally unnecessary because it's a bot that is being dealt with not another human.
My devrant password is a short story of *how I met first girlfriend* Goodluck to a password cracker!9
please euthanize me, i fucking hate frontend and im sure it hates me back3
I am still confused why people treat testing as secondary position? Tester are paid less and they hire lower quality engineers. I think testing is as important as any other phase of development, like design or implementation. . . and yeah we do testing of our own code. The only thing I can do in my case is to see that people who change my code may not break basic functionalities. And again about edge cases, try to handle some other left to be seen in production( those which I could not think of due to lack of time) I take care not to leave edge case but sometime cannot do it. I just hope people realise the worth of testing.1
How do you test unreachable code or part that is considered an edge case?
For example I catch exceptions in case IO failed and data was not written on database, but that only happens if hardware failure, or no disk space left, how do I mimic that?
I also have unreachable code for example, in one layer I fetch data (lets call it function x) and always return success result unless item not found I throw KeyNotFound exception. But in the calling function I handle the case of Status == Failed
Just in-case in the future I change function x and start returning failed status, so my logic already written but never reachable12
Ok bois it's IDE / Text Editor time again.
I have had my fair share of usage with VSCode and i have been using VIM for over a year now.
With Vim i miss intellisense, class lookups etc.
VSCode doesn't provide the macro abilities i like in VIM and also doesn't support every edge case of file (giant files for instance).
Now i am at a certain dilemma. Do i use VSCode? Vim?
I am seriously considering trying emacs, but i don't know much about it.
What is your take on this?
Please respect each others choice, i don't want another fucking IDE religion war4
Sometimes knowing how to program has this weird effect where you pick apart all tech that has some cross over into your field. I rarely visit a website without seeing something that makes me think, “who the hell thought that was a good idea”.
Lately though, as I learn more about the management side of things, I can see many more reasons that stupid things end up in good products. Lack of time and trying to over-engineering to cater for some odd edge case being the 2 biggest killers.
In 2018 I’m going to be a bit nicer about silly technical mistakes.2
Why does Europe have to format their currency with commas where decimals should go and decimals where commas should go? I suspect it causes our currency formatter to drop the commas so values like 87,56 turn into 8756; amounts 100 times the intended amount. Somehow I can’t reproduce the bug but business users keep complaining about it happening. Not even my code and yet I’m stuck sifting through it to track down this one weird edge case. 😖7
If you have a method which returns a value from an array. What do you prefer in a case when the item is not found?
A)Throw an exception
C)return a special value like a null object or some primitive type edge value like Integer.MIN_VALUE14
This morning I found out that the code I wrote to convert json data to a new format in our DB was giving errors and a bunch of questions got saved with the wrong property. It was assumed when it was triaged with my boss that we would only see one key property so the code written by me so the code was aimed at that. Well some questions have multiple keys for no reason. They are mostly floating data that hasn't been wiped clean because the develop who wrote this use json data in psql with no validation or data cleaning. This edge case was also never caught on PR reviews and we got a pretty heavy review process. I'm not being blamed for it. Most of it I think all the devs feel bad we didn't catch this because it affected us greatly. I've been working all morning trying to resolve it with my boss and just now in the evening we stopped. I just feel like I'm not a good dev at all and just want advice on how to deal with situations like this. I'm a new dev and this is my first job I have held for almost a year2
PO writes a story. We groom it. Point it. Do the work. Finish the work. Dev test it. Push it to test. Tester find a weird edge case. Talks to me. I agree it’s weird. I talk to PO and the PM in the standup. PO realizes the whole business flow doesn’t make any sense. Changes the AC. Asks us to change/redo shit. 2 days until the end of the sprint.
I guess I’m working this weekend. Not that I have to go anywhere 🤷🏽♂️4
Fucking American tech lead rejecting PR because he wanted me to change disallow_some_feature to prohibit_some_feature 😡
FYI English was never your fist language either. It was because (from what I have read on the internet)
You did not have a first language just that you adopted it. And “called it your own”.
And you go on and and about Indian accent !!!
F*c*k accent. I’ll rant about your f*c*k*n* attitude. Guess time to change jobs.
BTW American based projects would do much better (in your f’ing opinion without this naming convention)
(This is not targeted at all Americans, I have had some good technical feed back as well. With some really good edge case catches which I over looked, this is meant for one f*c*i*n* project manager/Dev)
Double standards 😡😡17
man if i could figure out how to do stuff and had the money to do stuff i'd be dangerous as fuck, but as of now i can only posit questions... it sucks.
- What do modern browsers/crawlers do when hit with, say, an "HTTP 450 Blocked by Windows Parental Controls" or an "HTTP 374" status code?
- What happens if I do <xyz minor edge case thing> on <system?> (just use your imagination, this happens for every edge case i can think of for every system and the list wouldn't fit in a few megs' worth of half-byte ASCII, much less *here*)
- What if I made like a board to fuck with busses while systems were on? Press a button and for like five bus clock cycles pins like 6 and 7 are shorted? That sort of thing. As for system/bus types, *literally any* (old consoles with expansion ports, PCI/-e/-X/whatever, southbridge, etc.)
- What if I did <filetype> shenanigans by doing <something indescribably horrible> to this file? How do things react?3
worst mistake was probably introducing an infinite loop in the category tree for e-commerce site...
in the vein of true agile and considering MVPs and what not we had not yet automated everything. the client would send category updates as a spreadsheet and i had a script to generate the sql and jam it into the site. having run the script several times in the past I thought I'd just throw the update into production and call it a weekend...
it wasn't long before I started fielding calls that the site was unstable. no page would load and the server kept crashing under trivial load. well an entire frantic weekend later I discovered the category load hit an edge case I hadn't considered and I had introduced an infinite loop in the navigation of the site.
i'd like to say I learned my lesson and never just threw changes into production again, but what can I say - I like living on the edge. I did however learn that loop detection can be a valuable thibg
sometimes I have random curiosities while I'm out and unable to test things. this is one of them (will comment with answer if I ever test it):
obviously writing aliases to make things you do frequently easy is a win. but what about typo aliases? stuff like sl, dc, she, etc. these aren't typo'ed often (hopefully) but are defined every single time you create a new terminal.
has this probably miniscule overhead actually been meaningfully measured?
question: how many aliases must be defined to cause a significant (say, 3sec?) slowdown when opening a new terminal?
What should I do, I have a central function that is not documentated and no test-cases are written for it. I have no clue what the method should really do, I know that it works in 99.9% of all cases otherwise we had much more bugs. Now there is one Unit-Test that reports an issue. I tracked it down to this method, no one touched the method nor the unit-test.
My logical thinking says that there is one statement missing, but it could also fuck up another part of the code... (This project has a bad testing coverage :'( )
What would you do?
- copy paste the method for this special case (I would hate me so much for breaking DRY)
- inheritance?! (Would make it more complex and then it would be still untested / undocumented)
- YOLO changing oO?! (hope for luck, just joking)
P.s it's an edge case unit test, the client / customer probably wouldn't realised it if it happens
Msal.js. I give it 3/10..
The docs are duplicated, and in various states of out of date. Half the library seems to be undocumented based on how many edge case bugs I've hit, it offers a popup login but you have to have a set specified white list of urls you can launch the popup from which makes a popup login pointless...
Ontop of that my colleagues shat the bed on it and fucked the whole implementation including the azure b2c setup... We do not even have a backend app listed in the azure b2c apps. The redirect also won't work if you don't instantiate an object in a hidden iframe of your own website that fetches a token... This does not make life easy when you use a SPA framework and you have already implemented a whole pipeline abstracting the creation of this object behind layers dependency injection.. Nice.
After sifting through endless shit I finally have a solution. What a week.
at any point in time, have you had over 200 tabs open? why the fuck is such a low number such an edge case, that neither firefuck nor chrome can handle these without leaking RAM (5MB/sec and 100MB/sec respectively).12
Persisterising derived values. Often a necessary evil for optimisation or privacy while conflicting with concerns such as auditing.
Password hashing is the common example of a case considered necessary to cover security concerns.
Also often a mistake to store derived values. Some times it can be annoying. Sometimes it can be data loss. Derived values often require careful maintenance otherwise the actual comments in your database for a page is 10 but the stored value for the page record is 9. This becomes very important when dealing with money where eventual consistency might not be enough.
Annoying is when given a and b then c = a + b only b and c are stored so you often have to run things backwards.
Given any processing pipeline such as A -> B -> C with A being original and C final then you technically only need C. This applies to anything.
However, not all steps stay or deflate. Sum of values is an example of deflate. Mapping values is an example of stay. Combining all possible value pairs is inflate, IE, N * N and tends to represent the true termination point for a pipeline as to what can be persisted.
I've quite often seen people exclude original. Some amount of lossy can be alright if it's genuine noise and one way if serving some purpose.
If A is O(N) and C reduces to O(1) then it can seem to make sense to store only C until someone also wants B -> D as well. Technically speaking A is all you ever need to persist to cater to all dependencies.
I've seen every kind of mess with processing chains. People persisting the inflations while still being lossy. Giant chains linear chains where instead items should rely on a common ancestor. Things being applied to only be unapplied. Yes ABCBDBEBCF etc then truncating A happens.
Extreme care needs to be taken with data and future proofing. Excess data you can remove. Missing code can be added. Data however once its gone its gone and your bug is forever.
This doesn't seem to enter the minds of many developers who don't reconcile their execution or processing graphs with entry points, exist points, edge direction, size, persistence, etc.2