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Search - "enterprise waste"
The solution for this one isn't nearly as amusing as the journey.
I was working for one of the largest retailers in NA as an architect. Said retailer had over a thousand big box stores, IT maintenance budget of $200M/year. The kind of place that just reeks of waste and mismanagement at every level.
They had installed a system to distribute training and instructional videos to every store, as well as recorded daily broadcasts to all store employees as a way of reducing management time spend with employees in the morning. This system had cost a cool 400M USD, not including labor and upgrades for round 1. Round 2 was another 100M to add a storage buffer to each store because they'd failed to account for the fact that their internet connections at the store and the outbound pipe from the DC wasn't capable of running the public facing e-commerce and streaming all the video data to every store in realtime. Typical massive enterprise clusterfuck.
Then security gets involved. Each device at stores had a different address on a private megawan. The stores didn't generally phone home, home phoned them as an access control measure; stores calling the DC was verboten. This presented an obvious problem for the video system because it needed to pull updates.
The brilliant Infosys resources had a bright idea to solve this problem:
- Treat each device IP as an access key for that device (avg 15 per store per store).
- Verify the request ip, then issue a redirect with ANOTHER ip unique to that device that the firewall would ingress only to the video subnet
- Do it all with the F5
A few months later, the networking team comes back and announces that after months of work and 10s of people years they can't implement the solution because iRules have a size limit and they would need more than 60,000 lines or 15,000 rules to implement it. Sad trombones all around.
Then, a wild DBA appears, steps up to the plate and says he can solve the problem with the power of ORACLE! Few months later he comes back with some absolutely batshit solution that stored the individual octets of an IPV4, multiple nested queries to the same table to emulate subnet masking through some temp table spanning voodoo. Time to complete: 2-4 minutes per request. He too eventually gives up the fight, sort of, in that backhanded way DBAs tend to do everything. I wish I would have paid more attention to that abortion because the rationale and its mechanics were just staggeringly rube goldberg and should have been documented for posterity.
So I catch wind of this sitting in a CAB meeting. I hear them talking about how there's "no way to solve this problem, it's too complex, we're going to need a lot more databases to handle this." I tune in and gather all it really needs to do, since the ingress firewall is handling the origin IP checks, is convert the request IP to video ingress IP, 302 and call it a day.
While they're all grandstanding and pontificating, I fire up visual studio and:
- write a method that encodes the incoming request IP into a single uint32
- write an http module that keeps an in-memory dictionary of uint32,string for the request, response, converts the request ip and 302s the call with blackhole support
- convert all the mappings in the spreadsheet attached to the meetings into a csv, dump to disk
- write a wpf application to allow for easily managing the IP database in the short term
- deploy the solution one of our stage boxes
- add a TODO to eventually move this to a database
All this took about 5 minutes. I interrupt their conversation to ask them to retarget their test to the port I exposed on the stage box. Then watch them stare in stunned silence as the crow grows cold.
According to a friend who still works there, that code is still running in production on a single node to this day. And still running on the same static file database.
I'm currently rewriting perfectly clean and functioning Scala code in Java (because "Enterprise", yay). The amount of unnecessary boilerplate I have to add is insane. I'm not even talking big complicated code but two liners or the lack of simple things like a range from 5 to 10.
Why do I have to write
List<Position> occupiedPositions = placedEntities.stream()
.flatMap((pe) -> pe.occupiedPositions().stream())
instead of simply
val occupiedPositions = placedEntities.flatMap(_.occupiedPositions)
Why on earth does `occupiedPositions.distinct` suddenly become a monstrosity like `occupiedPositions.stream().distinct().collect(Collectors.toList())` where the majority of code is pure boilerplate? And this is supposed to be the new and better Java8 api which people use as evidence that Java is now suddenly "functional" (yeah no, just no).
Why do APIs that annotate parameters with @Nullable throw NullPointerExceptions when I pass a null? Why does the compiler not help prevent such stupidity? Why do we use static typing PLUS those annotations and it still crashes at runtime like every damn dynamic, interpreted language out there? That's not unfortunate, it's a complete waste of time.
Why is a simple idea like a range from x to 10 (in scala literally `x to 10`) not by default included in Java? There's Guava's version of Range which does not have a helper for integer ranges (even though they are the most used ones). Then there's apache.commons version which _has_ a helper for integers, but is strangely not iterable (wtf I don't even...).
Speaking of Iterable: How difficult could it be to convert an abstract Iterable<T> into a concrete List<T>? In scala it's surprisingly `someIterable.toList`. I found nothing like that so I took to stackoverflow where I found a thread in which people suggested everything from writing your own ListUtils helper class, using Guava (which is a huge dependency!) to using the new Java8 features inline (which is still about three lines long). I didn't know this was such a hard problem in computer science, TIL.
How anyone can be productive in this abomination of a language is beyond me now, even though I've used it for many years while learning to code (back then I didn't know there were much better ways to do things). The only good part is that I have to endure this nonsense for only about 3 days longer then I'm free again!12
Tldr; make sure what you study is relevant to the field and you enjoy it otherwise don't waste your time.
BTW: devrant is awesome it gets me through the day.
So I am almost 3/4ths through a master's in cs and I am contemplating why I went to school in the first place/dropping out.
My program is basically an extension of the bs I got from the same school meaning we learn very general cs topics. There is only one ai class for example.
I had a junior developer position before I even got my bs so now that I am this far along and looking at job openings I'm wondering what why and how my school is able to get away with teaching us this shit.
After all my schooling I learnt more on my own and through Google. I have little to show for my school work other than a degree that says I did a bunch of busy work. And the specific things that I did learn I will never ever remember. Seriously. Who here knows what a MIB and OID are and have actually used them?
I wish I tried harder to get into a school like Berkeley but just looking at their applications is depressing. I always had issues with school and they expect my to have the grades, extra curriculars and other shit. I'll build you a robot or make you a website but I'm not doing that nonsense.
And then there's Google and apple and all these big tech companies expecting me to have written full Enterprise software and know every single algorithm and programming language because everyone uses something different. Sure I wish I had experience in all 50 languages that are popular right now but I don't. And I'm not gonna learn it from school that's for damn sure.
Who here actually went to a good school and can say it helped them in the real world? How many employers actually care about school over actual experience?
Who knows how to burn a school down and get away with it? Or at least make teachers with Phds stop reading off slides all lecture. I know how to fucking read for fucks sake. Not too mention they use shitty software made in 2003 that's no longer supported. And I could go on about the teacher last quarter who graded the midterm on final day while he flirted with the 3 girls in class. And I could go on and on and on but I feel like I need to start being productive so I don't waste away.
Just so done.7
Flash has made Java programs look desirable. And anyone keeping up with me knows I despise Java and C#, despite having written C# and currently working on deciphering a Java server to create documentation.
The reason for this outburst seems unreasonable until you realize the hell I went through today. At my University, there is a basic entry-level psychology course I'm taking. Pearson, a company I already fucking hate for some of the ethically sketchy shit they pulled with PARCC as well as overreach in publishing to the point they produce state tests here in the US - has a product called "My PsychLab" and from here on out, I'm referring to it as MPL. MPL has an issue - it is entirely fucking Flash. Homework assignments, the textbook, FUCKING EVERYTHING. So, because of that, you need to waste time finding a browser that works. Now let me remind all of you that just because something SHOULD WORK does NOT mean that it actually does.
I'm sitting on my Antergos box a few days ago: Chromium and Firefox won't load Flash. I don't know why, and don't care to find out. NPAPI and whatnot are deprecated but should still run in a limited mode or some shit. No go on Antergos.
So, today I went to the lab in the desolated basement of an old building which is where it's usually empty except a student hired by the university to make sure nobody fucks things up. I decided - because y'all know I fuckin' hate this - to try Windows. No go in Chrome still - it loaded Flash but couldn't download the content. So I tried Firefox - which worked. My hopes were up, but not too long - because there was no way to input. The window had buttons and shit - but they were COMPLETELY UNRESPONSIVE.
So the homework is also Flash-based. It's all due by 1/31/18 - FOUR CHAPTERS AND THE ACCOMPANYING HOMEWORK - which I believe is Tuesday, and the University bookstore is closed both Saturday and Sunday. No way to get a physical copy of the book. And I have other classes - this isn't the only one.
Also, the copyright on the program was 2017 - so whoever modded or maintained that Flash code - FUCK YOU AND THE IRRESPONSIBLE SHIT YOUR TEAM PULLED. FUCK THE SUPERIORS MAKING DECISIONS AS WELL. Yeah, you guys have deadlines? So do the end users, and when you have to jump through hoops only to realize you're fucked? That's a failure of management and a failure of a product.
How many people are gonna hate me for this? Haters gonna hate, and I'm past the point of caring.7
So for those of you keeping track, I've become a bit of a data munger of late, something that is both interesting and somewhat frustrating.
I work with a variety of enterprise data sources. Those of you who have done enterprise work will know what I mean. Forget lovely Web APIs with proper authentication and JSON fed by well-known open source libraries. No, I've got the output from an AS/400 to deal with (For the youngsters amongst you, AS/400 is a 1980s IBM mainframe-ish operating system that oriiganlly ran on 48-bit computers). I've got EDIFACT to deal with (for the youngsters amongst you: EDIFACT is the 1980s precursor to XML. It's all cryptic codes, + delimited fields and ' delimited lines) and I've got legacy databases to massage into newer formats, all for what is laughably called my "data warehouse".
But of course, the one system that actually gives me serious problems is the most modern one. It's web-based, on internal servers. It's got all the late-naughties buzzowrds in web development, such as AJAX and JQuery. And it now has a "Web Service" interface at the request of the bosses, that I have to use.
The programmers of this system have based it on that very well-known database: Intersystems Caché. This is an Object Database, and doesn't have an SQL driver by default, so I'm basically required to use this "Web Service".
Let's put aside the poor security. I basically pass a hard-coded human readable string as password in a password field in the GET parameters. This is a step up from no security, to be fair, though not much.
It's the fact that the thing lies. All the files it spits out start with that fateful string: '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>' and it lies.
It's all UTF-8, which has made some of my parsers choke, when they're expecting latin-1.
But no, the real lie is the fact that IT IS NOT WELL-FORMED XML. Let alone Valid.
THERE IS NO ROOT ELEMENT!
So now, I have to waste my time writing a proxy for this "web service" that rewrites the XML encoding string on these files, and adds a root element, just so I can spit it at an XML parser. This means added infrastructure for my data munging, and more potential bugs introduced or points of failure.
Let's just say that the developers of this system don't really cope with people wanting to integrate with them. It's amazing that they manage to integrate with third parties at all...2
Ffs, HOW!?!? Fuck! I need to get this rotten bs out.
RDS at its max capabilities from the top shelf, works OK until you scale it down and back up again. Code is the same, data is the same, load is the same, even the kitchen sink is the same, ffs, EVERYTHING is the same! Except the aws-managed db is torn down and created anew. From the SAME snapshots! But the db decides to stop performing - io tpt is shit, concurrency goes through the roof.
Re-scale it a few more times and the performance gets back to normal.
And aws folks are no better. Girish comes - says we have to optimize our queries. Rajesh comes - we are hitting the iops limit. Ankur comes - you're out of cpu. Vinod thinks it's gotta be the application to blame.
Come on guys, you are a complete waste of time for a premium fucking support!
Not to mention that 2 enhanced monitoring graphs show anythung but the read throughput.
Ffs, Amazon, even my 12yo netbook is more predictable than your enterprise paas! And that support..... BS!
We're now down to troubleshooting aws perf issues rather than our client's....
New Year's vows:
- not waste time
- maximum productivity
- maximum speed
- cloak engaged (ok, just kidding)
- finally finish learning Java
- learn enterprise programming
- not be a jerk to people (bleh)4
Hey guys. I am in a situation where I need to decide wether to take on a new project or not. And if not, how to turn down that client so that I would not burn any bridges. So I need your opinions on this matter in order to make the final decision.
To make things clear heres some background info. 10 months ago I quitted my fulltime position in another EU country and went back to my own home country. 10 months forward till today and I have my own ltd company which currently has 5 projects. Its doing pretty well money wise. All projects combined, I already earn more then I ever did and I need to work max 10 hours a week since all projects are remote projects so I dont waste time on useless meetings and etc. However I dont feel fulfilled or challenged anymore because surprise surprise doing well paid projects doesnt guarante your sense of fulfillment.
So I noticed that I have lots of spare time which I spend diving into rabbitholes with hobby projects. I decided that its time to scale my company and take on more projects and maybe even hire more people.
So I started searching for other projects I could work on (prefferibly remote projects or flexible ones where I could come in 2-3 days a week in office and work remotely rest of the week). Reason being that I am already out of sync with fulltime position lifestyle and I am totally result oriented, not punch in my hours and go home oriented.
For exampleIf i get my weekly tasks I prefer to do them in 1-2 days (even if it requires doing double shifts which rarely but happens) but then I want to have rest of the week off. Thats how my brain works and thats how Im wired. I cant stand fulltime positions especially in enterprise bigger companies where I come in and do maybe 2 hours of actual work everyday because of all useless meetings and blockers from backend/etc. Its soul crushing to me.
So I posted linkedin ads and started searching for new clients/projects. One month ago I went to an interview for an android project in a startup.
The project looked interesting enough. Main task was to rewrite their android app from java to kotlin. Apparently their current current app was built by a backend developer who wants to focus solely on backend.
So during the interview they showed me their app which was quite simple frontend wise but not so simple backend wise from what I was able to figure out.
Their project lead (also a backed guy) asked me my estimation of price and completion of task. I told them maybe 2-3 months to do everything properly.
Project lead was basically shocked because all other candidates told him they can rewrite the app from java to kotlin in 2-3 weeks. I told him that everything is possible but his app quality will suffer and for a better estimation he would we would need to sign an NDA so I could evaluate the costs. So we ended the interview.
After that we kept in touch for one month (it took them one month to google a generic NDA and sign it digitally with me).
So heres the redflags I noticed:
1. They dont respect my time. Wasted 1 month of my time and after signing NDA gave me 2days to estimate their project and go to a meeting and give them detailed info about what I can offer. I thats not a brain rape then I dont know what it is
2. They are changing initial conditions we talked about. We agreed on rewriting the codebase and be done with it. Now they prefer a fulltime worker who would be responsible for android app as his own product. So basically project lead was not able to find a fulltime dev so now hes trying to convert me (a company owner) to his fulltime worker.
3. Lack of respect. During the interview he started speaking in his own native language to me with some expression (he seemed pissed off at that moment when he switched languages).
4. Bad culture fit. As I said Im used to relaxed clients and projects where I dont need to be chained to a desk a monitored and be micromanaged. I mean lets sign a contract give me access to your codebase and tell me what to do, I will produce results and lets be done with it.
5. Project lead is a backend guy who doesnt understand how complicated android apps can be. No architecture and no unit tests are in his frontend app. He doesnt care about writing proper app since he ships it in his own device so he doesnt need to worry about supporting custom devices or different api levels of android and etc. But not having any architecture? Cmon.
So basically I am confused. Project lead needs a fulltime dev but hes in contact with me in hopes that I would sign a fulltime contract. But how I can work fulltime if all what I can see are redflags?
Basicaly I thinkthis was a misundersanding. Im searching for fulltime remote projects and hes offering fulltime inhouse projects. Project lead never outsourced so hes confused as well.
As you can see decision is already basically made to turn him down, I just need to know how to tell him to fck off in the most polite manner and thats it.6