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In the begining of time, when The Company was small and The Data could fit in some fucking excel sheets, Those Who Came Before implemented some java tool to issue invoices, notify customers and clear received payments.
Then came the Time Of The Great Expanse, when The Company grew to unthinkable levels. Headcount increased with each passing day, and The Data shows that everything was going great!
But when the future seemed bright, came The Stall-Out. The days when The Company could not expand as fast as it did before. And Those Who Came Before left, abandoning their Undocumented Java Tool to its own luck.
Those who came after knew nothing of the inner workings of the Undocumented Java Tool. They knew only that the magical Jar would take a couple fucking excel spreadsheets and spit out reports and send emails like magic.
And those were The Dark Days.
In the darkness, The Data grew to be a monster. Soon a fucking excel spreadsheet could not hold The Data contained any longer. Those Who Came After, fearing the wrath of The Undocumented Java Tool, dared not mess with its code. Instead, they fucking cut away the lowest volume transactions from the fucking input spreadsheet, and left the company to report the unbilled invoices as "surprise losses". Fucking script kiddies, were Those Who Came After.
Then, at The Darkest of Days (literally, Dec 21st), marched into the project The Six Witchers, who fear not the Demon of Refactoring.
This story is still unfolding. Will The Six Witchers manage to unravel the mysteries of The Undocumented Java Tool? Will they be able to reverse engineer the fucking black box, and scale it's magic into a modern application?
Will they decrease revenue forecasting error by at least 2% in a single strike?
Only the future will tell.16
Client: Too many of our business processes take place on excel and paper! We need to modernize our business processes. Build an app that can do the main things we do with excel and paper in app form.
Dev (4 months later): Here it is
Client: Ok some of our users want to still use excel and paper so build the ability to print the app and export/import to excel so they can continue working the way they always have alongside our new app.
I see so many freaking excel sheets where a database should have been used that I wouldn't be surprised if, at the veeeeery bottom of all things, the entire global financial system runs based on a single excel sheet made by a dude in the 90s. And since then poorly maintained.11
Urgh, fucking excel!
Why the fuck can't you handle a few thousand calculations you dumb ass piece of shit.
I am this close to... fuck, it crashed. 🤦♂️
I fucking give up.
Time to strap this data to a DB instead.8
EoS1: This is the continuation of my previous rant, "The Ballad of The Six Witchers and The Undocumented Java Tool". Catch the first part here: https://devrant.com/rants/5009817/...
The Undocumented Java Tool, created by Those Who Came Before to fight the great battles of the past, is a swift beast. It reaches systems unknown and impacts many processes, unbeknownst even to said processes' masters. All from within it's lair, a foggy Windows Server swamp of moldy data streams and boggy flows.
One of The Six Witchers, the Wild One, scouted ahead to map the input and output data streams of the Unmapped Data Swamp. Accompanied only by his animal familiars, NetCat and WireShark.
Two others, bold and adventurous, raised their decompiling blades against the Undocumented Java Tool beast itself, to uncover it's data processing secrets.
Another of the witchers, of dark complexion and smooth speak, followed the data upstream to find where the fuck the limited excel sheets that feeds The Beast comes from, since it's handlers only know that "every other day a new one appears on this shared active directory location". WTF do people often have NPC-levels of unawareness about their own fucking jobs?!?!
The other witchers left to tend to the Burn-Rate Bonfire, for The Sprint is dark and full of terrors, and some bigwigs always manage to shoehorn their whims/unrelated stories into a otherwise lean sprint.
At the dawn of the new year, the witchers reconvened. "The Beast breathes a currency conversion API" - said The Wild One - "And it's claws and fangs strike mostly at two independent JIRA clusters, sometimes upserting issues. It uses a company-deprecated API to send emails. We're in deep shit."
"I've found The Source of Fucking Excel Sheets" - said the smooth witcher - "It is The Temple of Cash-Flow, where the priests weave the Tapestry of Transactions. Our Fucking Excel Sheets are but a snapshot of the latest updates on the balance of some billing accounts. I spoke with one of the priestesses, and she told me that The Oracle (DB) would be able to provide us with The Data directly, if we were to learn the way of the ODBC and the Query"
"We stroke at the beast" - said the bold and adventurous witchers, now deserving of the bragging rights to be called The Butchers of Jarfile - "It is actually fewer than twenty classes and modules. Most are API-drivers. And less than 40% of the code is ever even fucking used! We found fucking JIRA API tokens and URIs hard-coded. And it is all synchronous and monolithic - no wonder it takes almost 20 hours to run a single fucking excel sheet".
Together, the witchers figured out that each new billing account were morphed by The Beast into a new JIRA issue, if none was open yet for it. Transactions were used to update the outstanding balance on the issues regarding the billing accounts. The currency conversion API was used too often, and it's purpose was only to give a rough estimate of the total balance in each Jira issue in USD, since each issue could have transactions in several currencies. The Beast would consume the Excel sheet, do some cryptic transformations on it, and for each resulting line access the currency API and upsert a JIRA issue. The secrets of those transformations were still hidden from the witchers. When and why would The Beast send emails, was still a mistery.
As the Witchers Council approached an end and all were armed with knowledge and information, they decided on the next steps.
The Wild Witcher, known in every tavern in the land and by the sea, would create a connector to The Red Port of Redis, where every currency conversion is already updated by other processes and can be quickly retrieved inside the VPC. The Greenhorn Witcher is to follow him and build an offline process to update balances in JIRA issues.
The Butchers of Jarfile were to build The Juggler, an automation that should be able to receive a parquet file with an insertion plan and asynchronously update the JIRA API with scores of concurrent requests.
The Smooth Witcher, proud of his new lead, was to build The Oracle Watch, an order that would guard the Oracle (DB) at the Temple of Cash-Flow and report every qualifying transaction to parquet files in AWS S3. The Data would then be pushed to cross The Event Bridge into The Cluster of Sparks and Storms.
This Witcher Who Writes is to ride the Elephant of Hadoop into The Cluster of Sparks an Storms, to weave the signs of Map and Reduce and with speed and precision transform The Data into The Insertion Plan.
However, how exactly is The Data to be transformed is not yet known.
Will the Witchers be able to build The Data's New Path? Will they figure out the mysterious transformation? Will they discover the Undocumented Java Tool's secrets on notifying customers and aggregating data?
This story is still afoot. Only the future will tell, and I will keep you posted.6
A becomes B
B becomes C
C becomes A
D becomes B
E becomes A
Now add real hostnames... Make this list longer (roughly 15-18)
Add resource calculation, migration of VMs, organizing new hardware, removing and rebuilding hosts, etc.
I think my brain is permanently damaged and cannot be repaired.
Hardware migration finally over tomorrow.
I really won't miss the fuckton of Excel lists, constant speaking mistakes, having sore fingers from mutilating the desk calculator etc.
I'm too tired to be happy. But... It's over.1
If your sr data scientist doesn’t understand how function scopes work or how imports work and writes inefficient code, Idk man. Some people are just experts at emails and coloured excel cells1
I recently started working on a 3 months old project, that was outsourced to two Indians genius. One of them left just before I arrived.
I had the chance to discover those guys were not using any version control system, just exchanging a zip file. I don’t even talk about the codebase, never seen such a mess …
Even better the project managers, were not using any IT program to follow the project advancement, but just Excel!!!
After a few days I realised that the remaining dev was not committing anything, the guy was always lying, (so many people died around him + some emergencies)
So, the guy got fired, but don’t worry management found new genius to save the project 🙂
Can someone tell me if outsourcing is really working?7
Sometimes I think about packing up my bags and just going into security consulting just to get away from the world of being an infrastructure anarchist for software companies that are overvalued "Export to Excel" generators.2
"Hey can you make this excel report for me real quick? Here are the columns, you gotta get them from this table in the database. Shouldn't take long."
Alright, sounds easy enough wait where is the data. I have to join how many tables? What is this bullshit data? I want to strangle the guy who modeled this piece of garbage.5
There is a commercially sold ERP solution that has it's DB schema in excel and Other documentations in MS Word. And its not even properly structured, no schema diagrams, last updated for a 4 year old major release 😒😫.
I have to develop a custom module for it and that requires building an ActivexDLL Project in VB fucking 6 😭😭 .
Tell me if you want ss in comments.5
One thing that @scout taught me is to wear the oxygen mask myself before helping others. Oh she is a sweetheart.
This advice has stuck with me since and slowly & steadily, I am regaining my lost confidence and self love.
Remember, how I was struggling for clarity a couple of months ago? But now, I feel more clear in head.
During the start of the pandemic, I joined a community of corporate normies. I used to live happier until that decision.
That place made me ultra competitive and I subconsciously became a rat trying to win the race. I damaged myself more than I benefited.
I joined at the time of inception. Every core member is a good friend.
Now the fun thing is, they moved to Slack. Many of the core members run the community as admins.
While I don't engage much, but talk to some of them occasionally.
One key area is, running a job board to help people get jobs. And another is mentorship to help the members overcome challenges and grow in their career.
In DMs, literally every core member who is doing this for others is struggling themselves for the same. How fucking ironic!
They seek help and advice from me and vent out their failure frustrations.
Imagine, someone who isn't able to solve their problem, let alone solving it first before helping others, is guiding the community of few thousands to excel in their careers.
One of the biggest life lessons @scout taught me, wear your oxygen mask first before helping others.48
Until today, I had assumed deploying stuff to prod would NOT be one of my responsabilities in this company. Apparently that's not the case.
Had to deploy my code and pray it didn't break anything. Why is this a big deal at all?
Well you see, there is no repository. At all. No git, no svn, not even duplicate folders. No tests, no pipeline. Just a bunch of CPanels.
Had to manually copy files and folders from the development site to the production site and partially copy a database. "Just drag and drop" were the instructions I was given.
As if using CakePHP2, PHP5 and having to parse fucking Excel files wasn't bad enough, now I have to deal with one of the worst ways to deploy code.
Fuck it, I'm switching on the looking-for-job flag on linkedin.5
This is a sad story of bad recruitment in my school.
One day I had my computer class in school and my teacher was on leave so the substitution department sent another teacher to our class.
I have 3 computer teachers in my institution, let us assume their names for this rant as A, B and C.
A - The most learned teacher who has a lot of experience and also writes books. This teacher is the head of the department and wants students to explore coding.
B - A teacher who sticks to books and writes books on Excel and Powerpoint for small children.
C - The youngest teacher who has almost no experience at all.
What happened was that during the substitution, teacher C was sitting and doing her own work. I thought she might know java and other fundamentals of computers. One of my friends asked her about some bug in his program. She went to his seat and said that teacher A would come and help you out. To this, the student said ok.
I thought that the teacher had something fishy going on.
A few months later teacher B and A were talking about some coding competition and I was alone in the lab cause I am the only one in 11th with computer science.
The problem here was that C came to the room and quietly asked what is an object and class in java. I was shocked! I mean how could that happen, she is supposed to know everything in the comp sci syllabus. This was a disaster, teacher A was explaining to her about classes and objects. It was clear to me that she didn't know anything about programming in Java.
This is the fault of our school.
My school wants a good rank in the lists and for that they cut down the budget of teachers and remove old, experienced teachers for cheap, newer teachers.
This was shocking as a person who doesn't know much about something can't answer the doubts of children, this is a wrong way of teaching.
Hope you have a good day :)6
As a tech lead i sometimes find it very hard to defend developers for no fault of theirs.
Management is completely incapable of noticing hard data like git logs or action items updated on an excel and seems to have an idea that the devs are incompetent , but the ba that sets impossible goals and crap business documentation is competent.
Should i just let the project and juniors burn.3
The Zen Of Ripping Off Airtable:
(patterned after The Zen Of Python. For all those shamelessly copying airtables basic functionality)
*Columns can be *reordered* for visual priority and ease of use.
* Rows are purely presentational, and mostly for grouping and formatting.
* Data cells are objects in their own right, so they can control their own rendering, and formatting.
* Columns (as objects) are where linkages and other column specific data are stored.
* Rows (as objects) are where row specific data (full-row formatting) are stored.
* Rows are views or references *into* columns which hold references to the actual data cells
* Tables are meant for managing and structuring *small* amounts of data (less than 10k rows) per table.
* Just as you might do "=A1:A5" to reference a cell range in google or excel, you might do "opt(table1:columnN)" in a column header to create a 'type' for the cells in that column.
* An enumeration is a table with a single column, useful for doing the equivalent of airtables options and tags. You will never be able to decide if it should be stored on a specific column, on a specific table for ease of reuse, or separately where it and its brothers will visually clutter your list of tables. Take a shot if you are here.
* Typing or linking a column should be accomplishable first through a command-driven type language, held in column headers and cells as text.
* Take a shot if you somehow ended up creating any of the following: an FSM, a custom regex parser, a new programming language.
* A good structuring system gives us options or tags (multiple select), selections (single select), and many other datatypes and should be first, programmatically available through a simple command-driven language like how commands are done in datacells in excel or google sheets.
* Columns are a means to organize data cells, and set constraints and formatting on an entire range.
* Row height, can be overridden by the settings of a cell. If a cell overrides the row and column render/graphics settings, then it must be drawn last--drawing over the default grid.
* The header of a column is itself a datacell.
* Columns have no order among themselves. Order is purely presentational, and stored on the table itself.
* The last statement is because this allows us to pluck individual columns out of tables for specialized views.
*Very* fast scrolling on large datasets, with row and cell height variability is complicated. Thinking about it makes me want to drink. You should drink too before you embark on implementing it.
* Wherever possible, don't use a database.
If you're thinking about using a database, see the previous koan.
* If you use a database, expect to pick and choose among column-oriented stores, and json, while factoring for platform support, api support, whether you want your front-end users to be forced to install and setup a full database,
and if not, what file-based .so or .dll database engine is out there that also supports video, audio, images, and custom types.
* For each time you ignore one of these nuggets of wisdom, take a shot, question your sanity, quit halfway, and then write another koan about what you learned.
* If you do not have liquor on hand, for each time you would take a shot, spank yourself on the ass. For those who think this is a reward, for each time you would spank yourself on the ass, instead *don't* spank yourself on the ass.
* Take a sip if you *definitely* wildly misused terms from OOP, MVP, and spreadsheets.5
I finally got the clarity on my relationship.
Atleast I think I did.
I am officially done with Microsoft. I mean the only useful and sensible products left are Outlook and Excel.
Funnily both the products have hit their maturity stage and now MS is trying to bloat them. But still to a reasonable extent.
What other MS products are worth touching? Wait.. I legit can't think of any now.
Next on tagret, Google and Apple. Lol
Perhaps only Apple product I ever want to interact with will be (future tense) Apple Music (well because lossless and the fact that that the product is the reason for existence of the company).
NGL Steve had the right vision on Music. They tagged things right in their iTunes catalogue. But then MTV happened.
And now Spotify is the new MTV. Fuck me in ass someone.
So only Google? Well I have already sold my soul to them. What's more remaining?11
Update 2: https://devrant.com/rants/5446637/...
Not saying that my boss is wrong, but the way he gives feedback and teach me is just awful. Just today, a new colleague told me that one of the ex-team member quit because of our boss.
Anyway, the activity I was working on, I nailed it.
In morning connect, boss specifically told what he was looking for and made me do a live task and gave feedback. That made me realised what he was looking for.
I spent the day completing the activity. When I showed him, his jaw dropped.
He tried to pick on few things, but failed to do so.
He loved the output. Praised me and my persistence. Finally, the history repeated itself, and I learnt more about communication.
Possibly my weakest point out of all, where I was failing in interviews and had to fix that. Now, I got some pointers and will work on it to excel futher.
Yes, things were stressful, but I came out to be stronger.5
Browser automation is a PITA. I’m going on my fourth side mission with this crap and I honestly still look like a newbie. I’ve tried Java Selenium with Chrome, Excel VBA with IE9, Vanilla JS in the browser console, and tonight I’m thinking to concoct some kind of hybrid CDP & Selenium approach in Chrome. Never used CDP before, not even sure where to start but I heard it sucks like anything else unless you get some extra libraries and plugins and stuff.
It doesn’t help that I can’t get just anything I want from our IT Department. It would be another PITA to ask for puppeteer. If puppeteer is totally legit please let me know.
Selenium sucks. The buttons don’t click, the waits don’t wait. Its unusable. Iframes are annoying as all hell but I can deal with that. HTML Tables suck too. It doesn’t help I have to restart my whole java program and whole Chrome every time an element doesn’t get picked correctly. Scripting one single element can take all fucking night.
Chrome dev tools what the fuck. Why the fuck is the DOM explorer in the same window as the web page I’m working on?? I can’t undock it. Am I supposed to use a fucking TV screen to work with this bastard?? If I use the remote chrome tools on port 9225 or whatever - It Still Renders The Whole Fucking Page Alongside The Console. Get Out Of My Way!!! The nested HTML CODE IS ONE CHARACTER WIDE ALL THE TIME. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the fuck I’m looking at. Haven’t you people ever heard of A HORIZONTAL SCROLL BAR at least.
Fuck I tried using getElementById, and the Xpath thing and its not all that great seeing I have seemingly 1000s of nested Divs all over the god damned place oftentimes containing a single element. I’m finally on chrome now should I learn Jquery now? I mean seriously wtf.
I use this one no code tool for dev it has web automation built in. As you can imagine its just as broken as anything else!! I have 10 screens to navigate it gets stuck on the second screen all the damn time. Fuck I love clicking the buttons when my script misses and playing catch up with it.
I can’t get the new selenium that has CDP but I do have some buggy ass selenium from a few years back. Yeah, I remember reading there was a pretty impactful regression defect in the version I have. Maybe I’m being gaslighted by some shit copy of selenium?
The worst part is that I do seem to be having issues that the rest of the internet’s devs do not seem to be having. People act like browser automation is totally viable and pretty OK. How in the fuck hell is my Selenium Test Suite going to be more reliable my application under test?!!?? I’ll have more fucking bugs in my test suite than in my application. Today, I have less than half a test script and, I. already. fucking. do.
I am still SUPER PISSED at the months of 12 hour days (always 8 hours spent on normal sprint work btw only 4 to automation) I spent trying to automate our regression tests. I got NOWHERE.
I did learn a lot about HTML and JS though like I’m not that mad…but I’m just trying to emphasize my achievement on my task was zero.
The buttons don’t click. There are so many divs and I swear you sometimes need to select a div somewhere in the middle sometimes to get it working. The waits don’t wait. XHR requests are invisible. Java crashes 100 times before I find an xpath and thread.sleep() combo that works. I have no failure modes to use — Sometimes I click the same element 20x in a script because I have no way to know if it clicked the first time! Sometimes you gotta scroll the page to make the click work. So many click methods all broken. So many wait methods all broken. Its not just the elements don’t click! There are so many ways to click that almost work but surely they all fail the same in the end. ok at this point I’m just repeating myself…
there yet even more issues that I can’t remember…and will soon remember as I journey into this project yet again…
thanks for reading I hope I entertained and would love to hear your experience!7