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#2 Worst thing I've seen a co-worker do?
Back before we utilized stored procedures (and had an official/credentialed DBA), we used embedded/in-line SQL to fetch data from the database.
var sql = @"Select
Id = @ID"
In attempts to fix database performance issues, a developer, T, started putting all the SQL on one line of code (some sql was formatted on 10+ lines to make it readable and easily copy+paste-able with SSMS)
var sql = "Select ... From...Where...etc";
His justification was putting all the SQL on one line make the code run faster.
T: "Fewer lines of code runs faster, everyone knows that."
Mgmt bought it.
This process took him a few months to complete.
When none of the effort proved to increase performance, T blamed the in-house developed ORM we were using (I wrote it, it was a simple wrapper around ADO.Net with extension methods for creating/setting parameters)
T: "Adding extra layers causes performance problems, everyone knows that."
Mgmt bought it again.
Removing the ORM, again took several months to complete.
By this time, we hired a real DBA and his focus was removing all the in-line SQL to use stored procedures, creating optimization plans, etc (stuff a real DBA does).
In the planning meetings (I was not apart of), T was selected to lead because of his coding optimization skills.
DBA: "I've been reviewing the execution plans, are all the SQL code on one line? What a mess. That has to be worst thing I ever saw."
T: "Yes, the previous developer, PaperTrail, is incompetent. If the code was written correctly the first time using stored procedures, or even formatted so people could read it, we wouldn't have all these performance problems."
DBA didn't know me (yet) and I didn't know about T's shenanigans (aka = lies) until nearly all the database perf issues were resolved and T received a recognition award for all his hard work (which also equaled a nice raise).7
What an absolute fucking disaster of a day. Strap in, folks; it's time for a bumpy ride!
I got a whole hour of work done today. The first hour of my morning because I went to work a bit early. Then people started complaining about Jenkins jobs failing on that one Jenkins server our team has been wanting to decom for two years but management won't let us force people to move to new servers. It's a single server with over four thousand projects, some of which run massive data processing jobs that last DAYS. The server was originally set up by people who have since quit, of course, and left it behind for my team to adopt with zero documentation.
Anyway, the 500GB disk is 100% full. The memory (all 64GB of it) is fully consumed by stuck jobs. We can't track down large old files to delete because du chokes on the workspace folder with thousands of subfolders with no Ram to spare. We decide to basically take a hacksaw to it, deleting the workspace for every job not currently in progress. This of course fucked up some really poorly-designed pipelines that relied on workspaces persisting between jobs, so we had to deal with complaints about that as well.
So we get the Jenkins server up and running again just in time for AWS to have a major incident affecting EC2 instance provisioning in our primary region. People keep bugging me to fix it, I keep telling them that it's Amazon's problem to solve, they wait a few minutes and ask me to fix it again. Emails flying back and forth until that was done.
Lunch time already. But the fun isn't over yet!
I get back to my desk to find out that new hires or people who got new Mac laptops recently can't even install our toolchain, because management has started handing out M1 Macs without telling us and all our tools are compiled solely for x86_64. That took some troubleshooting to even figure out what the problem was because the only error people got from homebrew was that the formula was empty when it clearly wasn't.
After figuring out that problem (but not fully solving it yet), one team starts complaining to us about a Github problem because we manage the github org. Except it's not a github problem and I already knew this because they are a Problem Team that uses some technical authoring software with Git integration but they only have even the barest understanding of what Git actually does. Turns out it's a Git problem. An update for Git was pushed out recently that patches a big bad vulnerability and the way it was patched causes problems because they're using Git wrong (multiple users accessing the same local repo on a samba share). It's a huge vulnerability so my entire conversation with them went sort of like:
"We have to."
"Fine, here's a workaround, this will allow arbitrary code execution by anyone with physical or virtual access to this computer that you have sitting in an unlocked office somewhere."
"How do I run a Git command I don't use Git."
So that dealt with, I start taking a look at our toolchain, trying to figure out if I can easily just cross-compile it to arm64 for the M1 macbooks or if it will be a more involved fix. And I find all kinds of horrendous shit left behind by the people who wrote the tools that, naturally, they left for us to adopt when they quit over a year ago. I'm talking entire functions in a tool used by hundreds of people that were put in as a joke, poorly documented functions I am still trying to puzzle out, and exactly zero comments in the code and abbreviated function names like "gars", "snh", and "jgajawwawstai".
While I'm looking into that, the person from our team who is responsible for incident communication finally gets the AWS EC2 provisioning issue reported to IT Operations, who sent out an alert to affected users that should have gone out hours earlier.
Meanwhile, according to the health dashboard in AWS, the issue had already been resolved three hours before the communication went out and the ticket remains open at this moment, as far as I know.5
Biggest challenge I overcame as dev? One of many.
Avoiding a life sentence when the 'powers that be' targeted one of my libraries for the root cause of system performance issues and I didn't correct that accusation with a flame thrower.
What the accusation? What I named the library. Yep. The *name* was causing every single problem in the system.
Panorama (very, very expensive APM system at the time) identified my library in it's analysis, the calls to/from SQLServer was the bottleneck
We had one of Panorama's engineers on-site and he asked what (not the actual name) MyLibrary was and (I'll preface I did not know or involved in any of the so-called 'research') a crack team of developers+managers researched the system thoroughly and found MyLibrary was used in just about every project. I wrote the .Net 1.1 MyLibrary as a mini-ORM to simplify the execution of database code (stored procs, etc) and gracefully handle+log database exceptions (auto-logged details such as the target db, stored procedure name, parameter values, etc, everything you'd need to troubleshoot database errors). This was before Dapper and the other fancy tools used by kids these days.
By the time the news got to me, there was a team cobbled together who's only focus was to remove any/every trace of MyLibrary from the code base. Using Waterfall, they calculated it would take at least a year to remove+replace MyLibrary with the equivalent ADO.Net plumbing.
In a department wide meeting:
DeptMgr: "This day forward, no one is to use MyLibrary to access the database! It's slow, unprofessionally named, and the root cause of all the database issues."
Me: "What about MyLibrary is slow? It's excecuting standard the ADO.Net code. Only extra bit of code is the exception handling to capture the details when the exception is logged."
DeptMgr: "We've spent the last 6 weeks with the Panorama engineer and he's identified MyLibrary as the cause. Company has spent over $100,000 on this software and we have to make fact based decisions. Look at this slide ... "
<DeptMgr shows a histogram of the stacktrace, showing MyLibrary as the slowest>
Me: "You do realize that the execution time is the database call itself, not the code. In that example, the invoice call, it's the stored procedure that taking 5 seconds, not MyLibrary."
<at this point, DeptMgr is getting red-face mad>
AreaMgr: "Yes...yes...but if we stopped using MyLibrary, removing the unnecessary layers, will make the code run faster."
<typical headknodd-ers knod their heads in agreement>
Dev01: "The loading of MyLibrary takes CPU cycles away from code that supports our customers. Every CPU cycle counts."
Me: "I'm really confused. Maybe I'm looking at the data wrong. On the slide where you highlighted all the bottlenecks, the histogram shows the latency is the database, I mean...it's right there, in red. Am I looking at it wrong?"
<this was meeting with 20+ other devs, mgrs, a VP, the Panorama engineer>
DeptMgr: "Yes you are! I know MyLibrary is your baby. You need to check your ego at the door and face the facts. Your MyLibrary is a failed experiment and needs to be exterminated from this system!"
Fast forward 9 months, maybe 50% of the projects updated, come across the documentation left from the Panorama. Even after the removal of MyLibrary, there was zero increases in performance. The engineer recommended DBAs start optimizing their indexes and other N+1 problems discovered. I decide to ask the developer who lead the re-write.
Me: "I see that removing MyLibrary did nothing to improve performance."
Dev: "Yes, DeptMgr was pissed. He was ready to throw the Panorama engineer out a window when he said the problems were in the database all along. Didn't you say that?"
Me: "Um, so is this re-write project dead?"
Dev: "No. Removing MyLibrary introduced all kinds of bugs. All the boilerplate ADO.Net code caused a lot of unhandled exceptions, then we had to go back and write exception handling code."
Me: "What a failure. What dipshit would think writing more code leads to less bugs?"
Dev: "I know, I know. We're so far behind schedule. We had to come up with something. I ended up writing a library to make replacing MyLibrary easier. I called it KnightRider. Like the TV show. Everyone is excited to speed up their code with KnightRider. Same method names, same exception handling. All we have to do is replace MyLibrary with KnightRider and we're done."
Me: "Won't the bottlenecks then point to KnightRider?"
Dev: "Meh, not my problem. Panorama meets primarily with the DBAs and the networking team now. I doubt we ever use Panorama to look at our C# code."
Needless to say, I was (still) pissed that they had used MyLibrary as dirty word and a scapegoat for months when they *knew* where the problems were. Pissed enough for a flamethrower? Maybe.9
Atlasssian Bitbucket has broken umlauts since version 8.0 ...
Ladies and gentleman,
it's the year 2022.
In the internet, dat "Neuland" as Mama Merkel used to say, Atlassian managed to revert back to the good old times of ASCII.
Who needs proper multibyte charset support anyway?
Just display broken shit - as broken as the quality management of that misanthropic chum bucket company called Atlassian.
Oh and the last upgrade to Confluence broke, too.
Was just very needed because of an remote code execution.
Cause you know the usual deal. Oops zero exploit, let's make it public, telling our customers that in cloud their data is safe, otherwise they need to shut off their instances or pray that they have a WAF that can filter strings...
What broke you might ask?
Unique constraint in database, the migration wizard loved to add few extra rows, solution was to fry the rows while instance running, followed by immediate cache drop, otherwise fun started again.
I hate Atlassian.4
So there's azure data studio, shiny! nice!
Oh hey, wow, an Oracle extension! Great!! Now I can use one tool for all my database queries!
Below is the list of current limitations:
- Server management and dashboard are not supported
- Packaged objects are not supported
- Table data preview/editing is not supported
- Query execution is not supported
So you're telling me that you can connect and... that's it?
What's the point? Why??
That's like saying: Here's a toaster. But here's the thing's you *can't* do:
- Toast bread
But at least you can look at it. Seriously, what the ****.6
I'm learning Rust as a case study for my own programming language. It's funny how many approaches exist to the humble loop.
- In classic procedural languages, a loop's job is to repeat actions, and as such it provides a multitude of tools to control this repetition.
- In all languages with iterators, a for-in loop is a construct that does something with every element of a collection. In languages with both iterators and generator functions, this can even be used to define a sequence in terms of another.
- In Rust, a loop is an expression that obtains its value through repeated execution. It can also be used like a classic loop, of course, but this is the interesting part.
- My little language is a functional language, so "loop" is the Y combinator. To loop means to define the value of an expression in terms of itself. It's the only looping construct, gets special treatment from the type checker and it's also used in recursive type definitions.
Update about my boss:
I was early too judge. Maybe still early to form an opinion.
But dude seems pretty level headed. Yes, he is agressive. Yes, he has weird way of complicating things.
But I got to learn things from him. I earned his trust, just like I did in the past with other managers. He is confident about my performance now. He gave me space to ramp up and pushed me to limits.
But now, Floyd is settled. Maybe with time, I might get occasional unpleasant interactions, but those are part of every job.
However, we as a society decided to be in agile mode. Fix a problem and the solution gives rise to another one.
The business head of my pod is going crazy over the deliverables.
They were surviving for years with a product manager. Everything was driven by tech without any research.
And now when I am in, they want everything to be done yesterday.
We spent some decent amount of time on strategy and it turned out to be good. Now they are questioning that why ain't I delivering?!
It's been a week we finalised the strategy, let me get some space and time to structure and plan the execution.
Business heads are pretty nice and level headed people. Just that I don't understand the sense of urgency. I get it that my pod often has to deal with fire fighting given the nature of the business, but holy fuck! Stop pressurising to deliver everything together on a war foot.
They are like, we'll ask for more resources. But whose gonna tell them that 9 women cannot deliver a baby in 1 month.
I need time for discovery and research. Without that, don't expect impact.
As the only PM space, leading the entire vertical, how can I even focus on multiple initiatives?
I really miss my previous life of my first company. It's exactly an year when I left them and I changed two companies since then.
My learning and earnings sky rocketed, but WLB took a toll.
I miss the time when I could finish my work in an hour and did whatever the fuck I want while at work like browsing new topics to learn, exploring places, attending events, connecting with people, making social posts to learn, finance as a hobby, yada yada..
These days, I feel too burned out. Not that I am worried about job stability, because I trust my skills.
But more due to the fact that I have to constantly focus on work for the time I am in office. No free space or time to collect myself together, process things, and focus.
This leads me to thinking about work (read processing office discussions), at home too.
I cannot enjoy music. Feels like a load.
I no longer attend events or meet people after work. No more wasting time on the internet.
And most importantly, I am not bored anymore. I miss being bored. I miss living a boring, mediocre lifestyle.
I miss doing my side projects and polishing my portfolio site ten times a day, because I got nothing better to do.
I used to spend time learning right grammar and why American and English words are different and which to use where.
I miss spending time of Google Maps exploring borders and remote regions.
Weekends fly by. No hobby to pursue. No free time.
I miss the days when I had nothing to do and I was bored and I could do anything.
I used to be always happy. Because no responsibilities. I used to be always up for a meetup. I used to be available for a phone call.
Now it's nothing but work which is surely exciting and some foundational learning with good enough money, but I miss my time when I used to get bored because I had nothing to do.5
That might seem a bit random, but I started off this year with a nightmare (a literal dream) where I've fallen victim to remote code execution, because I cloned someone's git repo.
Is such a thing even possible? The closest thing I've found was this blog
(and the info on it was already worrying enough), but that shouldn't have affected my dream computer.
Some details I more or less remember:
* The execution happened right after git clone
* The uri to the repo was a custom domain (no github, gitlab or anything)
* no submodules