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Two years ago I moved to Dublin with my wife (we met on tour while we were both working in music) as visa laws in the UK didn’t allow me to support the visa of a Russian national on a freelance artists salary.
After we came to Dublin I was playing a lot to pay rent (major rental crisis here), I play(ed) Double Bass which is a physically intensive instrument and through overworking caused a long term injury to my forearm which prevents me playing.
Luckily my wife was able to start working in Community Operations for the big tech companies here (not an amazing job and I want her to be able to stop).
Anyway, I was a bit stuck with what step to take next as my entire career had been driven by the passion to master an art that I was very committed to. It gave me joy and meaning.
I was working as hard as I could with a clear vision but no clear path available to get there, then by chance the opportunity came to study a Higher Diploma qualification in Data Science/Analysis (I have some experience handling music licensing for tech startups and an MA with components in music analysis, which I spun into a narrative). Seemed like a ‘smart’ thing to do to do pick up a ‘respectable’ qualification, if I can’t play any more.
The programme had a strong programming element and I really enjoyed that part. The heavy statistics/algebra element was difficult but as my Python programming improved, I was able to write and utilise codebase to streamline the work, and I started to pull ahead of the class. I put in more and more time to programming and studied personally far beyond the requirements of the programme (scored some of the highest academic grades I’ve ever achieved). I picked up a confident level of Bash, SQL, Cypher (Neo4j), proficiency with libraries like pandas, scikit-learn as well as R things like ggplot. I’m almost at the end of the course now and I’m currently lecturing evening classes at the university as a paid professional, teaching Graph Database theory and implementation of Neo4j using Python. I’m co-writing a thesis on Machine Learning in The Creative Process (with faculty members) to be published by the institute. My confidence in programming grew and grew and with that platform to lift me, I pulled away from the class further and further.
I felt lost for a while, but I’ve found my new passion. I feel the drive to master the craft, the desire to create, to refine and to explore.
I’m going to write a Thesis with a strong focus on programmatic implementation and then try and take a programming related position and build from there. I’m excited to become a professional in this field. It might take time and not be easy, but I’ve already mastered one craft in life to the highest levels of expertise (and tutored it for almost 10 years). I’m 30 now and no expert (yet), but am well beyond beginner. I know how to learn and self study effectively.
The future is exciting and I’ve discovered my new art! (I’m also performing live these days with ‘TidalCycles’! (Haskell pattern syntax for music performance).
Hey all! I’m new on devRant!12
Beginner: I wrote 1,000 lines of code!
Intermediate: I deleted 1,000 lines of code!
Expert: I prevented code from being written!1
I'm coming off a lengthy staff augmentation assignment awful enough that I feel like I need to be rehabilitated to convince myself that I even want to be a software developer.
They needed someone who does .NET. It turns out what they meant was someone to copy and paste massive amounts of code that their EA calls a "framework." Just copy and paste this entire repo, make a whole ton of tweaks that for whatever reason never make their way back into the "template," and then make a few edits for some specific functionality. And then repeat. And repeat. Over a dozen times.
The code is unbelievable. Everything is stacked into giant classes that inherit from each other. There's no dependency inversion. The classes have default constructors with a comment "for unit testing" and then the "real" code uses a different one.
It's full of projects, classes, and methods with weird names that don't do anything. The class and method names sound like they mean something but don't. So after a dozen times I tried to refactor, and the EA threw a hissy fit. Deleting dead code, reducing three levels of inheritance to a simple class, and renaming stuff to indicate what it does are all violations of "standards." I had to go back to the template and start over.
This guy actually recorded a video of himself giving developers instructions on how to copy and paste his awful code.
Then he randomly invents new "standards." A class that reads messages from a queue and processes them shouldn't process them anymore. It should read them and put them in another queue, and then we add more complication by reading from that queue. The reason? We might want to use the original queue for something else one day. I'm pretty sure rewriting working code to meet requirements no one has is as close as you can get to the opposite of Agile.
I fixed some major bugs during my refactor, and missed one the second time after I started over. So stuff actually broke in production because I took points off the board and "fixed" what worked to add back in dead code, variables that aren't used, etc.
In the process, I asked the EA how he wanted me to do this stuff, because I know that he makes up "standards" on the fly and whatever I do may or may not be what he was imagining. We had a tight deadline and I didn't really have time to guess, read his mind, get it wrong, and start over. So we scheduled an hour for him to show me what he wanted.
He said it would take fifteen minutes. He used the first fifteen insisting that he would not explain what he wanted, and besides he didn't remember how all of the code he wrote worked anyway so I would just have to spend more time studying his masterpiece and stepping through it in the debugger.
Being accountable to my team, I insisted that we needed to spend the scheduled hour on him actually explaining what he wanted. He started yelling and hung up. I had to explain to management that I could figure out how to make his "framework" work, but it would take longer and there was no guarantee that when it was done it would magically converge on whatever he was imagining. We totally blew that deadline.
When the .NET work was done, I got sucked into another part of the same project where they were writing massive 500 line SQL stored procedures that no one could understand. They would write a dozen before sending any to QA, then find out that there was a scenario or two not accounted for, and rewrite them all. And repeat. And repeat. Eventually it consisted of, one again, copying and pasting existing procedures into new ones.
At one point one dev asked me to help him test his procedure. I said sure, tell me the scenarios for which I needed to test. He didn't know. My question was the equivalent of asking, "Tell me what you think your code does," and he couldn't answer it. If the guy who wrote it doesn't know what it does right after he wrote it and you certainly can't tell by reading it, and there's dozens of these procedures, all the same but slightly different, how is anyone ever going to read them in a month or a year? What happens when someone needs to change them? What happens when someone finds another defect, and there are going to be a ton of them?
It's a nightmare. Why interview me with all sorts of questions about my dev skills if the plan is to have me copy and paste stuff and carefully avoid applying anything that I know?
The people are all nice except for their evil XEB (Xenophobe Expert Beginner) EA who has no business writing a line of code, ever, and certainly shouldn't be reviewing it.
I've tried to keep my sanity by answering stackoverflow questions once in a while and sometimes turning evil things I was forced to do into constructive blog posts to which I cannot link to preserve my anonymity. I feel like I've taken a six-month detour from software development to shovel crap. Never again. Lesson learned. Next time they're not interviewing me. I'm interviewing them. I'm a professional.9
Being a junior and part of a small team at a startup, working with a new software architecture, even the team lead is a beginner in it. It feels like I'm at an echo chamber, there's nobody expert enough to look up to if stuck, decisions seem to be based on opinions rather than an architectural design kinda point of view.
Ugh, I hope I'm not the only here ever feeling this way.7
I have developed 3 apps so far in laravel and I can say I'm in a mid level between beginner and expert.
But every time I set up a new laravel environment I feel like this is the first time I see laravel.5
I'm finishing up the most depressing client engagement ever. Ultimately it all traces back to their worthless Expert Beginner EA who thinks he's a genius but can't write code. I don't mean that he's not great at it. It's some of the worst I've ever seen by a person in his position.
In the time I have left here I could do so much to help them clean this stuff up so that future developers could ramp up more easily and there wouldn't be tons of duplicate code.
But I've just given up. You can't help someone who thinks their code is perfect. I don't even bother suggesting stuff any more (like don't have two methods in a class - a "real" one and one for unit testing) because he gets mad or just says that's his "pattern."
If I have a useful improvement, first he'll want me to put all new code in some new library, which is fine as an end result but you don't start with putting single-use code in a library separate from where you're using it. You work with it for a while to see what's useful, what's not, and make changes. But, you see, he just loves making more libraries and calling them "frameworks."
He tells me what he wants me to name classes, and they have nothing to do with what the classes do. When you haven't done any development yet you don't even know what classes you're going to create. You start with something but you refactor and rename. It takes a special breed of stupid to think that you start with a name.
I've even caught the dude taking classes I've committed and copying and pasting them into their own library - a library with one class.
The last time we had to figure out how to do something new I told everyone up front: Don't waste time trying to figure out how you want to solve the problem. Just ask the EA what he wants you to do. Because whatever you come up with, he's going to reject it and come up with something stupid that revolves around adding stuff to his genius framework. And whatever he says you're going to do. So just skip to that.
So that's the environment. We don't write software to meet requirements. We write it to add to the framework so that the EA can turn around and say how useful the framework is.
Except it's not. The overhead for new developers to learn how to navigate his copy-pasted code, tons of inheritance, dead methods, meaningless names, and useless wrappers around existing libraries is massive. Whatever you need to do you could do in a few hours without his framework. Or you can spend literally a month modifying his framework to do the same thing. And half the time his code collapses so that dozens of applications built on his framework go down at once.
I get frameworks. They can be useful, but only if they serve your needs, not the other way around.
I've spent months disciplining myself not to solve problems and not to use my skills.
Good luck to those of you who actually work there. I am deeply sad for the visa worker I'm handing this off to. He's a nice guy and smart. If he was stupid then he wouldn't mind dragging this anchor behind him like an ox pulling a plow. Knowing the difference just makes it harder.
This new "code of conduct" ignores the larger problem on StackOverflow. Beginner programmers just aren't welcome. When I first started programming my questions were downvoted and deleted. Overtime I became a better programmer and I know how to write detailed questions. They are no longer downvoted, but they are not upvoted either. You have to be practically an expert for your question or answer to get upvoted and at that point you don't really need StackOverflow or Google...3
This year I'll join college and opt for BCA. But i want to take a step towards future. How can i learn quantum-focused programing language like Q# and become expert and write programs in it? Also, any career advice is appreciated. I'm just the beginner but i liked coding very much in my high school and i want to be a software developer in future.