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Search - "frustration trying to find work"
This codebase reminds me of a large, rotting, barely-alive dromedary. Parts of it function quite well, but large swaths of it are necrotic, foul-smelling, and even rotted away. Were it healthy, it would still exude a terrible stench, and its temperament would easily match: If you managed to get near enough, it would spit and try to bite you.
Swaths of code are commented out -- entire classes simply don't exist anymore, and the ghosts of several-year-old methods still linger. Despite this, large and deprecated (yet uncommented) sections of the application depend on those undefined classes/methods. Navigating the codebase is akin to walking through a minefield: if you reference the wrong method on the wrong object... fatal exception. And being very new to this project, I have no idea what's live and what isn't.
The naming scheme doesn't help, either: it's impossible to know what's still functional without asking because nothing's marked. Instead, I've been working backwards from multiple points to try to find code paths between objects/events. I'm rarely successful.
Not only can I not tell what's live code and what's interactive death, the code itself is messy and awful. Don't get me wrong: it's solid. There's virtually no way to break it. But trying to understand it ... I feel like I'm looking at a huge, sprawling MC Escher landscape through a microscope. (No exaggeration: a magnifying glass would show a larger view that included paradoxes / dubious structures, and these are not readily apparent to me.)
It's also rife with bad practices. Terrible naming choices consisting of arbitrarily-placed acronyms, bad word choices, and simply inconsistent naming (hash vs hsh vs hs vs h). The indentation is a mix of spaces and tabs. There's magic numbers galore, and variable re-use -- not just local scope, but public methods on objects as well. I've also seen countless assignments within conditionals, and these are apparently intentional! The reasoning: to ensure the code only runs with non-falsey values. While that would indeed work, an early return/next is much clearer, and reduces indentation. It's just. reading through this makes me cringe or literally throw my hands up in frustration and exasperation.
Honestly though, I know why the code is so terrible, and I understand:
The architect/sole dev was new to coding -- I have 5-7 times his current experience -- and the project scope expanded significantly and extremely quickly, and also broke all of its foundation rules. Non-developers also dictated architecture, creating further mess. It's the stuff of nightmares. Looking at what he was able to accomplish, though, I'm impressed. Horrified at the details, but impressed with the whole.
This project is the epitome of "I wrote it quickly and just made it work."
Fortunately, he and I both agree that a rewrite is in order. but at 76k lines (without styling or configuration), it's quite the undertaking.
Amusing: after running the codebase through `wc`, it apparently sums to half the word count of "War and Peace"15
Sometimes I have really loose the will to live and find myself face palming multiple times.
I added live chat software a web frontend for a client. Very easy job that consisted of pasting in some embed code. The actual software is very good and has native ios/andriod apps - something specifically requested.
I got a call from my client about an hour ago, saying there is a "serious issue with the live chat".
My client stated the live chat won't work when his staff go home. He asked me what my solution to this was.
Saying "wtf" many times to myself I directed him to a settings within the chat software i.e. an "away mode" where an email is sent when no chat agents are available.
This apparently wasn't good enough and said I hadn't followed his brief of "adding life chat software to the website", which I had.
After a lengthy discussion I found the root of his frustration. He'd signed a contract with a client of his own, stating there would be 24/7 support via live chat on the website.
Obviously there a huge difference between adding a chat widget to a website and committing to having it manned 24/7 :)
After a further 10 minutes of trying push the blame on myself, the client insisted of having the chat software "appear" as someone was always online, even when they are not (people need to sleep ya know!).
Bu design, the chat software requires at least one agent be logged in before the chat status changes to "online" - why wouldn't it.
After a little while I was seriously wondering why I'm involved in this conversation. I jokingly stated: "Well you could always install Andriod/iOS app on your phone, login and permanently leave it running in background. You'd get lots of notifications, but the site would say the live is always online".
The latter was something I said in jest. To my surprise the client said he'd do that on his own phone going forwards. He actually thanked me for my "resourcefulness", lol.
I'm looking at the same dashboard now and there are 407 pending chat requests - his phone must literally be blowing up notifications :)5
"four million dollars"
TL;DR. Seriously, It's way too long.
That's all the management really cares about, apparently.
It all started when there were heated, war faced discussions with a major client this weekend (coonts, I tell ye) and it was decided that a stupid, out of context customisation POC had that was hacked together by the "customisation and delivery " (they know to do neither) team needed to be merged with the product (a hot, lumpy cluster fuck, made in a technology so old that even the great creators (namely Goo-fucking-gle) decided that it was their worst mistake ever and stopped supporting it (or even considering its existence at this point)).
Today morning, I my manager calls me and announces that I'm the lucky fuck who gets to do this shit.
Now being the defacto got admin to our team (after the last lead left, I was the only one with adequate experience), I suggested to my manager "boss, here's a light bulb. Why don't we just create a new branch for the fuckers and ask them to merge their shite with our shite and then all we'll have to do it build the mixed up shite to create an even smellier pile of shite and feed it to the customer".
"I agree with you mahaDev (when haven't you said that, coont), but the thing is <insert random manger talk here> so we're the ones who'll have to do it (again, when haven't you said that, coont)"
I said fine. Send me the details. He forwarded me a mail, which contained context not amounting to half a syllable of the word "context". I pinged the guy who developed the hack. He gave me nothing but a link to his code repo. I said give me details. He simply said "I've sent the repo details, what else do you require?"
Dafuq? Dude, gimme some spice. Dafuq you done? Dafuq libraries you used? Dafuq APIs you used? Where Dafuq did you get this old ass checkout on which you've made these changes? AND DAFUQ IS THIS TOOL SUPPOSED TO DO AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT MY PRODUCT?
Anyway, since I didn't get a lot of info, I set about trying to just merge the code blindly and fix all conflicts, assuming that no new libraries/APIs have been used and the code is compatible with our master code base.
Enter delivery head. 2nd motherfucker.
This coont neither has technical knowledge nor the common sense to ask someone who knows his shit to help out with the technical stuff.
I find out that this was the half assed moron who agreed to a 3 day timeline (and our build takes around 13 hours to complete, end to end). Because fuck testing. They validated the their tool, we've tested our product. There's no way it can fail when we make a hybrid cocktail that will make the elephants foot look like a frikkin mojito!
Anywho, he comes by every half-mother fucking-hour and asks whether the build has been triggered.
Bitch. I have no clue what is going on and your people apparently don't have the time to give a fuck. How in the world do you expect me to finish this in 5 minutes?
Anyway, after I compile for the first time after merging, I see enough compilations to last a frikkin life time. I kid you not, I scrolled for a complete minute before reaching the last one.
Again, my assumption was that there are no library or dependency changes, neither did I know the fact that the dude implemented using completely different libraries altogether in some places.
Now I know it's my fault for not checking myself, but I was already having a bad day.
I then proceeded to have a little tantrum. In the middle of the floor, because I DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT CHANGES WERE MADE AND NOBODY CARED ENOUGH TO GIVE A FUCKING FUCK ABOUT THE DAMN FUCK.
Lo and behold, everyone's at my service now. I get all things clarified, takes around an hour and a half of my time (could have been done in 20 minutes had someone given me the complete info) to find out all I need to know and proceed to remove all compilation problems.
Hurrah. In my frustration, I forgot to push some changes, and because of some weird shit in our build framework, the build failed in Jenkins. Multiple times. Even though the exact same code was working on my local setup (cliche, I know).
In any case, it was sometime during sorting out this mess did I come to know that the reason why the 2nd motherfucker accepted the 3 day deadline was because the total bill being slapped to the customer is four fucking million USD.
Greed. Wow. The fucker just sacrificed everyone's day and night (his team and the next) for 4mil. And my manager and director agreed. Four fucking million dollars. I don't get to see a penny of it, I work for peanut shells, for 15 hours, you'll get bonuses and commissions, the fucking junior Dev earns more than me, but my manager says I'm the MVP of the team, all I get is a thanks and a bad rating for this hike cycle.
4mil usd, I learnt today, is enough to make you lick the smelly, hairy balls of a Neanderthal even though the money isn't truly yours.4
So at the beginning of the year I took a new job at a large, stable company. Leaving a failing startup, toxic leadership, and an absolutely stellar development team in the process. Given what's happened in the world since then, I'm overall pretty happy with the decision to have some more stability for me and my family.
That being said, I'm super bummed out (and weirdly burned out) now because I feel like I'm becoming a worse engineer.
I've worked for large organizations before (single digit thousands of employees), but never have I experienced a personification of enterprise memes like this. Leadership too out of touch, lots of bullshit work just to make worthless reports look good, horrific legacy codebases and infrastructure, you name it.
My biggest problem are the expectations are shockingly low. I went from a hyper demanding work environment where the fate of the entire company seemed to hang in the balance each and every week, to an environment where we literally invent arbitrary, bullshit deadlines and requirements so we have something to feel some stress about. And even still, most of the deadlines are laughably far away. The pace of work that's not only accepted, but praised is so slow that I find myself procrastinating more and more. I spend so little time doing any work, and even less time doing things that would pass as "interesting", that I feel like the engineering and problem solving part of my brain is starting to rot.
To make matters worse, the culture is weirdly confrontational despite the pace being so slow. The people here are _incredibly_ pedantic and will launch into 15 minute arguments over the tiniest incorrect details in a story title. Interrupting someone just so you can say what they were going to say is a daily trial. And most ridiculous of all, _repeating_ word for word what someone _just_ finished saying like it was your thought and you didn't even hear them. I don't even know what the motivation for this could be because it makes them look like total clowns.
I've tried to bring up some of the things I find ridiculous, but most everyone has just accepted them at this point and there's virtually no effort to try and make things better. I only get stupid non-answers like "obviously you've never worked at a large enterprise before". Yes I have. Twice. We didn't partake in half the bullshit that happens here.
Honestly this was all just a passing frustration for the first month or two, but 7 months in I'm starting to see myself become complacent. My current output would be absolutely _shameful_ to myself from a year ago, and even my personality has started to shift to the point that I just go with the flow and don't challenge anything.
I've stopped keeping up with tech trends. I've stopped experimenting with new things. I've tried to do more work on personal projects, but the burnout is starting to affect my life outside of work. In general I've just completely stopped trying, and I absolutely fucking hate it.
I also feel like a total tool for complaining about having a cushy, stable job where I barely have to do anything given the current world climate. But I'm more miserable now than I think I've every been in my career. Has anyone else experienced this and found ways to combat it? How do you get your motivation back once it's lost and there isn't even any pressure to regain it?
I totally blame myself for becoming part of this joke. That's totally on me for not continuing to push myself, but I never realized how much of my "drive" from the last job was coming from the high stakes we were operating under. I really just want to get back to being proud of my work and pushing to be better.
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. This turned out to be a weirder rant/self-roast than I intended. But I'm hoping this will be the first step to kicking my own ass back into shape.6
I find it hard to be retrospective of the last year, work has been at times good but stressful, others tedious and frustrating. This year was an improvement over the last but everything good that I try to write about has some elements of frustration. My social life has also been somewhat stifled as I'm working at a company in a small town with very few people my age. I don't know how long I'll continue to be here.
The best experience of the year I guess is having my idea be viewed as a significant improvement over an existing piece of intellectual property, even if someone else is trying their damndest to take credit for it.
The worst is other people's ego's getting in the way. I've had people be rude, dismissive and belittling. Then when I argue my case if I am shown to be right I get a "well you learn something new every day" if I'm lucky.
Wondering where people find good paid coding gigs(like freelance or contacts)
Debated it instead of trying to go into a company but all I see is like code me an aimbot or farm bot for a game5
Experienced devs please tell help me.
Learning software development has been a challenge. Many times it's frustrating.
I also learn languages and I find them to share one trait with software development, which is complexity.
At first I looked at languages the way I'm currently doing with software. I'd look in a new language and after decided it's cool to learn it, I would stare at it for a few weeks trying to realize what the heck I was going to do. I wouldn't even know how to get started.
Eventually this stage goes away and I think that is about to happen with me with software.
But then a new challenge would come, which is me not making progress as I wanted. That's sort of happening with me by learning software as well, bit in language I now know how to deal with it.
That's because I work full time with something that isn't in my interests and when I arrive home Im tired and want to relax. So I decided my language learning had to go slower as long as I have this job, meaning no hours spent in front of books or a pc studying - that's what I could do with English, I was a teenager and had 12 hours a day to do whatever I wanted.
So I usually spent 5 minutes here and there learning something in my target language when I can, no frustration needed, my only rule is: practice everyday, even if I don't learn anything new.
With software, that doesn't apply though.
So, what I mean by tracing a parallel between these to fields is that I have a strong conviction is that once you get the principles on how a certain kind of learning works, you can apply it everywhere in the field. But with software it's been harder.
Anyways, I see that are some principles that apply, cause trying to learn software is changinge and teaching a lot of things like:
*you have to read a lot (of documentation) . At first I thought all documentation was painful to read and understand, but I found out some software are well documented and one can use those only to get used with it.
*immersion / discipline are important. I'm not very disciplined, I'm better with immersion but both are important if you need to acquire complex subjects/skills
*how to deal with complexity. I installed Arch Linux a few days ago. Just to install it I ended up reading more than 20 pages of documentation (install guide, Wpa supplicant, systemd, networkd, xorg, etc etc). Gradually I'm realizing that when you have to install/tweak something in that distro you necessarily spend a bunch of time trying to understand how it works, otherwise you don't get too far like in Ubuntu or Debian.
*and lastly the one that bothers me. Constantly getting frustrated and feeling crap about my poor skills. No matter how much I progress, it still seems like I'm stuck.
(that's when I ask your help/opinion :) )4