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Search - "full of bugs"
I am working on my passion project, on my own vacation days because my advisor did not approve it and I can't take no for an answer.
But I had 3 amazing days working with my friend and research partner, full of stupid bugs, moody hardware and a lot of nutella-covered food.
I think I am going to document some of the progress on Twitter, because it supports uploading videos. If anyone is interested in failing robots, I can share the link/handle :)10
I was pressued to shift the blame.
We received an angry email from a customer that some of their data had disappeared. The boss assigns me to this task. This feature is relatively new and we've found some bugs in the past in here. I go through request logs, search the database, run some diagnostics, etc. for about 5 hours and I cannot find the problem. I focus on the bugs that we've had before but they don't seem to be the problem.
I tell the boss "sorry but I checked XYZ and I can't find the problem. I'm out of ideas." But the boss wanted answers by the end of the day. They did not want to admit to the client that we couldn't figure out what's wrong.
By now I was more pressured to find an answer, find something or someone to blame it on, not exactly to find the real solution. So I made up some BS:
"Sometimes, in HTML forms, the number inputs allow you to change the number by scrolling. We have some long forms where the user has to scroll. Perhaps the focus remained on the number input, so when they scrolled down they accidentally changed the number they meant to input."
The boss was happy with that. We explained this to the customer, and there's now a ticket to change type="number" to type="text" in our HTML forms and to validate it in th backend.
A week later another customer shows us a different error. This one is more clear because it had a stack trace, but I realise that this error is what caused our last error. It was pretty obscure, mind you, the unit tests didn't detect it.
I didn't tell the boss that they were connected tho.
With two angry clients in two weeks, I finally convinced the boss to give us more time to write more unit tests with full coverage.
Today was a bad dev day working on a shitty React project. Not that React in itself is bad, but it can be hell to work with when the code is a big pile a crap full of anti pattern code. I spent the day refactoring to try to fix a bug, but to no avail. It would take days if not weeks to put some order in this mess and to prevent such bugs.6
Senior dev on our team is concerned that we are raising standards above and beyond what we need to deliver the project.
For 6m+ this project has delivered little, but what there is is full of bugs that got through testing, and no standards (coding or otherwise) in place at all.
I hate dealing with people who preach “good enough” is fine but won’t accept they aren’t even close to doing “good enough”7
I currently work on a legacy system for a company. The system is really old - and although I was hired as a programmer, my job is pretty much glorified data entry. To summarise, I get a bunch of requirements, which is literally just lots of data for each month on spreadsheets and I have to configure the system to make it work, which is basically just writing a whole bunch of SQL scripts.
It’s not quite as simple as that, because whoever wrote the system originally really wrote it backwards, and in fact, the analysts who create the spreadsheets actually spend a fair bit of time verifying my work because the process is so tedious that it’s easy to make a mistake.
As you can guess, it is pretty much the most boring job ever. However, it’s a full time job with decent pay, and I work remotely so I can stay home with my son.
So I’ve been doing it for about 18 months and in that time, I’ve basically figured out all the traps to the point where I’ve actually written a program which for the past 6 months has been just doing the whole thing for me. So what used to take the last guy like a month, now takes maybe 10 minutes to clean the spreadsheet and run it through the program.
Now the problem is, do I tell them? If I tell them, they will probably just take the program and get rid of me. This isn’t like a company with tons of IT work - they have a legacy system where they keep all their customer data since forever, and they just need someone to maintain it. At the same time, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing the right thing. I mean, right now, once I get the specs, I run it through my program - then every week or so, I tell them I’ve completed some part of it and get them to test it. I even insert a few bugs here and there to make it look like it’s been generated by a human.
There might be amendments to the spec and corresponding though email etc, but overall, I spend probably 1-2 hours per week on my job for which I am getting a full time wage.
I really enjoy the free time but would it be unethical to continue with this arrangement without mentioning anything? It’s not like I’m cheating the company. The company has never indicated they’re dissatisfied with my performance and in fact, are getting exactly what they want from employing me.5
I had a pretty good year! I've gone from being a totally unknown passionate web dev to a respected full stack dev. This will be a bit lengthy rant...
- Got my first full time employment dev role at a company after being self-taught for 8+ years at the start of the year. Finally got someone to take the risk of hiring someone who's "untested" and only done small and odd jobs professionally. This kickstarted my career, super grateful for that!
- Started my own programming consulting company.
- Gained enough confidence to apply to other jobs, snatched a few consulting jobs, nailed the interviews even though I never practiced any leet code.
- Currently work as a 99% remote dev (only meet up in person during the initialization of some projects.) I never thought working remotely could actually work this well. I am able to stay productive and actually focus on the work instead of living up to the 9-5 standard. If I want to go for a walk to think I can do that, I can be as social and asocial as I want. I like to sleep in and work during the night with a cup of tea in the dark and it's not an issue! I really like the freedom and I feel like I've never been more productive.
- Ended up with very happy customers and now got a steady amount of jobs rolling in and contracts are being extended.
- I learned a lot, specialized in graph databases, no more db modelling hell. Loving it!
- Got a job where I can use my favorite tools and actually create something from scratch which includes a lot of different fields. I am really happy I can use all my skills and learn new things along the way, like data analysis, databricks, hadoop, data ingesting, centralised auth like promerium and centralised logging.
- I also learned how important softskills are, I've learned to understand my clients needs and how to both communicate both as a developer and an entrepeneur.
- First job had a manager which just gave me the specifications solo project and didn't check in or meet me for 8 weeks with vague specifications. Turns out the manager was super biased on how to write code and wanted to micromanage every aspect while still being totally absent. They got mad that I had used AJAX for requests as that was a "waste of time".
- I learned the harsh reality of working as a contractor in the US from a foreign country. Worked on an "indefinite" contract, suddenly got a 2 day notification to sum up my work (not related to my performance) after being there for 7+ months.
- I really don't like the current industry standard when it comes to developing websites (I mostly work in node.js), I like working with static websites (with static website generators like what the Svelte.js driver) and use a REST API for dynamic content. When working on the backend there's a library for everything and I've wasted so many hours this year to fix bugs and create workarounds related to dependencies. You need to dive into a rabbit hole for every tool and do something which may work or break something later. I've had so many issues with CICD and deployment to the cloud. There's a library for everything but there's so many that it's impossible to learn about the edge cases of everything. Doesn't help that everything is abstracted away, which works 90% of the time but I use 15 times the time to debug things when a bug appears. I work against a black box which may or may not have an up to date documentation and it's so complex that it will require you to yell incantations from the F#$K
era and sacrifice a goat for it to work properly.
- Learned that a lot of companies call their complex services "microservices". Ah yes, the microservice with 20 endpoints which all do completely unrelated tasks?