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Search - "i shouldn't be part of this"
Worst hack/attack I had to deal with?
Worst, or funniest. A partnership with a Canadian company got turned upside down and our company decided to 'part ways' by simply not returning his phone calls/emails, etc. A big 'jerk move' IMO, but all I was responsible for was a web portal into our system (submitting orders, inventory, etc).
After the separation, I removed the login permissions, but the ex-partner system was set up to 'ping' our site for various updates and we were logging the failed login attempts, maybe 5 a day or so. Our network admin got tired of seeing that error in his logs and reached out to the VP (responsible for the 'break up') and requested he tell the partner their system is still trying to login and stop it. Couple of days later, we were getting random 300, 500, 1000 failed login attempts (causing automated emails to notify that there was a problem). The partner knew that we were likely getting alerted, and kept up the barage. When alerts get high enough, they are sent to the IT-VP, which gets a whole bunch of people involved.
VP-Marketing: "Why are you allowing them into our system?! Cut them off, NOW!"
Me: "I'm not letting them in, I'm stopping them, hence the login error."
VP-Marketing: "That jackass said he will keep trying to get into our system unless we pay him $10,000. Just turn those machines off!"
VP-IT : "We can't. They serve our other international partners."
<slams hand on table>
VP-Marketing: "I don't fucking believe this! How the fuck did you let this happen!?"
VP-IT: "Yes, you shouldn't have allowed the partner into our system to begin with. What are you going to do to fix this situation?"
Me: "Um, we've been testing for months already went live some time ago. I didn't know you defaulted on the contract until last week. 'Jake' is likely running a script. He'll get bored of doing that and in a couple of weeks, he'll stop. I say lets ignore him. This really a network problem, not a coding problem."
IT-MGR: "Now..now...lets not make excuses and point fingers. It's time to fix your code."
IT-VP: "I agree. We're not going to let anyone blackmail us. Make it happen."
So I figure out the partner's IP address, and hard-code the value in my service so it doesn't log the login failure (if IP = '10.50.etc and so on' major hack job). That worked for a couple of days, then (I suspect) the ISP re-assigned a new IP and the errors started up again.
After a few angry emails from the 'powers-that-be', our network admin stops by my desk.
D: "Dude, I'm sorry, I've been so busy. I just heard and I wished they had told me what was going on. I'm going to block his entire domain and send a request to the ISP to shut him down. This was my problem to fix, you should have never been involved."
After 'D' worked his mojo, the errors stopped.
Month later, 'D' gave me an update. He was still logging the traffic from the partner's system (the ISP wanted extensive logs to prove the customer was abusing their service) and like magic one day, it all stopped. ~2 weeks after the 'break up'.8
me: i looked into the customer dev's project and even though it's C#, i can use it as a source of inspiration for my own C++ library.
PM: okay, maybe we can even still use it, so that you use a C# dll with your C++ code.
other colleague: that's a bad idea. it can already be a challenge to use unmanaged c++ in dotnet, but the other way round it's even more difficult. C# and C++ are languages that behave quite differently and it will be hard to implement a correctly working interface.
PM: okay. well... then please analyze this project's complexity in terms of LOC and create a class diagram, so we get an idea of how complex it is.
PM: hmm... maybe we should split this topic. since dev x will also rely on your library, analyze this project together with him, each of you look at another part of the classes.
me: that's.... i think that's a bad idea. implementing this functionality in this library is my job, not of dev X. he won't be involved in implementing any of the funcionalities and for him, it shouldn't matter how this works.
PM: yeah, but since we are prototyping, maybe we should just violate the "separation of concerns" rule.
me (internally): (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
in the end i could convince him to do it my way, but for fuck's sake... when was the last time he actually succesfully implemented something? 🤦♀️
You know modern cars, they have these computer thingies that tell you when something isn't working with little warning lights.
How useful !
"Take me to repair shop!" it says, and even sets the SatNav route.
Of course, the place might be closed, but still, its trying to help. :-)
Anyhow, by chance just happen to be there getting said car serviced..
Mention the several warning thingies that sprang up on the way in..
Which took twice as long as a normal service, so I was hopeful they was fixing things !
Though every time I go and ask how things are, magically its just been finished and I haven't been waiting for no good reason because no one remembered I was waiting..
No, they didn't fix any of the faults...
Why I asked without getting angry..
Because the diagnostic computer said there wasn't any..
But there was !
Come back when the fault returns they said..
If the fault disappears before their computer gets plugged in, they will just say there isn't a fault..
Apparently on the car there is no fault logging, its either, a fault right now, or no fault at all..
This might explain why a few months ago all the brakes seized up ( Its less than 2 years old, it shouldn't do that ! ), if some computer part is playing up..
So, I'll get my own car diagnostic computer and wait for it to play up, and maybe get some more error codes/etc. to pass on to the car fixing place !
Today's lesson, logs are important !
Also, just because a computer says there isn't something wrong with something, doesn't mean there isn't, so go and check it physically !
And, the customer is always right !
Previously had an issue with a part that had worn out, asked for it to be replaced.
Went to pick up the car, asked if the part had been replaced.
No it hadn't !
They thought it wasn't worn out !
I asked, did they look at it ?
No they didn't was their reply..
I told them, if you take it off, you can see its worn out.
I watched them take it off, ( After much struggling, to which I remarked that yes, when I took it off to look at it, I had similar trouble ! ) they then saw it was worn out and put a new one on !
They then struggled to put the new one on, which I also mentioned I had the same trouble.
Being as it was my first time taking off one of those parts, you could be forgiven to think I was just a beginner.
But you might think a professional would be able to do a better job..
You just can't get the staff these days !14
Longest I've worked without rest + why?
Over 24 hours. Why?
In our old system, the database had fields, for example, a customer like Total97, Total98, etc. to store values by year (or some date-specific value).
Every January 1, we had to add fields to accommodate the upcoming year and make the appropriate code changes to handle the new fields.
One year the UPS shipping rates changed and users didn't want to 'lose' the old rates, so they wanted new fields added (Rate98, Rate99, etc) so they could compare old vs. new. That required a complete re-write of most of the underlying applications because users wanted to see the difference on any/all applications that displayed a shipping rate. I'll throw in asking 'why?' was often answered with "because we pay you to do what we say". Luckily, we had already gotten to work on a lot of this before January 1st, so we were, for the most part, ready.
January 1st rolls around (we had to be in the office at 3:00AM), work thru changes, spend some time testing, and be done before noon. That didn't happen. The accounting system was a system that wasn't in (and had never been) in scope, and when we flipped the switch, one of the accountants comes into the office:
E: "Guys? None of our Excel spreadsheets are working. They are critical to integration with the accounting software"
Us: "What? Why would you be using Excel to integrate with the software instead of their portal?"
E: "We could never figure it out, so we had a consultant write VBA scripts to do the work."
Us: "OK, a lot of fields changed, but shouldn't be a big deal. How many spreadsheets are we talking about?"
E: "Hundreds. We have a separate spreadsheet for every integration point. The consulting company said it scalable, whatever that means."
Us: "What?! Why we just know hearing about this!?"
E: "Don't worry, the consultant said making changes would be easy, let me show you, just open the spreadsheet..click here..<click><click><click>...ignore that error, it always happens...click that <click><click><click>.."
Us: "Oh good lord, this is going to take hours"
E: "Ha! Probably. All this computer stuff is your job and I've got a family to get to. Later"
Us: "Hey 'VP of IS', can we go home and fix these spreadsheets as-needed this week?"
VP-IS: "Let me check with 'VP-FS'"
<few minutes later>
VP-IS: "No, he said Excel is critical to running their department. We stay until Excel is fixed."
Us: "No, no...its these spreadsheets. I doubt FS needs all of them tomorrow morning."
VP-IS: "That's what I said. Spreadsheets, Excel, same thing. I'll order the pizza. Who likes pepperoni!?"
At least he didn't cheap out on the pizza (only 4 of us and he ordered 6 large, extra pepperoni from one of the best pizza places in town)
One problem after another and we didn't get done until almost 6:00AM. Then...
VP-IS: "Great job guys. I've scheduled a meeting at 8:00AM to review what we did so we can document the process for next year. You've got a couple of hours. Feel free to get some breakfast and come back, or eat the left over pizza in the breakroom fridge. There is a lot left"
Us: "Um...sorry...we're going home."
VP-IS: "WHAT!!...OK...fine. I'll schedule the meeting for 12"
Us: "No...we're going home. We'll see you tomorrow."
Recruiter reached out on a certain other social network where people seem to be humbled a lot.
First interview (a day later) goes well
Second interview (a week later) also goes well. They tell me there's one more technical interview, but that shouldn't be a problem.
A week later, that interview is a breeze too. Interviewer said they'll prepare the paperwork.
Another week goes by without communication, so I ping them.
A week after that they send me an email saying that they need references they can talk to. A co-worker and a direct manager.
Uncommon in my part of the world in general. But coming up with that idea this late in the process? Really? But ok, I provide those in like an hour.
They take their time, but eventually call the co-worker. Another week after that, they still haven't called the manager, so I ping them again.
Silence for another couple of days, then a very sad email about how the general situation has changed and they've now stopped hiring indefinitely1
Data wrangling is messy
I'm doing the vegetation maps for the game today, maybe rivers if it all goes smoothly.
I could probably do it by hand, but theres something like 60-70 ecoregions to chart,
each with their own species, both fauna and flora. And each has an elevation range its
found at in real life, so I want to use the heightmap to dictate that. Who has time for that? It's a lot of manual work.
And the night prior I'm thinking "oh this will be easy."
(Also why does Devrant have to mangle my line breaks? -_-)
Laid out the requirements, how I could go about it, and the more I look the more involved
So what I think I'll do is automate it. I already automated some of the map extraction, so
I don't see why I shouldn't just go the distance.
Also it means, later on, when I have access to better, higher resolution geographic data, updating it will be a smoother process. And even though I'm only interested in flora at the moment, theres no reason I can't reuse the same system to extract fauna information.
Of course in-game design there are some things you'll want to fudge. When the players are exploring outside the rockies in a mountainous area, maybe I still want to spawn the occasional mountain lion as a mid-tier enemy, even though our survivor might be outside the cats natural habitat. This could even be the prelude to a task you have to do, go take care of a dangerous
creature outside its normal hunting range. And who knows why it is there? Wild fire? Hunted by something *more* dangerous? Poaching? Maybe a nuke plant exploded and drove all the wildlife from an adjoining region?
Having the extraction mostly automated goes a long way to updating those lists down the road.
But for now, flora.
For deciding plants and other features of the terrain what I can do is:
* rewrite pixeltile to take file names as input,
* along with a series of colors as a key (which are put into a SET to check each pixel against)
* input each region, one at a time, as the key, and the heightmap as the source image
* output only the region in the heightmap that corresponds to the ecoregion in the key.
* write a function to extract the palette from the outputted heightmap. (is this really needed?)
* arrange colors on the bottom or side of the image by hand, along with (in text) the elevation in feet for reference.
For automating this entire process I can go one step further:
* Do this entire process with the key colors I already snagged by hand, outputting region IDs as the file names.
* setup selenium
* selenium opens a link related to each elevation-map of a specific biome, and saves the text links
(so I dont have to hand-open them)
* I'll save the species and text by hand (assuming elevation data isn't listed)
* once I have a list of species and other details, to save them to csv, or json, or another format
* I save the list of species as csv or json or another format.
* then selenium opens this list, opens wikipedia for each, one at a time, and searches the text for elevation
* selenium saves out the species name (or an "unknown") for the species, and elevation, to a text file, along with the biome ID, and maybe the elevation code (from the heightmap) as a number or a color (probably a number, simplifies changing the heightmap later on)
Having done all this, I can start to assign species types, specific world tiles. The outputs for each region act as reference.
The only problem with the existing biome map (you can see it below, its ugly) is that it has a lot of "inbetween" colors. Theres a few things I can do here. I can treat those as a "mixing" between regions, dictating the chance of one biome's plants or the other's spawning. This seems a little complicated and dependent on a scraped together standard rather than actual data. So I'm thinking instead what I'll do is I'll implement biome transitions in code, which makes more sense, and decouples it from relying on the underlaying data. also prevents species and terrain from generating in say, towns on the borders of region, where certain plants or terrain features would be unnatural. Part of what makes an ecoregion unique is that geography has lead to relative isolation and evolutionary development of each region (usually thanks to mountains, rivers, and large impassible expanses like deserts).
Maybe I'll stuff it all into a giant bson file or maybe sqlite. Don't know yet.
As an entry level programmer I may not know what I'm doing, and I may be supposed to be looking for a job, but that won't stop me from procrastinating.
Data wrangling is fun.2
How I wish my job interviews would end like this:
HR: "So, we're looking for a developer with experience in Nuxt.js. Can you tell us about your experience with that framework?"
Developer: "Honestly, I'm not very familiar with Nuxt.js. But I have a lot of experience with Vue.js, which Nuxt.js is built on top of."
HR: "Oh, well that's just fantastic. So you're telling me that we're supposed to hire someone who doesn't know the most important part of our stack? How hilarious!"
Developer: "Look, I understand that Nuxt.js is important to your team. But I'm a quick learner, and I'm confident that I can pick it up quickly."
HR: "Oh, I'm sure you are. I mean, it's not like Nuxt.js is a completely different framework or anything. You can just magically learn it overnight, right?"
HR: "Oh, I'm sure you could. I mean, it's not like there's a million other developers out there who already know Nuxt.js. We might as well just hire someone who doesn't know anything and hope for the best, right?"
Developer: "Okay, that's enough. I get it, you're not interested in my skills. But maybe you should consider the fact that your job description didn't even mention Nuxt.js as a requirement. If it was so important, you should have made that clear from the beginning."
HR: "Oh, don't get angry. We're just trying to find the best candidate for the job. And clearly, that's not you."
Developer: "Fine. I don't need this kind of attitude from someone who doesn't even know the difference between Vue.js and Nuxt.js. Good luck finding someone who meets your impossible standards."
HR: "Yeah, good luck to you too. I'm sure you'll find a job where you don't have to learn anything new or challenging."
Developer: "At least I'll be working with people who appreciate my skills and experience."
HR: "Sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of your arrogance."
Developer: "You know what? I don't need this. I'm out of here."
HR: "Wait, wait, wait. Don't be like that. We were just having a little bit of fun. You know, trying to lighten the mood."
Developer: "I don't think it's funny to belittle someone for not knowing everything. And I don't appreciate being treated like I'm not good enough just because I haven't used Nuxt.js before."
HR: "Okay, okay. You're right. We shouldn't have been so hard on you. But the truth is, we really do need someone who knows Nuxt.js. We can't afford to waste time on training someone who doesn't know the technology."
HR: "You know what? You're right. We've been looking for someone with Nuxt.js experience for so long that we forgot to consider other skills and experience. We'd like to offer you the job."
Developer: "Really? Are you serious?"
HR: "Yes, really. We think you'd be a great fit for our team, and we're willing to provide you with the training you need to get up to speed on Nuxt.js. So, what do you say? Are you interested?"
Developer: "Yes, I'm definitely interested. Thank you for giving me a chance."
HR: "No problem. We're excited to have you on board. Welcome to the team!"6