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Welcome back to practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.
Episode 2: Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand
This is a particularly special episode for me, as these problems are taking up so much of my time with non-sensical bullshit, that i'm delayed with everything else. Some badly require tooling or new products. Some are just unnecessary processes or annoyances that should not need to be handled by another human. So lets jump right in, in no particular order:
- Jira ... nuff said? not quite because somehow some blue moon, planets aligning, act of god style set of circumstances lined up to allow this team to somehow make Jira worse. On one hand we have a gigantic Jira project containing 7 separate sub teams, a million different labels / epics and 4.2 million possible assignees, all making sure the loading page takes as long as possible to open. But the new country we've added support for in the app gets a separate project. So we have product, backend, mobile, design, management etc on one, and mobile-country2 on another. This delightfully means a lot of duplication and copy pasting from one to the other, for literally no reason what so ever.
- Everything on Jira is found through a label. Every time something happens, a new one is created. So I need to check for "iOS", "Android", "iOS-country2", "Android-country2", "mobile-<feature>", "mobile-<feature>-issues", "mobile-<feature>-prod-issues", "mobile-<feature>-existing-issues" and "<project>-July31" ... why July31? Because some fucking moron decided to do a round of testing, and tag all the issues with the current date (despite the fact Jira does that anyway), which somehow still gets used from time to time because nobody pays attention to what they are doing. This means creating and modifying filters on a daily basis ... after spending time trying to figure out what its not in the first one.
- One of my favourite morning rituals I like to call "Jira dumpster diving". This involves me removing all the filters and reading all the tickets. Why would I do such a thing? oh remember the 9000 labels I mentioned earlier? right well its very likely that they actually won't use any of them ... or the wrong ones ... or assign to the wrong person, so I have to go find them and fix them. If I don't, i'll get yelled at, because clearly it's my fault.
- Moving on from Jira. As some of you might have seen in your companies, if you use things like TestFlight, HockeyApp, AppCenter, BuddyBuild etc. that when you release a new app version for testing, each version comes with an automated change-log, listing ticket numbers addressed ...... yeah we don't do that. No we use this shitty service, which is effectively an FTP server and a webpage, that only allows you to host the new versions. Sending out those emails is all manual ... distribution groups?? ... whats that?
- Moving back to Jira. Can't even automate the changelog with a script, because I can't even make sense of the tickets, in order to translate that to a script.
- Moving on from Jira. Me and one of the remote testers play this great game I like to call "tag team ticketing". It's so much fun. Right heres how to play, you'll need a QA and a PM.
*QA creates a ticket, and puts nothing of any use inside it, and assigns to the PM.
*PM fires it back asking for clarification.
*QA adds in what he feels is clarification (hes wrong) and assigns it back to the PM.
*PM sends detailed instructions, with examples as to what is needed and assigns it back.
*QA adds 1 of the 3 things required and assigns it back.
*PM assigns it back saying the one thing added is from the wrong day, and reminds him about the other 2 items.
*QA adds some random piece of unrelated info to the ticket instead, forgetting about the 3 things and assigns it back.
and you just continue doing this for the whole dev / release cycle hahaha. Oh you guys have no idea how much fun it is, seriously give it a go, you'll thank me later ... or kill yourselves, each to their own.
- Moving back to Jira. I decided to take an action of creating a new project for my team (the mobile team) and set it up the way we want and just ignore everything going on around us. Use proper automation, and a kanban board. Maybe only give product a slack bot interface that won't allow them to create a ticket without what we need etc. Spent 25 minutes looking for the "create new project" button before finding the link which says I need to open a ticket with support and wait ... 5 ... fucking ... long ... painful ... unnecessary ... business days.
... Heres hoping my head continues to not have a bullet hole in it by then.
Id love to talk more, but those filters ain't gonna fix themselves. So we'll have to leave it here for today. Tune in again for another episode soon.
And remember to always practiseSafeHex14
"when i die i want my group project members to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time"
Last year in College, I had two simultaneous projects. Both were semester long projects. One was for a database class an another was for a software engineering class.
As you can guess, the focus of the projects was very different. Databases we made some desktop networked chat application with a user login system and what not in Java. SE we made an app store with an approval system and admin panels and ratings and reviews and all that jazz in Meteor.js.
The DB project we had 4 total people and one of them was someone we'll call Frank. Frank was also in my SE project group. Frank disappeared for several weeks. Not in class, didn't contact us, and at one point the professors didn't know much either. As soon as we noticed it would be an issue, we talked to the professors. Just keeping them in the loop will save you a lot of trouble down the road. I'm assuming there was some medical or family emergency because the professors were very understanding with him once he started coming back to class and they had a chance to talk.
Lesson 1: If you have that guy that doesn't show up or communicate, don't be a jerk to them and communicate with your professor. Also, don't stop trying to contact the rogue partner. Maybe they'll come around sometime.
It sucked to lose 25% of our team for a project, but Frank appreciated that we didn't totally ignore him and throw him under the bus to the point that the last day of class he came up to me and said, "hey, open your book bag and bring it next to mine." He then threw a LARGE bottle of booze in there as a thank you.
Lesson 2: Treat humans as humans. Things go wrong and understanding that will get you a lot farther with people than trying to make them feel terrible about something that may have been out of their control.
Our DB project went really well. We got an A, we demoed, it worked, it was cool. The biggest problem is I was the only person that had taken a networking class so I ended up doing a large portion of the work. I wish I had taken other people's skills into account when we were deciding on a project. Especially because the only requirement was that it needed to have a minimum of 5 tables and we had to use some SQL language (aka, we couldn't use no-SQL).
The SE project had Frank and a music major who wanted to minor in CS (and then 3 other regular CS students aside from me). This assignment was make an app store using any technology you want. But, you had to use agile sprints. So we had weekly meetings with the "customer" (the TA), who would change requirements on us to keep us on our toes and tell us what they wanted done as a priority for the next meeting. Seriously, just like real life. It was so much fun trying to stay ahead of that.
So we met up and tried to decided what to use. One kid said Java because we all had it for school. The big issue is trying to make a Java web app is a pain in the ass. Seriously, there are so many better things to use. Other teams decided to use Django because they all wanted to learn Python. I suggested why not use something with a nice package system to minimize duplicating work that had already been done and tested by someone. Kid 1 didn't like that because he said in the real world you have to make your own software and not use packages. Little did he know that I had worked in SE for a few years already and knew damn well that every good project has code from somewhere else that has already solved a problem you're facing. We went with Java the first week. It failed miserably. Nobody could get the server set up on their computers. Using VCS with it required you to keep the repo outside of the where you wrote code and copy and paste changes in there. It was just a huge flop so everyone else voted to change.
Lesson 3: Be flexible. Be open to learning new things. Don't be afraid to try something new. It'll make you a better developer in the long run.
We sat down one day and worked for 4 straight hours. We finished the whole project in that time. While other teams were figuring out how to layout their homepage, we had a working user system and admin page and everything. Our TA was trying to throw us for loops by asking for crazy things and we still came through. We had tests that ran along side the application as you used it. It was friggin cool.
Lesson 4: If possible, pick the right tool for the job. Not the tool you know. Everything in CS has a purpose. If you use it for its purpose, you will save days off of a project.1
When you are at a party and people ignore you when you talk about your job. And in my head I'm like:
"You assholes in 10 maybe 5 yrs y'all are gonna be replaced by computers except me. Enjoy your life while you still can."1
Longest Rant I've written so far.
How to manage a school (by out school director):
Did this student do something spezial to emphasize the school?
-No: Ignore him
-Yes: Did the student achieve this with the help of this schools staff?
-No: Take all the credit
-Yes: Hahaha, just a joke, nobody receives help from the school. Goto -No
Q: Should this class get the 5 day trip, they've been waiting for the whole year?
Q: But they don't even participate in other trips just to go there.
(Good thing she did not have the last word there)
Does the school director need this one week trip to india, just to talk once about stuff, you can talk about via email, to a sponsor?
D: "Of course I deserve it"
D: "We need faster internet in this school"
Network admins: "But it won't be of any use, if the network can't handle it. We'll need better pcs (and network conponents) on top of that"
D: "No, bot enough money available for that one." *browses email with IPad paid by school money*
Teacher: "I want to realize project xy with the students. We'll need around 1200€ (for 20 people)."
D: "Can place xy at our school to as advertise?"
T: "No, but it's be a valuable le-"
D: "600 at most."
(Again denied by people who aren't fcking assholes. We got 1500€, so 300€ per group)
D: So what makes you think you can teach informatics in this school"
Applicant: "Well, I'm friends with one of your teacher here. We went to university together, where I learn't nothing about informatics and I don't even understand the principles of this subject"
D: "Close enough. Hired, you can teach them all the theory stuffy. You don't have to prepare that yourself another teacher has done so. Just read it from his documents."
*In class with the mentioned teacher talking about Threads*
*Le wild code appears*
System.out.println ("Thread working...");
System.out.println ("Thread terminated");
T: "... and most importantly, when you have done all the work be sure to terminate the thread with 'System.out.println ("Thread terminated");'"
Should this teacher be allowed to participate in this seminar about burnouts?
D: "No, I can't afford paying the supplenze."
Staff: "We need to talk with the director about this."
S: "Not in her office. The cafeteria maybe"
*Not in the cafeteria either*
S: "Seems like she didn't come to achool today. Let's try tomorrow"
(^ Stuff that happens almost daily. Screw semicolons. I see her only once a month at most)
*Student send 5000 emails by accident* (Shit happens 😂😅😂😅)
D: "You gonna work here for a full afternoon"
*Student arrives for his punishment*
Staff: "Good that you're here. Do this real quick."
*10 min. Later*
Staff: "Well, we have no more work to give you, so you might as well leave"
DONE!!! Good job coming so far.
Our school is supposed to be the best, but internally it's one big meme.4
*Designer Posted image of newly designed layout for our app on trello.
Dev 1 (me, being the junior, on ios) : so... What's the size for x, Y, z, a, B, C?
She: it's 9 for the small text, 10 for sub title, 12 for main title.
*shows her the design on app
Dev 1: seems too small
She: just make it to look not small.
*finishes the app layout for that screen.
*working on next screen
Dev 1: your new design is for the screen of 1920x1080. But our supported screen size starts from 320 width. So there'll be text overlapping each other and ui might screw up.
She: uh.. Just... Put those that will overlap to the next line.
Dev 1: ok
2 days later
Dev 2 (senior, working on Android)
Dev 2: so... What's the colour for x, Y, z
*Dev 1 laughs on the inside because of the struggles we have with her.
Dev 1 to Dev 2: is it common for her not to follow the design guidelines?
Dev 2: yeah man.. We just have to adapt her design into our app guidelines.
Dev 2: there's a new icon here on this screen, so you wanna change the icon? Can I have the icon file?
She: oh.. No.. Use back the old one, because I just copy and paste.
Dev 1: so... This progress bar of yours, doesn't show its background colour, because you filled it already. So what's the background colour if the bar isn't filled?
She : hmm.... Oh.. Well.. Maybe try x.. ? *doesn't look nice* how about Y? *doesn't look nice* how about...
Me : why not you try in your computer first instead of me changing it here by code, it's much faster this way.
Dev 1 and 2: there's additional text in your new design, what is it for?
She : oh.. No no. I copied extra due to copy and paste. Just ignore it.
Dev 1 and 2: what's the spacing gap between x and Y? And how about the size of the box?
She : oh.. I just estimate it, and for the box, not sure either, you can follow old design, because I'm just putting a box there for illustration purpose.
Mother fickle, what fuck man.
Dev 1 and 2: *flips table.
*we didn't, but.. It's freaking annoying.7
Some of the penguin's finest insults (Some are by me, some are by others):
Disclaimer: We all make mistakes and I typically don't give people that kind of treatment, but sometimes, when someone is really thick, arrogant or just plain stupid, the aid of the verbal sledgehammer is neccessary.
"Yeah, you do that. And once you fucked it up, you'll go get me a coffee while I fix your shit again."
"Don't add me on Facebook or anything... Because if any of your shitty code is leaked, ever, I want to be able to plausibly deny knowing you instead of doing Seppuku."
"Yep, and that's the point where some dumbass script kiddie will come, see your fuckup and turn your nice little shop into a less nice but probably rather popular porn/phishing/malware source. I'll keep some of it for you if it's good."
"I really love working with professionals. But what the fuck are YOU doing here?"
"I have NO idea what your code intended to do - but that's the first time I saw RCE and SQLi in the same piece of SHIT! Thanks for saving me the hassle."
"If you think XSS is a feature, maybe you should be cleaning our shitter instead of writing our code?"
"Dude, do I look like I have blue hair, overweight and a tumblr account? If you want someone who'd rather lie to your face than insult you, go see HR or the catholics or something."
"The only reason for me NOT to support you getting fired would be if I was getting paid per bug found!"
"Go fdisk yourself!"
"You know, I doubt the one braincell you have can ping localhost and get a response." (That one's inspired by the BOFH).
"I say we move you to the blockchain. I'd volunteer to do the cutting." (A marketing dweeb suggested to move all our (confidential) customer data to the "blockchain").
"Look, I don't say you suck as a developer, but if you were this competent as a gardener, I'd be the first one to give you a hedgetrimmer and some space and just let evolution do its thing."
"Yeah, go fetch me a unicorn while you're chasing pink elephants."
"Can you please get as high as you were when this time estimate come up? I'd love to see you overdose."
"Fuck you all, I'm a creationist from now on. This guy's so dumb, there's literally no explanation how he could evolve. Sorry Darwin."
"You know, just ignore the bloodstain that I'll put on the wall by banging my head against it once you're gone."2
I hate the idea of a programmer's day.
I like the logic (256th day) but hate the idea.
It feels full of bullshit. It feels fake.
I guess it had that wannabe impersonator vibe to it that makes me nauseated.
I have similar feelings towards other kinds of such days.10
So Zuckerberg wants to integrate Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook together.
Maybe this is his desperate attempt to make people to not ignore his own creation - facebook.
I just hope this integration is optional and won't be forced.16
You see that got checkbox ‘initialize git’? Just ignore it for now, you’ll maybe want to learn about it later...4
I know it's not recommended to write git commit messages in past tense, but it makes more sense to me to use it. Maybe I'll change as I grow and learn more in the programmer world, but as for now, I'm going to be a rebel and ignore convention😎5
I'm so lucky.
I have been working off of my usb recently, and been programming something. I had maybe 20 changes I needed to make (some werent big, they were just ui changes, but some needed a new column to be added to a database).
After I had done most of it, and had maybe 4/5 left I started getting this really bad feeling I was going to lose my USB.
I decided to ignore the feeling and just work on it in my next 2 breaks, and when I finally finished it, I uploaded the code to github.
That was yesterday at about 1:20.
This morning I check my bag and my USB is not there.
Holy shit was I lucky, if I hadn't finished my project I would have lost that progress and need to redo it all by tomorrow.
Tldr: I had a feeling I would lose a USB I was working off, but didnt upload my code until I was finished. Haven't seen the USB since uploading the code.2
Why the hell people add me on LinkedIn for like no reason? Why do people do that?
I mean, "John Doe wants to connect". Ok, let's see, maybe I know him... "John Doe, Chemical Engineer living in Argentina"
WTH man? I don't know you, I don't work with chemicals, I don't live near Argentina, and we do not have anyone in common!
Unless you're a recruiter; if I don't know you and you don't specify why you wanna connect with me, I'll ignore your request.1
Fellow dev: I am trying to put a joomla site in git.. Maybe you can help
Me: Sure what's the problem.
Fellow dev: I added the .gitignore file but when I clone the site onto the server all the files in the .gitignore are missing.
Me: Any files you add to git ignore are ignored by .git.
Me: Dies a little bit inside, is guy has been working with for over a year.
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Apple Commercial2
Not so much a problem with the way CS is taught, but I think it's a problem that a lot of people put emphasis ONLY on programming (and maybe data structures and algorithms) and ignore things like Computer Architecture or Theory of Computation.
Most of the CS syllabi I've seen are built very well, but many students (and some teachers) seem to ignore a bunch of subjects because they don't contribute to making them "hireable".
Digging though my old emails found this joke sent to me long time ago. Think that originally was posted in a 1997 issue of Computerworld. Maybe you already suffered the effect of the "Opcodes" listed here. Hope that !tl;dr
ARG Agree to Run Garbage
BDM Branch and Destroy Memory
CMN Convert to Mayan Numerals
DDS Damage Disk and Stop
EMR Emit Microwave Radiation
ETO Emulate Toaster Oven
FSE Fake Serious Error
GSI Garble Subsequent Instructions
GQS Go Quarter Speed
HEM Hide Evidence of Malfunction
IDD Inhale Dust and Die
IKI Ignore Keyboard Input
IMU Irradiate and Mutate User
JPF Jam Paper Feed
JUM Jeer at Users Mistake
KFP Kindle Fire in Printer
LNM Launch Nuclear Missiles
MAW Make Aggravating Whine
NNI Neglect Next Instruction
OBU Overheat and Burn if Unattended
PNG Pass Noxious Gas
QWF Quit Working Forever
QVC Question Valid Command
RWD Read Wrong Device
SCE Simulate Correct Execution
SDJ Send Data to Japan
TTC Tangle Tape and Crash
UBC Use Bad Chip
VDP Violate Design Parameters
VMB Verify and Make Bad
WAF Warn After Fact
XID eXchange Instruction with Data
YII Yield to Irresistible Impulse
ZAM Zero All Memory
Hey just brainstorming a business/ startup idea I may try out sometime down the line. I wanted to put it in writing available to my peers for review. If that sounds boring, sorry.
So I've had an idea and I know it's a million dollar idea because it's absolutely boring as fuck.
Recently I have been learning about NoSQL and it has gotten me pretty excited about unstructured data.
Now the first thing you should know about me is I like to make business software. I don't like games or social networks or blah blah blah, I like business stuff. One dream I have always had is to make THE business solution. I've noticed so many specific business solutions for very specific areas of work. Specific software for car washes, which is separate from the software for car maintenance, which is separate from the point-of-sales software, which is separate from the [...]
One of the problems with this is the inconsistency. Modular is good, but only if the modules are compatible. They aren't. Training needs to be provided for each individual system since they are all vastly different. And worst of all, since all of these different applications reach their own niche market, they charge out the butt for things that are usually very simple "POST a form over http(s)" machines.
I mean let's not get too dreamy here. My solution is an over-complicated form-builder. But it would be a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses. Allowing users to build their own front-end and back-end disguised as a drag-and-drop form builder would be THE alternative, because they could bring all of their solutions into a single solution (one bill!) and since THEY are the ones that build what they need, they can have custom business software for the price of a spreadsheet program.
The price difference we could offer would be IMMENSE. Not only would we be able to offer "cookie-cutter" pricing as opposed to "custom" pricing, but since this generic solution could be used for essentially all of their systems, we aren't just decreasing one bill. We're decreasing one bill, and eliminating the rest entirely. We could devastate competition.
"BUT ALGO", you scream in despair, "USERS AREN'T SMART ENOUGH TO DRAG AND DROP FORM PARTS TO MAKE A FORM"
I mean ya true. But you say that like it's a bad thing. For one, we can just offer a huge library of templates. And for another, which is part of the business plan, we can charge people support dollars to help them drag and drop their stupid fucking forms!! Think of the MONEEYYYY YOU COULD MAKEE BY EXPLAINING HOW TO COLLECT FIRST AND LAST NAMEEE. Fuck.
The controls library would be extensible of course. You would be able to download different, more specialized controls if you need them. But the goal would be to satsify those needs with the standard collection of controls (Including interesting ones line barcode scanner and signature input and all that). But if all else fails, maybe someone made an open source control for you to implement and ignore that stupid donation button. We all do.
This could PURGE the world of overpriced and junky specialized business software, and best of all, it's aimed at smaller businesses. With smaller businesses making more profit, they will stay afloat better and may start to compete with their larger foes. Greater for the entire economy.
Anyways, I'm sure it's full of holes. Everything always is. But I still think it's something I'll try before I die.23
Yesterday i was watching the intro videos of Visual Studio Code.
Was interesting to see a Microsoft licensed product using YouTube (Google) and macs (Apple) for demonstrations. Maybe Microsoft learned something about not ignore competitors hahaha6
Developers always know better what's best for others and when you do take their advice 2 weeks later and they're no longer using whatever they raved about 2 weeks earlier, because... something new and even better... and man you have to try this or otherwise you are a lame fool and that's definitely going to stay forever or maybe 3 weeks finally...
And if you ignore these fools because what works for them is not working for you, they in their ignorance keep pushing... at least until the 2 weeks are over...
(Note: I got a bit carried away while writing this, so the end result is a lot longer than I expected. Apologies for the long post!)
The beginning of my programming journey started with a book.
This was back in 7th grade. I had some basic exposure to BASIC (pun maybe intended?) from our school curriculum, but it was nothing too interesting as our teachers never really treated it as anything important. They would stress a lot on those Microsoft Office chapters (yes, we actually studied Microsoft Office as part of our computer science course at school) and mostly ignore the programming chapters because I dare say many of them struggled with it themselves. So although I had been exposed to *some* programming, it was mostly memorizing the syntax without actually understanding what was going on.
Then one day there was this book fair thing going on at this local Carrefour (for those of you who've no idea, it's a pretty famous hypermarket chain) in this mall, and for some reason my mother and I were in that mall on that day. Now the interesting thing is that this usually never happens -- I usually visit malls with my dad or my friends, this is the only instance I remember where I had actually visited one with just my mom. This turned out to be fortuitous. My father is the kind of person who's generally not amenable to any kind of extraneous shopping requests. My mother, on the other hand, was and remains pliable.
Fast forward to today, and I've never looked back and wondered what it would be like to have done something else.
I witness a lot of stupidity (programming related) in college, and my mind is constantly toggling between the following states:
* arguing with stupid people makes me look stupid too, so I should just ignore
* maybe I should educate them
* I am helpless - they won't listen to me
* what sins did I commit in my life that I have to see this
* what in the actual flying fuck are these idiots doing
* I AM STRESSED AND I NEED TO RELEASE IT1