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Search - "it really isn't so bad"
College can be one of the worst investments for an IT career ever.
I've been in university for the past 3 years and my views on higher education have radically changed from positive to mostly cynical.
This is an extremely polarizing topic, some say "your college is shite", "#notall", "you complain too much", and to all of you I am glad you are happy with your expensive toilet paper and feel like your dick just grew an inch longer, what I'll be talking about is my personal experience and you may make of it what you wish. I'm not addressing the best ivy-league Unis those are a whole other topic, I'll talk about average Unis for average Joes like me.
Higher education has been the golden ticket for countless generations, you know it, your parents believe in it and your grandparents lived it. But things are not like they used to be, higher education is a failing business model that will soon burst, it used to be simple, good grades + good college + nice title = happy life.
Sounds good? Well fuck you because the career paths that still work like that are limited, like less than 4.
The above is specially true in IT where shit moves so fast and furious if you get distracted for just a second you get Paul Walkered out of the Valley; companies don't want you to serve your best anymore, they want grunt work for the most part and grunts with inferiority complex to manage those grunts and ship the rest to India (or Mexico) at best startups hire the best problem solvers they can get because they need quality rather than quantity.
Does Uni prepare you for that? Well...no, the industry changes so much they can't even follow up on what it requires and ends up creating lousy study programs then tells you to invest $200k+ in "your future" for you to sweat your ass off on unproductive tasks to then get out and be struck by jobs that ask for knowledge you hadn't even heard off.
Remember those nights you wasted drawing ER diagrams while that other shmuck followed tutorials on react? Well he's your boss now, but don't worry you will wear your tired eyes, caffeine saturated breath and overweight with pride while holding your empty title, don't get me wrong I've indulged in some rough play too but I have noticed that 3 months giving a project my heart and soul teaches me more than 6 months of painstakingly pleasing professors with big egos.
And the soon to be graduates, my God...you have the ones that are there for the lulz, the nerds that beat their ass off to sustain a scholarship they'll have to pay back with interests and the ones that just hope for the best. The last two of the list are the ones I really feel bad for, the nerds will beat themselves over and over to comply with teacher demands not noticing they are about to graduate still versioning on .zip and drive, the latter feel something's wrong but they have no chances if there isn't a teacher to mentor them.
And what pisses me off even more is the typical answers to these issues "you NEED the title" and "you need to be self taught". First of all bitch how many times have we heard, seen and experienced the rejection for being overqualified? The market is saturated with titles, so much so they have become meaningless, IT companies now hire on an experience, economical and likeability basis. Worse, you tell me I need to be self taught, fucker I've been self taught for years why would I travel 10km a day for you to give me 0 new insights, slacking in my face or do what my dog does when I program (stare at me) and that's just on the days you decide to attend!
But not everything is bad, college does give you three things: networking, some good teachers and expensive dead tree remnants, is it worth the price tag, not really, not if you don't need it.
My broken family is not one of resources and even tho I had an 80% scholarship at the second best uni of my country I decided I didn't need the 10+ year debt for not sleeping 4 years, I decided to go to the 3rd in the list which is state funded; as for that decision it worked out as I'm paying most of everything now and through my BS I've noticed all of the above, I've visited 4 universities in my country and 4 abroad and even tho they have better everything abroad it still doesn't justify some of the prices.
If you don't feel like I do and you are happy, I'm happy for you. My rant is about my personal experience which is kind of in the context of IT higher education in the last ~8 years.
Just letting some steam off and not regretting most of my decisions.15
What an absolute fucking disaster of a day. Strap in, folks; it's time for a bumpy ride!
I got a whole hour of work done today. The first hour of my morning because I went to work a bit early. Then people started complaining about Jenkins jobs failing on that one Jenkins server our team has been wanting to decom for two years but management won't let us force people to move to new servers. It's a single server with over four thousand projects, some of which run massive data processing jobs that last DAYS. The server was originally set up by people who have since quit, of course, and left it behind for my team to adopt with zero documentation.
Anyway, the 500GB disk is 100% full. The memory (all 64GB of it) is fully consumed by stuck jobs. We can't track down large old files to delete because du chokes on the workspace folder with thousands of subfolders with no Ram to spare. We decide to basically take a hacksaw to it, deleting the workspace for every job not currently in progress. This of course fucked up some really poorly-designed pipelines that relied on workspaces persisting between jobs, so we had to deal with complaints about that as well.
So we get the Jenkins server up and running again just in time for AWS to have a major incident affecting EC2 instance provisioning in our primary region. People keep bugging me to fix it, I keep telling them that it's Amazon's problem to solve, they wait a few minutes and ask me to fix it again. Emails flying back and forth until that was done.
Lunch time already. But the fun isn't over yet!
I get back to my desk to find out that new hires or people who got new Mac laptops recently can't even install our toolchain, because management has started handing out M1 Macs without telling us and all our tools are compiled solely for x86_64. That took some troubleshooting to even figure out what the problem was because the only error people got from homebrew was that the formula was empty when it clearly wasn't.
After figuring out that problem (but not fully solving it yet), one team starts complaining to us about a Github problem because we manage the github org. Except it's not a github problem and I already knew this because they are a Problem Team that uses some technical authoring software with Git integration but they only have even the barest understanding of what Git actually does. Turns out it's a Git problem. An update for Git was pushed out recently that patches a big bad vulnerability and the way it was patched causes problems because they're using Git wrong (multiple users accessing the same local repo on a samba share). It's a huge vulnerability so my entire conversation with them went sort of like:
"We have to."
"Fine, here's a workaround, this will allow arbitrary code execution by anyone with physical or virtual access to this computer that you have sitting in an unlocked office somewhere."
"How do I run a Git command I don't use Git."
So that dealt with, I start taking a look at our toolchain, trying to figure out if I can easily just cross-compile it to arm64 for the M1 macbooks or if it will be a more involved fix. And I find all kinds of horrendous shit left behind by the people who wrote the tools that, naturally, they left for us to adopt when they quit over a year ago. I'm talking entire functions in a tool used by hundreds of people that were put in as a joke, poorly documented functions I am still trying to puzzle out, and exactly zero comments in the code and abbreviated function names like "gars", "snh", and "jgajawwawstai".
While I'm looking into that, the person from our team who is responsible for incident communication finally gets the AWS EC2 provisioning issue reported to IT Operations, who sent out an alert to affected users that should have gone out hours earlier.
Meanwhile, according to the health dashboard in AWS, the issue had already been resolved three hours before the communication went out and the ticket remains open at this moment, as far as I know.5
My manager bought her a Laravel course for beginners and today I discovered that she also doesn't understand databases, because she tried to enter an alphabetic character into a column that only accepts integers. She doesn't read/understand the error codes thrown by the application.
She tried to access a route which she created in her Laravel app by accessing it via the phpmyadmin dashboard and called me and wasted my time by asking me why her route isn't working. She literally does not understand how computers work, or how the HTTP protocol works, even less so how a file structure works. She cannot translate abstractions to practical solutions.
She either deliberately lied on her CV to get a job, or she's just really dumb and doesn't understand what the term "technical skills" mean.
I've told my manager multiple times how I think she's in the wrong job, but they keep pushing things beyond her capabilities onto her desk. I was told I'd get an intern to help me with my work load, but I got signed up into an experiment I did not consent to (manager's words, it's an experiment to help uplift people with bad degrees and a poor background). I am not a good teacher, I hate doing it.29
If you think meetings are bad.
Have a day full of license renewal and price negotiation talks regarding technical products.
It's funny how you can blatantly say: We don't need feature XYZ, we get it for free via BLA.... Yet they still present it in all glory.
Even better when they don't even know their alternative / competition products...
X: "our tool is better".
Me: "We have tool XY. Doesn't cost a penny, does the same, we don't need your tool".
X: "No it doesn't. Look at all the features we have *screen share presentation* with long explanations".
Y: "Yeah... You've certain additional features, but the basics are all present in the tool that we use, so my statement remains the same".
These meetings are really mind boggling insane.
Even more insane when you get the price offers.
The cloud only madness is absurd.
Sure, we move 50 terabyte plus to the cloud from premise, no problem. *🤡*
Not that we haven't told them explicitly that cloud only isn't possible....
The worst: every motherfucking company does it for every stupid single craptastic product...
You cannot even swoop it up in a single meeting... Every company. Every single product.
*booze liberate me from madness and remove the filthy stain of humanity*9
Still on the primenumbers bender.
Had this idea that if there were subtle correlations between a sufficiently large set of identities and the digits of a prime number, the best way to find it would be to automate the search.
And thats just what I did.
I started with trace matrices.
I actually didn't expect much of it. I was hoping I'd at least get lucky with a few chance coincidences.
My first tests failed miserably. Eight percent here, 10% there. "I might as well just pick a number out of a hat!" I thought.
I scaled it way back and asked if it was possible to predict *just* the first digit of either of the prime factors.
That also failed. Prediction rates were low still. Like 0.08-0.15.
So I automated *that*.
After a couple days of on-and-off again semi-automated searching I stumbled on it.
[1144, 827, 326, 1184, -1, -1, -1, -1]
That little sequence is a series of identities representing different values derived from a randomly generated product.
Each slots into a trace matrice. The results of which predict the first digit of one of our factors, with a 83.2% accuracy even after 10k runs, and rising higher with the number of trials.
It's not much, but I was kind of proud of it.
I'm pushing for finding 90%+ now.
Some improvements include using a different sort of operation to generate results. Or logging all results and finding the digit within each result thats *most* likely to predict our targets, across all results. (right now I just take the digit in the ones column, which works but is an arbitrary decision on my part).
Theres also the fact that it's trivial to correctly guess the digit 25% of the time, simply by guessing 1, 3, 7, or 9, because all primes, except for 2, end in one of these four.
I have also yet to find a trace with a specific bias for predicting either the smaller of two unique factors *or* the larger. But I haven't really looked for one either.
I still need to write a generate that takes specific traces, and lets me mutate some of the values, to push them towards certain 'fitness' levels.
This would be useful not just for very high predictions, but to find traces with very *low* predictions.
Why? Because it would actually allow for the *elimination* of possible digits, much like sudoku, from a given place value in a predicted factor.
I don't know if any of this will even end up working past the first digit. But splitting the odds, between the two unique factors of a prime product, and getting 40+% chance of guessing correctly, isn't too bad I think for a total amateur.
Far cry from a couple years ago claiming I broke prime factorization. People still haven't forgiven me for that, lol.6
Hey! This is a followup to my last story.
TL;DR: I thinking of quitting my old job, got an offer at a startup, about the same pay, but much better working conditions.
First of all, the meeting with my lead. It was a performance report on her side to me, and I got 100 to 110% in performance in all points. My lead said "this team without you wouldn't be this team anymore" - which makes me feel a little bit bad for her if I decide to quit. She is a great team lead, but I don't belive the old company is worth my time anymore.
Now to the new company. Shortly after that performance report meeting, I had a call with the ceo, and what do I have to say besides: What a cool dude. He listened to me, asked me questions about my previous jobs (not just as programmer) and so on. But because first looks are deceiving, I went to their office last thursday. And wow. Their are exactly what I imagined them to be. Cool, young folks, 100% tech enthusiasts, and open minded.
One of the new hires in the new company wanted a 6 months internship between his studies. Instead they offered him a full time job - for the 6 months. They even offered me to pay back my scholarship that I will own my old company for leaving early. This is awesome.
The only things that will be worse than my old job are, that I have to negotiate payment instead of yearly increases, 4 days less paid vacation, so only 26 days, and 40h weeks. And they have no workers council, which isn't good, but it's not the worst either.
I got them fixed on 57.000€, not including an up to 10.000€ annual bonus. The way you achieve your bonus seems good to. It's split in two parts, internal and external bonus. Internal bonus is when you engage with internal events like tech calls, sharing your knowledge on your main IT topics, etc. External Bonus is a bit more complicated, but also straight forward. You work on projects for customers, and if you have less than 3 weeks a year that you dont participate in an project, you get the full bonus.
Last friday, I filed a request for a certificate of employment from my current team lead, this is odd for her because I have never done it before, and she asked why I requested it. I said to her that we can talk about it, and she agreed but didn't call me, yet.
Lastly, another good friend of mine will be employed by my team soon, but for a fraction of the payment that I currently receive! He is doing the exact same work, and even worse, he is doing project managment for his main developer project too! And is getting less paid... I just cant...
Yesterday we needed to update a few cloud instances, the only other person who knows about setting up CICD and our OpenShift Containers than me is only in part time and works two days a week, his trainee didn't know anything, so it's up to me. This isn't hard or anything, but it shows that this system our mangement maintains will fail soon, maybe even with me going? I sure hope so tbh.
One of you guys said, I should go to my team lead and negotiate a higher pay, but the truth is, that because we are a big ISP we have an collective agreement for payment and are grouped by tasks (which is bull shit btw, because I'm doing tasks much higher paid than currently). This also means that I cannot simply jump in another group, and can only increase my current pay to about 115%, which is done automatically every year by 5% up to 115%. Anything above is considered extra, but I don't think they will go with it.
I will decide this week about my future at the old company, but I really don't know what to do...2
When my manager, blatantly miscommunicated several things to me a couple of years ago, and scapegoated me by saying a comment I NEVER once heard said about me, in any context ever, "you communicate badly-- you need to communicate better", I took it seriously.
Fast forward, two years later. I'm doing wonderful at my job, yet I cannot get over that incident. I thought about it some more. Why did she say that to me? Why did she address it to me after her mistake? Why was she not aware of the real reason I missed the meeting?
Out of all useful bits of knowledge I gathered over the years, it's kinda comical that psychology came in the most handy at the workplace. There's very little to be gained from trying to psychoanalyze strangers, friends, and family... but it's almost saved my life at the job.
You see, if I attack an approach even in the most formal tones, or even worse, defend my approach, there's nothing coming from that. The situation now becomes my situation. When I become "aware" of the truth of the situation I become able to control the situation, not just myself. That way, you're not in a fisticuff fight with your boss, and you are not left defeated by the situation. Exercising control of the situation in such a manner that they are left defeated by the situation, not by you directly, is the only way you can win as an employee.
Any other way, you'll get under-appreciated, underpaid, overworked, overlooked, etc.
So, my boss at the time, was defeated by the situation of her being a bad leader; and instead of clarifying those feelings to me or ignoring them entirely... she validated her false self using her real emotions.
You can only reverse that, by developing fake emotions, to display a real self.
They can't blame you, and when they feel self-defeated, they cannot pretend it was you who caused it (bringing it back to a sane level of reality). They might rage if they're childish but it will not cause a single hair in your body to twitch because you did not "respond to their email" or "throw someone under the bus for their convenience", the situation did, they beat themselves by attacking you while the situation came down on them.
If I had to explain I would say that the situation is controlled by creating a mirror of the employee that follows their orders perfectly. That employee won't feel defensive: they already do everything right. The employee is crafted by becoming aware of the teams impacted in the situation and their true intent and creating "the situation", "the owner".
"The owner" reflects to people from the perspective of the situation and not from your own. This way you can't make a wrong move and are not emotionally involved with yourself.
It enables you to emotionally notice others. It also makes you safe, because you have the situation-mirror that's really doing the battling. The situation-mirror eventually creates a situation where the other person starts attacking reality (the situation) instead of attacking you.
Now, it's up to you whether you want to use that as a way to cooperate with your boss to beat this new reality, or as a way to gain coherence on your reality outside of your boss. I have noticed most people tend to realize this somewhere along the line and retreat and stop fighting, and quit their jobs.
I've been doing this in a corporate environment for a couple of weeks. I have already become greatly stressed and subjugated by the company for which my company works for. 20 of them sit here every day and devalue everything. Yet.... They're completely incompetent, spoilt, lazy and worst of all, they control how the software is being created. There isn't a single person on their side responsible for their requests to make sense and work with each other. So you can imagine how much blame they need to assign to us devs. They don't know what they want but want something anyway and then they'll see if that's what they want but everything under the tightest deadline possible. They're all clients and they all escalate to the board of directors any bad word directed at them. So you can imagine the narcissism that develops in that environment.
I have made them argue with reality and self-defeat numerous times. They have now started to back off and are being more polite and courteous. They have also not escalated anything anymore. Just as I was faking "happy" while I felt intimidated by them. I have not committed a single angry act and yet they are not feeling superior anymore. The reality of the situation is that we need to make a software and if you make them battle this instead of battling you, they can't beat you.6
So at work, there is this class/model thing that's for storing translated strings. It also supports n-level nested macros, cascading lookup (e->d->c->b->a->blank), and I've added transforms too. The code is a bloody mess and very inefficient (legendary dev's code), but it's useful.
You call methods with a symbol representing one of the strings, and it does... whatever you ask, like return text, booleans, expand macros and submacros, pass in data to interpolate, etc.
But I just learned something today.
Its `.html` method... doesn't support html. In fact, calling it strips out all html, takes whatever is left, and attempts to convert that back into html. Because that makes so much sense. So, if you have an html string? Don't call html on it.
Also, macros use the same <angle brackets> as html tags, and macro expansion eats unknown macros, so... you can't mix html and macros, meaning you cannot inject values into your markup. That's a freaking joy to work around. (You end up writing a parser every time.)
So no, if you have an html string, you need to get the raw data out and handle it yourself. Don't reach for that shiny .html method; it'll just ruin your day.
It's the little things that make my day so terribly long.8
I am fairly new to "enterprise" programming, but have some experience with self-study and open source. I'm getting more frustrated by the day because the code quality of our software is appallingly bad: functionality that should be centralised isn't, assumptions about internal structures and functionality of objects are made throughout the code, concerns are not separated, and so on. In my current team, we explicitly disabled SonarQube because "someone would have to fix it and our software wouldn't pass even after a month of work".
While I understand the concerns that companies would rather see new features than "quality improvements", so what? Every time we want to add something, we either have to restructure half the source code or add it in a really horrible way (and get pressured to do it that way).
Is it normal that code quality in companies is so bad?10
Personal rant, but as one shouldn't bottle up emotions, probably not so bad idea....
Started with diet and exercise in the vacation, as finally a certain thing starting with C calmed down...
Its maddening how fucked up the world is. Now as a lil private info (that might not be so unknown, shared multiple times here) - my body is a train wreck.
Lungs are fucked, muscle distrophy, some other things are fucked.
I'm the kind of thing every gym trainer dreads - the client that needs not only a lot of ass whooping, but also has a lot of problems that need to be taken care of.
Which is why I rather do exercise at home, cause... My experiences with humans in gyms are bad. Most trainers behave like fucking chimpanzees screaming commands while not listening what one tells them...
First challenge: Find a low impact cardio training.
What one mostly finds is a female chick (which is sad cause I like men more for obvious reasons), that should gain some weight, screaming at ya how great sport is while jumping around like a bunny on ecstasy.
Low impact isn't really low impact when you jump around, lil bunny... And it isn't low impact when you just let yourself fall to the floor and start doing push ups.
If an obese person like me did that, it would end in pain, frustration and an empty fridge TM.
So one has to painfully look and skip through 20 min vids of "Non low impact low impact YouTube / ... vids" to find one that is doable without wrecking the body even further... Yaaaay. That makes one totally not feel depressed :-)
The other thing that I always hate is dieting. Note that I don't have to change much - I'm basically on a diet since years, holding weight the whole time.
The jolly fun is that I can't take off with just an diet. If you never heard that such thing is possible, a lil advice: It is possible. Nothing hurts more than being told that eating less solves all problems magically - cause it doesn't.
What I usually need is added protein, as I suffer from muscle dystrophy in my left side. (hence the low impact vids).
If you go to a grocery store, you most likely find *tons* of protein stuff.
The fun thing is that roughly 80 % of that are - like all things in a supermarket - completely bullshit.
I know one could avoid using protein powder / ... - but that makes dieting a very very very hard task, as one has to not only do a lot of planning, but cooking and eating becomes a depression palooza... It just doesn't make fun when you have to scale components for every meal or force yourself to eat e.g. 250 g of low fat curd cheese to gain the necessary proteins.
Why is supermarket stuff so shitty....
Added sugar / saccharides . When one has been dieting for long for health reasons, one finds out pretty quick that most products (especially those labeled as healthy / fat reduced / "weight loss") are perfectly made to lead to a sugar crisis and binge eating.
I've found protein drinks containing up to 25 g of sugar per drink (330 ml).
A coke has 27 g of sugar per 250 ml...
:) Now isn't that jolly...
I've found my stuff of joy not so long ago (not advertising here, but depending on flavor it has only up to 3 g (!)) of sugar per drink)...
It just annoys me and pisses me off how much money is made - in my opinion deliberately - on the suffering of other people...
Most laws by the way end up being blocked by lobbyists - most nutrient scores etc are just "wrong" or better to unspecific... Making exploitation pretty easy.
It's funny how everyone has an opinion on obese people, everybody is pointing fingers and explaining how stupidly easy it is to take off... And at the same time no one gives a damn about shit like that.
That's all folks. Feeling better now.
By the way, I'm doing fine. I lost 7 kg already, though the train wreck of body was pretty pissed the last two weeks as everything hurts.
Another reason why motivational speeches are dumb in videos: Pain isn't fun. :)1