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I absolutely HATE "web developers" who call you in to fix their FooBar'd mess, yet can't stop themselves from dictating what you should and shouldn't do, especially when they have no idea what they're doing.
So I get called in to a job improving the performance of a Magento site (and let's just say I have no love for Magento for a number of reasons) because this "developer" enabled Redis and expected everything to be lightning fast. Maybe he thought "Redis" was the name of a magical sorcerer living in the server. A master conjurer capable of weaving mystical time-altering spells to inexplicably improve the performance. Who knows?
This guy claims he spent "months" trying to figure out why the website couldn't load faster than 7 seconds at best, and his employer is demanding a resolution so he stops losing conversions. I usually try to avoid Magento because of all the headaches that come with it, but I figured "sure, why not?" I mean, he built the website less than a year ago, so how bad can it really be? Well...let's see how fast you all can facepalm:
1.) The website was built brand new on Magento 220.127.116.11...what? I mean, if this were built a few years back, that would be a different story, but building a fresh Magento website in 2017 in 1.x? I asked him why he did that...his answer absolutely floored me: "because PHP 5.5 was the best choice at the time for speed and performance..." What?!
2.) The ONLY optimization done on the website was Redis cache being enabled. No merged CSS/JS, no use of a CDN, no image optimization, no gzip, no expires rules. Just Redis...
3.) Now to say the website was poorly coded was an understatement. This wasn't the worst coding I've seen, but it was far from acceptable. There was no organization whatsoever. Templates and skin assets are being called from across 12 different locations on the server, making tracking down and finding a snippet to fix downright annoying.
But not only that, the home page itself had 83 custom database queries to load the products on the page. He said this was so he could load products from several different categories and custom tables to show on the page. I asked him why he didn't just call a few join queries, and he had no idea what I was talking about.
4.) Almost every image on the website was a .PNG file, 2000x2000 px and lossless. The home page alone was 22MB just from images.
There were several other issues, but those 4 should be enough to paint a good picture. The client wanted this all done in a week for less than $500. We laughed. But we agreed on the price only because of a long relationship and because they have some referrals they got us in the door with. But we told them it would get done on our time, not theirs. So I copied the website to our server as a test bed and got to work.
So I show their developer the changes and he's stunned. He says he'll tell the hosting provider create a new server set up to migrate the optimized site over and cut over to, because taking the live website down for maintenance for even an hour or two in the middle of the night is "unacceptable".
So trying to be cool about it, I tell him I'd be happy to configure the server to the exact specifications needed. He says "we can't do that". I look at him confused. "What do you mean we 'can't'?" He tells me that even though this is a dedicated server, the provider doesn't allow any access other than a jailed shell account and cPanel access. What?! This is a company averaging 3 million+ per year in revenue. Why don't they have an IT manager overseeing everything? Apparently for them, they're too cheap for that, so they went with a "managed dedicated server", "managed" apparently meaning "you only get to use it like a shared host".
So after countless phone calls arguing with the hosting provider, they agree to make our changes. Then the client's developer starts getting nasty out of nowhere. He says my optimizations are not acceptable because I'm not using Redis cache, and now the client is threatening to walk away without paying us.
So I guess the overall message from this rant is not so much about the situation, but the developer and countless others like him that are clueless, but try to speak from a position of authority.
If we as developers don't stop challenging each other in a measuring contest and learn to let go when we need help, we can get a lot more done and prevent losing clients. </rant>14
This was over a year ago now, but my first PR at my current job was +6,249/-1,545,334 loc. Here is how that happened... When I joined the company and saw the code I was supposed to work on I kind of freaked out. The project was set up in the most ass-backward way with some sort of bootstrap boilerplate sample app thing with its own build process inside a subfolder of the main angular project. The angular app used all the CSS, fonts, icons, etc. from the boilerplate app and referenced the assets directly. If you needed to make changes to the CSS, fonts, icons, etc you would need to cd into the boilerplate app directory, make the changes, run a Gulp build that compiled things there, then cd back to the main directory and run Grunt build (thats right, both grunt and gulp) that then built the angular app and referenced the compiled assets inside the boilerplate directory. One simple CSS change would take 2 minutes to test at minimum.
I told them I needed at least a week to overhaul the app before I felt like I could do any real work. Here were the horrors I found along the way.
- All compiled (unminified) assets (both CSS and JS) were committed to git, including vendor code such as jQuery and Bootstrap.
- All bower components were committed to git (ALL their source code, documentation, etc, not just the one dist/minified JS file we referenced).
- The Grunt build was set up by someone who had no idea what they were doing. Every SINGLE file or dependency that needed to be copied to the build folder was listed one by one in a HUGE config.json file instead of using pattern matching like `assets/images/*`.
- All the example code from the boilerplate and multiple jQuery spaghetti sample apps from the boilerplate were committed to git, as well as ALL the documentation too. There was literally a `git clone` of the boilerplate repo inside a folder in the app.
- There were two separate copies of Bootstrap 3 being compiled from source. One inside the boilerplate folder and one at the angular app level. They were both included on the page, so literally every single CSS rule was overridden by the second copy of bootstrap. Oh, and because bootstrap source was included and commited and built from source, the actual bootstrap source files had been edited by developers to change styles (instead of overriding them) so there was no replacing it with an OOTB minified version.
- It is an angular app but there were multiple jQuery libraries included and relied upon and used for actual in-app functionality behavior. And, beyond that, even though angular includes many native ways to do XHR requests (using $resource or $http), there were numerous places in the app where there were `XMLHttpRequest`s intermixed with angular code.
- There was no live reloading for local development, meaning if I wanted to make one CSS change I had to stop my server, run a build, start again (about 2 minutes total). They seemed to think this was fine.
- All this monstrosity was handled by a single massive Gruntfile that was over 2000loc. When all my hacking and slashing was done, I reduced this to ~140loc.
- There were developer's (I use that term loosely) *PERSONAL AWS ACCESS KEYS* hardcoded into the source code (remember, this is a web end app, so this was in every user's browser) in order to do file uploads. Of course when I checked in AWS, those keys had full admin access to absolutely everything in AWS.
- There was no error handling or reporting. An API error would just result in nothing happening on the front end, so the user would usually just click and click again, re-triggering the same error. There was also no error reporting software installed (NewRelic, Rollbar, etc) so we had no idea when our users encountered errors on the front end. The previous developers would literally guide users who were experiencing issues through opening their console in dev tools and have them screenshot the error and send it to them.
- I could go on and on...
This is why you hire a real front-end engineer to build your web app instead of the cheapest contractors you can find from Ukraine.19
First off I dont mind what OS you are using. This rant isnt about the OS but about hypocrisy for some of the users. Secondly Im sorry for typos, I typed it on my phone while waking up.
People are calling Windows spyware, so they are using Linux or MacOS. Even though I disagree with the term spyware I would be fine with that if you weren't a hypocrite.
How many of the people who use Linux and call windows spyware uses Google, Apple, Facebook or Twitter once in a while? I highly doubt you if you say you don't.
Not much of the internet still works if you block google servers.
Google is everywhere and always collects data.
Facebook and twitter also collects data about you. Everyone who has your number in their phone will share it with Whatsapp and google so they can build up a profile. Even if you dont block it.
What I am telling you is that its impossible to avoid being tracked by these companies (including MS).
Every company I mentioned here has a profile on you, if you want it or not.
So let's check which of these companies tries to follow European laws.
Google gets fine after fine but doesnt really try to avoid it.
It looks like Apple, MS, Facebook and Twitter are doing it better on this.
But if you check the European law every European citizen is allowed to request their complete profile collected by a company. And that means complete and not the public part you volunteered to give away.
So I tried it out.
Google didnt want to give it, apple didnt want to give it, Facebook didnt want to give it and Twitter doesnt want to give it.
The hypocrisy is becoming clesr with the following. I did get my complete profile from MS. It was a messy PDF file which crashed most PDF readers.
It contained a list of people I know and how I know them. It contained MS accounts I had in the past and my hobbies. (and quite a lot more)
So from these big companies MS is the only one following the European Law.
So yes they do collect data, but they are open in what they collect.
And Im not saying here that Microsoft is great just because they follow the law.
You can have your own opinion about this and do with it what you want. I just wanted to share some, maybe alternative, facts.
And again this isn't an OS rant or whatever. I dont mind what you do, but I do mind hypocrisy.20
toxic workplace; leaving
I haven't wanted to write this rant. I haven't even wanted to talk to anyone (save my gf, ofc). I've just been silently fuming.
I wrote a much longer rant going into far too much detail, but none of that is relevant, so I deleted it and wrote this shorter (believe it or not) version instead. And then added in more details because details.
On Tuesday, as every Tuesday, I had a conference call with the rest of the company. For various, mostly stupid reasons, the boss yelled at and insulted me for twenty minutes straight in front of everyone, telling me how i'm disorganized, forgetful, how can't manage my time, can't manage myself let alone others, how I don't have my priorities straight, etc. He told the sales team to get off the call, and then proceeded to yell and chew at me for another twenty minutes in front of the frontend contractor about basically the same things. The call was 53 minutes, and he spent 40 minutes of it telling me how terrible I've been. No exaggeration, no spin. The issues? I didn't respond to an email (it got lost in my ever-filling inbox), and I didn't push a very minor update last week (untested and straight to prod, ofc). (Side note: he's yelled at me for ~15 minutes before for being horribly disorganized and unable to keep up on Trello -- because I had a single card in the wrong column. One card, out of 60+ over two boards. Never mind that most have time estimates, project tags, details, linked to cards on his boards, columns for project/qa/released, labels for deferred, released to / rejected from qa, finished, in production, are ordered by priority, .... Yep. I'm totes disorganized.)
Anyway, I spent most of conference call writing "Go fuck yourself," "Choke on a cat and die asshole," "Shit code, low pay, and broken promises. what a prize position," etc. or flipping him off under the camera on our conference-turn-video-call (switched due to connection issues, because ofc video is more stable than audio-only in his mind).
so, so done.
I did nothing the rest of the day on Tuesday, and basically just played games on Wednesday. I did one small ticket -- a cert replacement since that was to expire the next day -- but the rest was just playing CrossCode. (fun game, fyi; totally recommend.)
Today? It's 3:30pm and I can't be bothered to do anything. I have an "urgent" project to finish by Monday, literally "to give [random third party sales guy] a small win". Total actual wording. I was to drop all other tasks (even the expiring cert lol) and give this guy his small win. fucking whatever. But the project deals with decent code -- it's a minor extension to the first project I did for the company (see my much earlier rants), back when I was actually applying myself and learning something (everything) new, enjoying myself, and architecting+writing my own code. So I might actually do the project, but It's been two days and I haven't even opened single file yet.
But yeah. This place is total and complete shit. Dealing with the asshole reminds me of dealing with my parents while growing up, and that's a subject I don't want to broach -- far too many toxic memories.
So, I'm quitting as soon as I find something new.
and with luck, this will be before assface hires my replacement-to-be, and who will hopefully quit as soon as s/he sees the abysmal codebase. With even more luck, the asshole king himself will get to watch his company die due to horrible mismanagement. (though ofc he'll never attribute it to himself. whatever.)
I just never want to see or think about him again.
(nor this fetid landfill of a codebase. bleh.)
With luck, this will be one of my last rants about this toxic waste dump and its king of the pile.
Fourty fucking minutes, what the fuck.38
I recently joined the dark side - an agile consulting company (why and how is a long story). The first client I was assigned to was an international bank. The client wanted a web portal, that was at its core, just a massive web form for their users to perform data entry.
My company pitched and won the project even though they didn't have a single developer on their bench. The entire project team (including myself) was fast tracked through interviews and hired very rapidly so that they could staff the project (a fact I found out months later).
Although I had ~8 years of systems programming experience, my entire web development experience amounted to 12 weeks (a part time web dev course) just before I got hired.
I introduce to you, my team ...
Scrum Master. 12 years experience on paper.
Rote memorised the agile manifesto and scrum textbooks. He constantly went “We should do X instead of (practical thing) Y, because X is the agile way.” Easily pressured by the client to include ridiculous (real time chat in a form filling webpage), and sometimes near impossible features (undo at the keystroke level). He would just nag at the devs until someone mumbled ‘yes' just so that he would stfu and go away.
UX Designer. 3 years experience on paper ... as business analyst.
Zero professional experience in UX. Can’t use design tools like AI / photoshop. All he has is 10 weeks of UX bootcamp and a massive chip on his shoulder. The client wanted a web form, he designed a monstrosity that included several custom components that just HAD to be put in, because UX. When we asked for clarification the reply was a usually condescending “you guys don’t understand UX, just do <insert unhandled edge case>, this is intended."
Developer - PHD in his first job.
Invents programming puzzles to solve where there are none. The user story asked for a upload file button. He implemented a queue system that made use of custom metadata to detect file extensions, file size, and other attributes, so that he could determine which file to synchronously upload first.
Developer - Bootlicker. 5 years experience on paper.
He tried to ingratiate himself with the management from day 1. He also writes code I would fire interns and fail students for. His very first PR corrupted the database. The most recent one didn’t even compile.
Developer - Millennial fratboy with a business degree. 8 years experience on paper.
His entire knowledge of programming amounted to a single data structures class he took on Coursera. Claims that’s all he needs. His PRs was a single 4000+ line files, of which 3500+ failed the linter, had numerous bugs / console warnings / compile warnings, and implemented 60% of functionality requested in the user story. Also forget about getting his attention whenever one of the pretty secretaries walked by. He would leap out of his seat and waltz off to flirt.
Developer - Brooding loner. 6 years experience on paper.
His code works. It runs, in exponential time. Simply ignores you when you attempt to ask.
Developer - Agile fullstack developer extraordinaire. 8 years experience on paper.
Insists on doing the absolute minimum required in the user story, because more would be a waste. Does not believe in thinking ahead for edge conditions because it isn’t in the story. Every single PR is a hack around existing code. Sometimes he hacks a hack that was initially hacked by him. No one understands the components he maintains.
Developer - Team lead. 10 years of programming experience on paper.
Writes spaghetti code with if/else blocks nested 6 levels deep. When asked "how does this work ?”, the answer “I don’t know the details, but hey it works!”. Assigned as the team lead as he had the most experience on paper. Tries organise technical discussions during which he speaks absolute gibberish that either make no sense, or are complete misunderstandings of how our system actually works.
The last 2 guys are actually highly regarded by my company and are several pay grades above me. The rest were hired because my company was desperate to staff the project.
There are a 3 more guys I didn’t mention. The 4 of us literally carried the project. The codebase is ugly as hell because the others merge in each others crap. We have no unit tests, and It’s near impossible to start because of the quality of the code. But this junk works, and was deployed to production. Today is it actually hailed as a success story.
All these 3 guys have quit. 2 of them quit without a job. 1 found a new and better gig.
I’m still here because I need the money. There’s a tsunami of trash code waiting to fail in production, and I’m the only one left holding the fort.
Why am I surrounded by morons?
Why are these retards paid more than me?
Why are they so proud when all they produce is trash?
How on earth are they still hired?
And yeah, FML.7
I have come across the most frustrating error i have ever dealt with.
Im trying to parse an XML doc and I keep getting UnauthorizedAccessException when trying to load the doc. I have full permissions to the directory and file, its not read only, i cant see anything immediately wrong as to why i wouldnt be able to access the file.
I searched around for hours yesterday trying a bunch of different solutions that helped other people, none of them working for me.
I post my issue on StackOverflow yesterday with some details, hoping for some help or a "youre an idiot, Its because of this" type of comment but NO.
This is the first time Ive really needed help with something, and the first time i havent gotten any response to a post.
Do i keep trying to fix this before the deadline on Sunday? Do i say fuck it and rewrite the xml in C# to meet my needs? Is there another option that i dont even know about yet?
I need a dev duck of some sort :/41
So far I've been pretty lucky... except for the code some of my professors at uni used in their assignments. A couple of them had this horrid habit of giving you a horribly-written, out-of-date (we're talking these chuckle heads used the same code for years on end and wondered why it didn't work on new versions of Java), messy source file with "fill in the blanks" sections like it was some kind of Java Mad Libs book. One of them had an entire jarchive of data structures we were required to use that he'd written in the '90s and NEVER UPDATED. Another one had a script he'd written for his own specialized assembly macro preprocessor that he'd been using without update for who even knows how long. Now, we were using one of those goofy virtual machines with its own simplified assembly language, and we were on the fourth version of the program. This guy'd written his macro processor in Java for the second version, never updated his Java source, only provided a barely-working .bat script for running it, even though the department's official preference was a *nix environment, and implemented this horrid "pretty-printer" that had a regrettable little habit of eating code. You heard that right. You'd run build.bat and it'd expand your macros then send it over to the pretty-printer which would very infrequently just replace the existing program file with an empty file. When we brought it to his attention, he goes "...huh. never happened to me." and proceeded to use the very same set of programs for the next three semesters, even when the assembly simulator was updated again. I heard wails of anguish from the poor sad souls that came after me as their macro processor created program files with deprecated operations, their pretty printer printed out beautiful, perfectly-organized empty files, and the professor responded to every second of a student begging for an updated version with "...huh. never happened to me." I never saw a single bug reported to either of those professors even acknowledged, let alone fixed. Some of the Java Mad Libs were the same ones they'd started using when they first switched the curriculum from Ada to Java. Thankfully after my first year I escaped into the bliss of the next three years, which were full of *nix and C and beauty.
Do any of you python programmers have any tips for simple projects you can do to learn python?
I am mainly a backend/system engineer comig from C++, slowly picking up rust and have been using bash as my scripting language so far. bash is nice because it is so fundamental in the linux world but you just dont get very far with it and its usually not pleasant to write.
So I would like to learn python, though I have no idea what I can do to practice it, so that I can just quickly whip up a script the next time I need something done in the file system or want to write a simple parser for something.
Do you guys have an idea of something small (not necessarily useful) which makes use of pythons strengths? Just looking for ideas here, so stick it all out 👋💕13
My work product: Or why I learned to get twitchy around Java...
I maintain a Java based test system, that tests a raster image processor. The client is a Java swing project that contains CORBA bindings to the internal API of the raster image processor. It also has custom written UI elements and duplicated functionality that became available in later versions of Java, but because some of the third party tools we use don't work with later versions of Java for some reason, it's not possible to upgrade Java to gain things as simple as recursive directory deletion, yes the version of Java we have to use does not support something as simple as that and custom code had to be written to support it.
Because of the requirement to build the API bindings along with the client the whole application must be built with the raster image processor build chain, which is a heavily customised jam build system. So an ant task calls out to execute a jam task and jam does about 90% of the heavy lifting.
In addition to the Java code there's code for interpreting PostScript files, as these can be used to alter the behaviour of the raster image processor during testing.
The server isn't much better though. It's a tomcat based application that was written by someone who had never built a tomcat application before, or any web application for that matter and uses raw SQL strings instead of an orm, it doesn't use MVC in any way, and insane amount of functionality is dumped into the jsp files.
It too interacts with a raster image processor to create difference masks of the output, running PostScript as needed. It spawns off multiple threads and can spend days processing hundreds of gigabytes of image output (depending on the size of the tests).
We're stuck on Tomcat seven because we can't upgrade beyond Java 6, which brings a whole manner of security issues, but that eager little Java updated will break the tool chain if it gets its way.
Between these two components we have the Java RMI server (sometimes) working to help generate image data on the client side before all images are pulled across a UNC network path onto the server that processes test jobs (in PDF format), by reading into the xref table of said PDF, finding the embedded image data (for our server consumed test files are just flate encoded TIFF files wrapped around just enough PDF to make them valid) and uses a tool to create a difference mask of two images.
This tool is very error prone, it can't difference images of different sizes, colour spaces, orientations or pixel depths, but it's the best we have.
The tool is installed in both the client and server if the client can generate images it'll query from the server which ones it needs to and if it can't the server will use the tool itself.
Our shells have custom profiles for linking to a whole manner of third party tools and libraries, including a link to visual studio 2005 (more indirectly related build dependencies), the whole profile has to ensure that absolutely no operating system pollution gets into the shell, most of our apps are installed in our home directories and we have to ensure our paths are correct for every single application we add.
And... Fucking and!
Most of the tools are stored as source bundles in a version control system... Not got or mercurial, not perforce or svn, not even CVS... They use a custom built version control system that is built on top of RCS, it keeps a central database of locked files (using soft and hard locks along with write protecting the files in the file system) to ensure users can't get merge conflicts by preventing other users from writing to the files at all.
Branching is heavy weight and can take the best part of a day to create a new branch and populate the history.
Gathering the tools alone to build the Dev environment to build my project takes the best part of a week.
What should be a joy come hardware refresh year becomes a curse ("Well fuck, now I loose a week spending it setting up the Dev environment on ANOTHER machine").
Needless to say, I enjoy NOT working with Java. A lot of this isn't Javas fault, but there's a lot of things that Java (specifically the Java 6 version we're stuck on) does not make easy.
This is why I prefer to build my web apps in python or node, hell, I'd even take Lua... Just... Compiling web pages into executable Java classes, why? I mean I understand the implementation of how this happens, but why did my predecessor have to choose this? Why?2
So after deploying an update for my apps api this morning, I very quickly had to move hosts as openahift for some reason does not install express on its 8.x container, heck its not even in the package lock file, and no help from Google. On the plus side, new ones faster, even though it's further away, and I can only image a replica set DB is better than a single instance.