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Search - "just more comfortable doing it this way"
My biggest dev blunder. I haven't told a single soul about this, until now.
So, I was working as a full stack dev at a small consulting company. By this time I had about 3 years of experience and started to get pretty comfortable with my tools and the systems I worked with.
I was the person in charge of a system dealing with interactions between people in different roles. Some of this data could be sensitive in nature and users had a legal right to have data permanently removed from our system. In this case it meant remoting into the production database server and manually issuing DELETE statements against the db. Ugh.
As soon as my brain finishes processing the request to venture into that binary minefield and perform rocket surgery on that cursed database my sympathetic nervous system goes into high alert, palms sweaty. Mom's spaghetti.
Alright. Let's do this the safe way. I write the statements needed and do a test run on my machine. Works like a charm 😎
Time to get this over with. I remote into the server. I paste the code into Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. I read through the code again and again and again. It's solid. I hit run.
Wait. I ran it?
With the IDs from my local run?
I stare at the confirmation message: "Nice job dude, you just deleted some stuff. Cool. See ya. - Your old pal SQL Server".
What did I just delete? What ramifications will this have? Am I sweating? My life is over. Fuck! Think, think, think.
You're a professional. Handle it like one, goddammit.
I think about doing a rollback but the server dudes are even more incompetent than me and we'd lose all the transactions that occurred after my little slip. No, that won't fly.
I do the only sensible thing: I run the statements again with the correct IDs, disconnect my remote session, and BOTTLE THAT SHIT UP FOREVER.
I tell no one. The next few days I await some kind of bug report or maybe a SWAT team. Days pass. Nothing. My anxiety slowly dissipates. That fateful day fades into oblivion and I feel confident my secret will die with me. Cool ¯\_(ツ)_/¯13
I was in a hostel in my high school days.. I was studying commerce back then. Hostel days were the first time I ever used Wi-Fi. But it sucked big time. I'm barely got 5-10Kbps. It was mainly due to overcrowding and download accelerators.
So, I decided to do something about it. After doing some research, I discovered NetCut. And it did help me for my purposes to some extent. But it wasn't enough. I soon discovered that my floor shared the bandwidth with another floor in the hostel, and the only way I could get the 1Mbps was to go to that floor and use NetCut. That was riskier and I was lazy enough to convince myself look for a better solution rather than go to that floor every time I wanted to download something.
My hostel used Netgear's routers back then. I decided to find some way to get into those. I tried the default "admin" and "password", but my hostel's network admin knew better than that. I didn't give up. After searching all night (literally) about how to get into that router, I stumbled upon a blog that gave a brief info about "telnetenable" utility which could be used to access the router from command line. At that time, I knew nothing about telnet or command line. In the beginning I just couldn't get it to work. Then I figured I had to enable telnet from Windows settings. I did that and got a step further. I was now able to get into the router's shell by using default superuser login. But I didn’t know how to get the web access credentials from there. After googling some and a bit of trial and error, I got comfortable using cd, ls and cat commands. I hoped that some file in the router would have the web access credentials stored in cleartext. I spent the next hour just using cat to read every file. Luckily, I stumbled upon NVRAM which is used to store all config details of router. I went through all the output from cat (it was a lot of output) and discovered http_user and http_passwd. I tried that in the web interface and when it worked, my happiness knew no bounds. I literally ran across the floor screaming and shouting.
I knew nothing about hiding my tracks and soon my hostel’s admin found out I was tampering with the router's settings. But I was more than happy to share my discovery with him.
This experience planted a seed inside me and I went on to become the admin next year and eventually switch careers.
So that’s the story of how I met bash.
Thanks for reading!10
I was thinking today about a certain aspect of running a software startup and then it came to me...
Hank Scorpio, from the Simpsons, was right in his approach.
So many time I have seen people get hired only for the company to get a less-than-optimal performance from them.
But why is this? Of course, it is many factors but one of the major ones is...
Employers seem to lump employees in together and assume that since most developers operate in one way that the new devs should be the same way.
The problem with this seems to be that we are all pandering to the lowest common denominator.
Let's face it, most devs (like most people) are not good, and almost everyone is not living up to their potential because of a lack of understanding of themselves and how they can achieve more.
On top of that, most devs are just employees who will do what you tell them to.
Since those above developers are the norm (Reference Seinfeld "95% of people are undatable") we have to assume that there is a 5% who are exceptional.
The difference between the 5% and the 95% is NOT some built-in superiority but that the 5% has a good idea themselves and an understanding of how to get the most out of them. They set goals and then find the right path to achieve them. They don't coast.
By assuming these developers are the same as the others is REALLY hampering their potential and by doing this the company only hurts itself.
So, that's a lot of talking but what actionable things can be taken away from this?
Hank asks Homer "What is your dream?"
Well, employeers should take the time to identify which of these developers are in the 5%. A problem arises though when the 5% decide it is in their best interest to blend in.
Like when home says his dream is to "Work for you?" Hank shuts him down and wants to get to the truth. He makes Homer comfortable with not only vocalizing but achieving his dreams.
When an employer is looking for their types they should be looking for the following...
1. A real genuine desire to achieve
2. A real plan to get their goals done
3. Critical thinking and self-evaluation
But more importantly, when they identify these types they should be asking questions like...
- How can we help you be more productive?
- Is there anything about our current operating norm that is hindering you?
- How does your productivity workflow look?
3 difficulties arise though…
1. Most hiring managers are incompetent, and quite frankly, everyone thinks they are in the 5% and for those managers who delude themselves into this without putting in the work, they will have an impossible time actually identifying those who are actually good and productive employees.
2. Showing special treatment to these folks may upset the people below.
3. You will hear things you don’t like…
- That new fancy open-office that you got because it was the trendy thing to do, you might hear that this is a huge hinderance.
- These days people seem to treat devs like nomads, “just give him a laptop and a table and he is fine”!. You may hear that this is complete BS. Real achievers may want a dedicated desk with multiple monitors, a desk with drawers etc.
- This WILL cost you money. I know of developers who cannot work without a dedicated whiteboard. Buy them whatever they need.
- They may want BOTH a standing desk and a chair to sit on.
The point is that it seems to me to be a foolish strategy to tailor your entire company to force everyone into the same work habits. Really good employees have the self-awareness to develop their own productive practices and any keeping of them inside a box will NOT help.27
Man, I think we've all gotten way too many of these.
Normally most interactions that I have are through email. Eventually some would try to contact me via phone. These are some:
"Hey! We are calling you from <whatever company name> solutions! (most of them always seem to end on solutions or some shit like that) concerning the Ruby on Rails senior dev opportunity we were talking about via email"
<niceties, how are you doing, similar shit goes here...eventually>
So tell us! how good/comfortable would you say you are with C++?"
Me: I have never done anything serious with c++ and did just use it at school, but because I am not a professional in it I did not list it in my CV, what does it have to do with Rails?
Them: "Oh the applications of this position must be ready to take in additional duties which sometimes happen to be C or C++"
Me: Well that was not anywhere in the offer you sent, it specifically requested a full stack Rails developer that could work with 3 different frontend stacks already and like 4 different databases plus bla bla bla, I did not see c++ anywhere in it. Matter of fact I find it funny, one of the things that I was curious about was the salary, for what you are asking and specifically in the city in which you are asking it for 75k is way too low, you are seriously expecting a senior level rails dev to do all that AND take additional duties with c++? cpp could mean a billion different things"
Them: "well this is a big opportunity that will increase your level to senior position"
Me: the add ALREADY asks for a senior position, why are you making it sound that I will get build towards that level if you are already off the bat asking for seniors only to begin with?
Them: You are not getting it, it is an opportunity to grow into a senior, applicants right now are junior to mid-level
ME: You are all not making any sense, please don't contact me again.
Them: We are looking for someone with 15 years experience with Swift development for mobile and web
Me: What is up with your people not making these requirements in paper? if I knew from the beginning that you people think that Swift is 15 years old I would have never agreed to this "interview"
Them: If you are not interested in that then might we offer this one for someone with 10 years experience as a full stack TypeScript developer.
Me: No, again, check your dates, this is insulting.
* For another Rails position
Them: How good are you with Ruby on Rails in terms of Python?
Me: excuse me? Python has nothing to do with Ruby on Rails.
Her (recruiter was a woman) * with a tone of superiority: I have it here that Python is the primary technology that accompanies Rails development.
Me (thinking this was a joke) : What do you think the RUBY part of Ruby on Rails is for? and what does "accompanies Rails development" even means?
Me: This is a joke, goodbye.
To be fair this was years ago when I still didn't know better and test the recruiters during the email part of being contacted. Now a days I feel sorry for everyone since I just say no without even bothering. This is a meme all on itself which no one has ever bothered to review and correct in years for now. I don't know why recruiters don't google themselves to see what people think of their "profession" in order to become better.
I think people in web development get the short end of the stick when it comes to retarded recruiters more than anywhere else.6
Like age 8?
As a kid I really liked flash games and animations and wanted to get into it. I couldn't do flash, it looked too complicated but I found a little software by the name od KoolMoves that was just a simpler flash animation tool.
I did a bunch of shitty stick figure animations in it (hello to everyone from stick figure death theatre) but eventually I realized that I can make it do things (interactive menus, choose your story kinda things, move the player around, shoot...!)
I fell in love with AS1 and later AS2.0 and made bunch of demos and proof of concepts for systems and games. Most are lost to time and datarot by now)
Eventually I found out I can make the entire Windows machine do what I want using first Batch files and later Visual Basic script (made a skype bot!) At this point I was also really into graphics and logo/web design
Age 15 - 20 or so
Then it was pretty natural to move to actual Visual Basic, then C# and finally I to C++. And I had the C family in my heart forever. I managed to get a but into 3D graphics too and got a part-time in archviz
Even by this point I never believed I could be a programmer as a profession. I thought of it just as something I love, but have no chance getting into compared to some of the names out there. I half expected to be either doing graphics (cause I found it simple at the time) or some shitty random job in an office.
Finally I decided to go to uni and study software development, see if I can touch the future I always dreamed of! And... Well... I found out more than 80% of the people there never touch a language up until now and most people are just as retarded as I thought..
For a while I also worked as a game designer (still not being comfortable calling myself a programmer, so I chose a non programming position) but I ended up going into the code and improving and fixing game designer tools (it was unity and C#)
After seeing actual programmers at work in a company, and talking to a bunch of them I realized I already have everything I need to do this seriously and with that experience out of the way I breezed through uni, learned to love Linux and landed a proper job :)
I kinda hope my experience with long lasting self doubt will be useful for someone