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Search - "non-interactive"
This codebase reminds me of a large, rotting, barely-alive dromedary. Parts of it function quite well, but large swaths of it are necrotic, foul-smelling, and even rotted away. Were it healthy, it would still exude a terrible stench, and its temperament would easily match: If you managed to get near enough, it would spit and try to bite you.
Swaths of code are commented out -- entire classes simply don't exist anymore, and the ghosts of several-year-old methods still linger. Despite this, large and deprecated (yet uncommented) sections of the application depend on those undefined classes/methods. Navigating the codebase is akin to walking through a minefield: if you reference the wrong method on the wrong object... fatal exception. And being very new to this project, I have no idea what's live and what isn't.
The naming scheme doesn't help, either: it's impossible to know what's still functional without asking because nothing's marked. Instead, I've been working backwards from multiple points to try to find code paths between objects/events. I'm rarely successful.
Not only can I not tell what's live code and what's interactive death, the code itself is messy and awful. Don't get me wrong: it's solid. There's virtually no way to break it. But trying to understand it ... I feel like I'm looking at a huge, sprawling MC Escher landscape through a microscope. (No exaggeration: a magnifying glass would show a larger view that included paradoxes / dubious structures, and these are not readily apparent to me.)
It's also rife with bad practices. Terrible naming choices consisting of arbitrarily-placed acronyms, bad word choices, and simply inconsistent naming (hash vs hsh vs hs vs h). The indentation is a mix of spaces and tabs. There's magic numbers galore, and variable re-use -- not just local scope, but public methods on objects as well. I've also seen countless assignments within conditionals, and these are apparently intentional! The reasoning: to ensure the code only runs with non-falsey values. While that would indeed work, an early return/next is much clearer, and reduces indentation. It's just. reading through this makes me cringe or literally throw my hands up in frustration and exasperation.
Honestly though, I know why the code is so terrible, and I understand:
The architect/sole dev was new to coding -- I have 5-7 times his current experience -- and the project scope expanded significantly and extremely quickly, and also broke all of its foundation rules. Non-developers also dictated architecture, creating further mess. It's the stuff of nightmares. Looking at what he was able to accomplish, though, I'm impressed. Horrified at the details, but impressed with the whole.
This project is the epitome of "I wrote it quickly and just made it work."
Fortunately, he and I both agree that a rewrite is in order. but at 76k lines (without styling or configuration), it's quite the undertaking.
Amusing: after running the codebase through `wc`, it apparently sums to half the word count of "War and Peace"15
When a Coursera course is way better than the one offered by your university…
A university student's rant...
I study Electrical and Computer Engineering and during the first semester of the second year I selected an optional course: Web Programming. It was believed among students that the course would be really easy, and it was. All the student had to do was build a very simple website using HTML, CSS and a few line of JS. A website containing three or four pages all of which had to be validated using a markup validation service.
Yeah, sure, I passed the course just like everyone else who bothered enough to spend an hour or two working on the project. Oh, I almost forgot! We had an one-hour workshop on Dreamweaver!
So, by that point, everybody was a front-end developer, right?!
That happened over three years ago, and because of that course web-development didn’t impress me…
Thankfully, the last few months I’ve became interested in Web Development, and I’ve been reading some articles, spending time on smashing magazine, making some progress on FreeCodeCamp and taking relevant courses on Coursera!
Oh boy, the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know…
<sarcasm>Did you know there was a term called “responsive design” and that there are frameworks like bootstrap?</sarcasm>
Well, I d i d n ’ t k n o w ! ! ! (even though I had taken the university’s course).
I understand that bootstrap was introduced in 2011 and I took the university course in late 2012, but by that time, bootstrap was quite popular and also there were other frameworks available before bootstrap that could have been included in the course! (even today, there is no reference in responsive design in the university’s course).
In just five weeks the coursera course managed to teach me more, in a more organized and meaningful way than my university’s course in a whole semester!
When I started the coursera course I shared it with a friend of mine. His response: “yeah, sure, but web development is pretty easy… I didn’t spend much time to complete that project three years ago!”
That course three years ago gave birth to misconceptions in students' minds that web development is easy! Yeah, sure, it can be easy to built a simple, non responsive, non interactive website! But that's not how the world works nowadays , right?!
A few months ago, in the early days of August, I attended Flock, the Fedora community conference. During a break I spent some time speaking with a Red Hat employee about student internships. He told me, and I paraphrase: “We know that students don’t have a solid background and that they haven’t learned in the university what we need them to!”
Currently I’m planning to apply for a front-end developer internship position here in Greece.
Yesterday I wrote my CV, added university courses relevant to that position and listed coursera courses under independent coursework… While writing those I made these thoughts…
What if that course 3 years ago was as good as the coursera course… all the things I’d know by now…6
== Internship Interview Rant ==
This is the weirdest interview I've been to to be honest because it wasn't really ABOUT ME. It's like the boss is not really interesting in knowing what I can do, what I am capable of doing. He asked me about my educational background for 5 minutes and started explaining about the startup for 45 minutes. He explained how he came up with the idea like it was a children's bedtime story. He explain what the job is, BUT he didn't mention what programming languages they use. All he said was it required knowledge about different programming languages. I tried asking but he seemed to dodge the question for some reason by saying everyone needs to know a little bit of everything. (Srsly i don't even know what to start learning for this) After listening to him talk and talk and talk and talk, he finally said "hey, think about it and send me an email if you are willing to take it up!"
He works with STUDENTS. The team is composed of him and 5 students. o.O They all seem so..... quiet in the office. Is that normal ???? Or like shouldn't everyone be kinda "interactive" sometimes?
So there is a girl working there too for 3 weeks now but SHE IS IN ROMANIA like wtf, gr8 then i guess ill be the only girl there but hey perks of being a girl, u get to be spoiled sometimes XD it happens a lot !
Internship ad ----> Main language: English
Me: *rages internally during the interview and thinks: BRUHH WHY ARENT U SPEAKING IN ENGLISH i prepared what I was gonna say in english for an hour*
I wonder if the code is in english or maybe its not :(( But I wish it were because it would be soooo much easier in english.
And there you go, I guess I have one week to find a better internship or decide to deal with this talkative boss. This isn't exactly a story of my last job cause my last job is totally non-dev related. This is a story of (maybe) my future job unless I actually find a better internship.2
This is real btw, and I am the one that said the bug hurts. I guess some things really are just for looks. True definition of "It's not a bug, it's a feature".8
Client: hey, we need to build an interactive campaign page. Something that can be fun on mobile too..
Developer: o...kay... such as?
Client: how about a 360 environment and mobile can make use of the gyroscope?
Developer: should be fine but may I know what is the browser support we need to cater to?
Client: IE 9
Developer: .... ok we may need a fallback for non-supported. May I know how about the timeline?
Client: 1 month.
Trying to write a program a la `man` in ncurses and just, is this hell?
I just want a floating header, a scrollable main body that reads from a file, and a command line footer, why is that so difficult? I finally got it to handle resizing terminals but now I need to try to compile it for windows, which does have unofficial ports of ncurses, but I have no idea how to use them.
Should I just restrict the windows version to a non-interactive command instead of a TUI like I want?2