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I'm drunk and I'll probably regret this, but here's a drunken rank of things I've learned as an engineer for the past 10 years.
The best way I've advanced my career is by changing companies.
Technology stacks don't really matter because there are like 15 basic patterns of software engineering in my field that apply. I work in data so it's not going to be the same as webdev or embedded. But all fields have about 10-20 core principles and the tech stack is just trying to make those things easier, so don't fret overit.
There's a reason why people recommend job hunting. If I'm unsatisfied at a job, it's probably time to move on.
I've made some good, lifelong friends at companies I've worked with. I don't need to make that a requirement of every place I work. I've been perfectly happy working at places where I didn't form friendships with my coworkers and I've been unhappy at places where I made some great friends.
I've learned to be honest with my manager. Not too honest, but honest enough where I can be authentic at work. What's the worse that can happen? He fire me? I'll just pick up a new job in 2 weeks.
If I'm awaken at 2am from being on-call for more than once per quarter, then something is seriously wrong and I will either fix it or quit.
pour another glass
Qualities of a good manager share a lot of qualities of a good engineer.
When I first started, I was enamored with technology and programming and computer science. I'm over it.
Good code is code that can be understood by a junior engineer. Great code can be understood by a first year CS freshman. The best code is no code at all.
The most underrated skill to learn as an engineer is how to document. Fuck, someone please teach me how to write good documentation. Seriously, if there's any recommendations, I'd seriously pay for a course (like probably a lot of money, maybe 1k for a course if it guaranteed that I could write good docs.)
Related to above, writing good proposals for changes is a great skill.
Almost every holy war out there (vim vs emacs, mac vs linux, whatever) doesn't matter... except one. See below.
The older I get, the more I appreciate dynamic languages. Fuck, I said it. Fight me.
If I ever find myself thinking I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to leave.
I don't know why full stack webdevs are paid so poorly. No really, they should be paid like half a mil a year just base salary. Fuck they have to understand both front end AND back end AND how different browsers work AND networking AND databases AND caching AND differences between web and mobile AND omg what the fuck there's another framework out there that companies want to use? Seriously, why are webdevs paid so little.
We should hire more interns, they're awesome. Those energetic little fucks with their ideas. Even better when they can question or criticize something. I love interns.
Don't meet your heroes. I paid 5k to take a course by one of my heroes. He's a brilliant man, but at the end of it I realized that he's making it up as he goes along like the rest of us.
Tech stack matters. OK I just said tech stack doesn't matter, but hear me out. If you hear Python dev vs C++ dev, you think very different things, right? That's because certain tools are really good at certain jobs. If you're not sure what you want to do, just do Java. It's a shitty programming language that's good at almost everything.
The greatest programming language ever is lisp. I should learn lisp.
For beginners, the most lucrative programming language to learn is SQL. Fuck all other languages. If you know SQL and nothing else, you can make bank. Payroll specialtist? Maybe 50k. Payroll specialist who knows SQL? 90k. Average joe with organizational skills at big corp? $40k. Average joe with organization skills AND sql? Call yourself a PM and earn $150k.
Tests are important but TDD is a damn cult.
Cushy government jobs are not what they are cracked up to be, at least for early to mid-career engineers. Sure, $120k + bennies + pension sound great, but you'll be selling your soul to work on esoteric proprietary technology. Much respect to government workers but seriously there's a reason why the median age for engineers at those places is 50+. Advice does not apply to government contractors.
Third party recruiters are leeches. However, if you find a good one, seriously develop a good relationship with them. They can help bootstrap your career. How do you know if you have a good one? If they've been a third party recruiter for more than 3 years, they're probably bad. The good ones typically become recruiters are large companies.
Options are worthless or can make you a millionaire. They're probably worthless unless the headcount of engineering is more than 100. Then maybe they are worth something within this decade.
Work from home is the tits. But lack of whiteboarding sucks.39
Manager: Hey fullstackchris, the maps widget on our app stopped working recently...
Dev: (Skeptical, little did he know) Sigh... probably didn't raise quota or something stupid... Logs on to google cloud console to check it out...
Google Dashboard: Your bill.... $5,197 (!!!!!!) Payment method declined (you think?!)
Dev: 😱 WTF!?!?!! (Calls managers) Uh, we have HUGE problem, charges for $5000+ in our google account, did you guys remove the quota limits or not see any limit reached warnings!?
Managers: Uh, we didn't even know that an API could cost money, besides, we never check that email account!
Dev: 🤦♂️ yeah obviously you get charged, especially when there have literally been millions of requests. Anyway, the bigger question is where or how our key got leaked. Somewhat started hammering one of the google APIs with one of our keys (Proceeds to hunt for usages of said API key in the codebase)
Dev: (sweating 😰) did I expose an API key somewhere? Man, I hope it's not my fault...
Terminal: grep results in, CMS codebase!
Dev: ah, what do we have here, app.config, seems fine.... wait, why did they expose it to a PUBLIC endpoint?!
Long story short:
The previous consulting goons put our Angular CMS JSON config on a publicly accessible endpoint.
WITH A GOOGLE MAPS API KEY.
JUST CHILLING IN PLAINTEXT.
Though I'm relieved it wasn't my fault, my faith in humanity is still somewhat diminished. 🤷♂️
Oh, and it's only Monday. 😎
I (senior dev) just went out with colleagues from work. We started drinking what eventually led to some dancing and partying. After a lot of drinks one of the junior/intermediate devs told me that he was surprised i am not a conservative bourgeois like he supposed i am based on his work-experience with me and that he can have actually have fun with me.
MAN I AM FUCKING SORRY THAT I AM PROFESSIONELL AND THAT I DISTINGUISH BETWEEN MY PRIVATE AND MY PROFESSIONAL LIVE!3
Web3 truly is a fucked up space. All of the fuckertry happening over here is out of control. Literally a dystopian shithole of scams frauds crimes theft and ponzi schemes.... As much as i try to defend web3 since im a web3 dev it's getting real fuckin hard. The more i work in this space the more i understand economics and how all of this shitshow flows.
Without diving into details, I'll tell you right now from a very deep economic perspective: i realized that all of these cryptos are just.. shams, quasi buzz words to keep the "investors" giving them money. Essentially like wolf of wallstreet scams mixed with bernard madoff multi billion dollar ponzi schemes. The "investors" earn a lot of money.... But on paper! As unrealized gains. And by the time they are able to withdraw their money, that money becomes worthless because of insufficient liquidity in the pool that has been drained from top to bottom of the pyramid. So the only person truly getting filty rich is the one on top of this pyramid - the founders!
After the FTX disaster that happened 2 days ago the prices of ALL coins dropped drastically and it isnt stopping. So much for your glorified "decentralization" 😹😹😹😹😹
How can something be decentralized if its enough for 1 influential man to tweet some shit and the company/token price value drops or increases within minutes? In this case the whole of crypto got sliced by 1 influential man... Again. It's only a matter of time until someone else goes bankrupt and cycle repeats... Again.15
I need to rant about something that has been on my mind lately.
Someone, actually. Friend/romantic interest of mine, from a few years back.
NGL, I liked him. A lot more than I should have. The man had his own issues, but I refused to tolerate his poisonous behavior. Truth be told, didn't want to hate him, even though he was trying his best to get me there. And so, one day I ended up blocking him after a fight. A few months back, I tried to reconnect. Same behavior. But this time around he did say that he was done with me. So instead of sitting through the torture of his "reasons why you suck" presentation, I blocked him again.
Now, I hope he's doing well. Never wanted anything but happiness for him. And as much as I miss him, I think it's better for him to stay away from me too. I mean, if I trigger him that badly, maybe I shouldn't be around him anyways.
Nowadays, I'm staying away from someone else again. Similar scenario. Reason being that I was actually being mistreated, and again I refuse to be tortured to the point of hating the object of my affection.
I wonder if I get attracted to the torture. I'm okay with dying alone tbh, what I'm not okay with is falling for those who don't want my love and much rather kill it.
... Actually, at this point in life I don't even want to fall for anyone anymore. (That is not the same thing as dating someone I like tho. That, I would do) The darker side of me says those who I fall for are all the same type of disappointment, but the brighter side says that I am enough, complete as is, and not everyone needs someone else. idk maybe I'm being a tad narcissistic, or hyper-independant, or flakey and afraid of attachment. But that first friend occasionally pops up in my thoughts, and reminds me that not everyone appreciates when you don't let someone make you hate them.
Oh well. *sigh*8
Stories from Gary #000
Short background info:
So I'm working as a game dev for 3 years now and by now I can say that I've seen some shit. Mostly because of one of our game designers, let's call him Gary.
So Gary, from here on called GDG (Game Designer Gary), is a regular game designer (GD). His job is to come up with new game ideas, commission the assets, make sure that translations are done, etc. - simply put, he has to get a lot of shit together before we can start working on a new game.
Would be no problem at all if GDG wasn't lazy as shit and would work for once in his life. No dev really wants to work with him anymore, since he's known for calling a game or any issue "ready for development" even if half the assets or specs are still missing.
Let's move on to a particular situation that happened a couple of months ago.
I had an issue assigned to me, which was about implementing the translations for a new game. As I read the issue and checked if everything I needed was given, I noticed that the most important part was in fact missing - the keywords for the translations.
So, I called GDG and asked where I could find the keywords, to which he responded "Oh, I'm working on them right now... and by the way I got a weird bug with the translation program. Can you come check it out?". Sigh. I went over to his office, rambling about how I should be able to help him with a program I rarely use and which was written ages ago.
As soon as GDG saw me coming roundbthe corner, he started explaining how the keywords aren't ready yet, since the program to create translations and their keywords won't let him name a translation.
"I can create new translations, but I can't assign a keyword to them."
"Okay, show me what you did", I told him, eager to leave.
He started to type the keyword, which turned out to be huge ass long and immediately I noticed a little counter, like "x/50", directly beneath the text field started to count up with every new character GDG typed. See where I'm going with this? HE WASNT ABLE TO RENAME A TRANSLATION BECAUSE HE WAS TOO LAZY TO FUCKING READ AND CONCENTRATE FOR ONCE. Sorry for that, but even thinking about it gets me angry again.
To some this might sound like nothing, but it really got to me at this point. Maybe it will become more understandable as I post more GDG stories.
tl;dr: A 40 something year old man, who's been working in his job for over 10 years wasn't able to use a program which he daily uses and asks me for help, only to find out he's a complete dipshit.4
Someone asked "What's a sad reality for devs?"
Let me add one to that cuz I'm too lazy to find the actual thread.
A sad reality of devs is to be dependent on the management's mercy for them to be in the team/company. Your years of work can be thrown out the window just like that when management feels like it and there is almost nothing devs can do about it.
This sprung to mind cuz I experienced that today. My client cut my dev team in half to "make up for the recent losses the company faced". Obviously my team wasn't responsible for it.
This shit sucks man.1
Once again, due to poor management, I find myself exporting svgs from Figma, saving them as pngs, and importing them into our application... (remember I'm a developer, NOT a designer)
Don't we have a design team who can export the needed assets for a feature?
"Noooooo fullstackclown can do all of that himself! He's an expert!!!"
The fucks are lucky I dabble in digital art as a hobby and even know how to do this stuff...
Def not dev oriented.
I am a huge fan of trading card games. It started with Yu Gi Oh, moved on to Magic, even tried, LoTR when it was a thing, tried algo Star Wars the original CCG (loved it), Duel Masters (when it was still in the U.S) Pokemon (of fucking course) and other more uncommon ones like Cardfight Vanguard, tried latino only games (Mitos y leyendas, Myths & Legends, this one is king on my list) and Flesh & Blood. But as a mexican kid, I was always a fan of fucking dragon ball, like most mexican kids.
SO I bought some cards from the newest game expansion. the owner of the TCG/anime store told me that if I was willing to play that I should hang out on tuesdays.
So, learning the rules of the game, and wanting to play with other people, I went there on a tuesday.
The MTG people were there fighting amongst themselves for some reason. the Pokemon people were there also, just opening packs without playing. A rather large table was there with a bunch of people playing a game that I did not recognize. And then there was me. I was chilling on my phone thinking that the DB dudes would show up eventually. nothing, so I just sat there waiting.
Suddenly a dude comes to the large table and starts pairing people for a "tournament" and once they are all sited he notices that 1 is missing, he walks up to me holding a store app and asks me "sorry bro, are you here to play with us by any chance?" to which I say "I do not think so, I came here for DB but I don't know what you guys are playing"
The dude looks down on his app, somehow actually sad and says "man I do play DB, but I don't think I have my cards with me, maybe, let me see" and he goes on to see if he brought something.
This was green flag n 1. the dude wanted to just play something with someone. And was doing something to not LEAVE someone behind. then quick as hell another says "well, why don't we give him a deck and he can play with us! we can teach him!" and I say "well what are you lads playing?" and he says "digimon man you like the anime? a new release came about! it's sick man it would be awesome if you play!"
Second green flag, another member of that community was happy for the idea of increasing the membership and actively did something to increase the population.
So, I hanged out with them. Close knit group, all friends from a long time, but willing to take an unfamiliar (and rather handsome) face with them.
My face when (MFW) the DB dudes where not there, so the digimon group adopted me.
I know have over.....2000 cards, most of them were gifted to me by them after they saw my chops and tough me how to play, by graciously lending me their decks.
This my lads, is what humanity is about. We got close fast, it has been 2 weeks of just chilling with them at the game lounge, just nice people, all of them really. Not a single angry moment or anything, you pull a crazy combo on them and they legit sheeeeeeeesh and applaud them, they don't care about loosing, they just want to have a good time, and this, this is a good crowd to be at.
Strive to make people feel welcomed. Being nice to others, taking a chance on people you deem to be ok, is fine really. It is rather cool. Anyone can be a salty asshole, but it takes a real king to be nice to others just for the sake of having a good time.
These dudes, they are gold. And I finally have something to take my mind away from work and other things that increase my anxiety and stress. I would much rather be there shooting the shit with the lads and playing games than at home, drinking the night away to relieve stress.
For all of youse that ever wanted to try out Common Lisp and do not know where to start (but are interested in getting some knowledge of Common Lisp) I recommend two things:
As an introductory tutorial:
And as your dev environment:
Notice that the dev environment in question is Emacs, regardless of how you might feel about it as a text editor, i can recommend just going through the portacle help that gives you some basic starting points regarding editing. Learn about splitting buffers, evaluating the code you are typing in order for it to appear in the Common Lisp REPL (this one comes with an environment known as SLIME which is very popular in the Lisp world) as well as saving and editing your files.
Portacle is self contained inside of one single directory, so if you by any chance already have an Emacs environment then do not worry, Portacle will not touch any of that. I will admit that as far as I am concerned, Emacs will probably be the biggest hurdle for most people not used to it.
Can I use VS Code? Yes, yes you can, but I am not familiar with setting up a VSCode dev environment for Emacs, or any other environment hat comes close to the live environment that emacs provides for this?
Why the fuck should I try Common Lisp or any Lisp for that matter? You do not have to, I happen to like it a lot and have built applications at work with a different dialect of Lisp known as Clojure which runs in the JVM, do I recommend it? Yeah I do, I love functional programming, Clojure is pretty pure on that (not haskell level imo though, but I am not using Haskell for anything other than academic purposes) and with clojure you get the entire repertoire of Java libraries at your disposal. Moving to Clojure was cake coming from Common Lisp.
Why Common Lisp then if you used Clojure in prod? Mostly historical reasons, I want to just let people know that ANSI Common Lisp has a lot of good things going for it, I selected Clojure since I already knew what I needed from the JVM, and parallelism and concurrency are baked into Clojure, which was a priority. While I could have done the same thing in Common Lisp, I wanted to turn in a deliverable as quickly as possible rather than building the entire thing by myself which would have taken longer (had one week)
Am I getting something out of learning Common Lisp? Depends on you, I am not bringing about the whole "it opens your mind" deal with Lisp dialects as most other people do inside of the community, although I did experience new perspectives as to what programming and a programming language could do, and had fun doing it, maybe you will as well.
Does Lisp stands for Lots of Irritating Superfluous Parentheses or Los in stupid parentheses? Yes, also for Lost of Insidious Silly Parentheses and Lisp is Perfect, use paredit (comes with Portacle) also, Lisp stands for Lisp Is Perfect. None of that List Processing bs, any other definition will do.
Are there any other books? Yes, the famous online text Practical Common Lisp can be easily read online for free, I would recommend the Lisperati tutorial first to get a feel for it since PCL demands more tedious study. There is also Common Lisp a gentle introduction. If you want to go the Clojure route try Clojure for the brave and true.
What about Scheme and the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs? Too academic for my taste, and if in Common Lisp you have to do a lot of things on your own, Scheme is a whole other beast. Simple and beautiful really, but I go for practical in terms of Lisp, thus I prefer Common Lisp.
how did you start with Lisp?
I need some inspiration man......show me something? Sure, look for a game called Kandria in youtube, the creator, Shimera (Nicolas Hafner) is an absolute genius in the world of Lisp and a true inspiration. He coded the game in Common Lisp, he is also the person behind portacle. If that were not enough, he might very well also be Shirakumo, another prominent member of the Common Lisp Community.
Ok, you got me, what is the first thing in common lisp that I should try after I install the portacle environment? go to the repl and evaluate this:
(+ 0.1 0.2)
Watch in awe at what you get.
In the truest and original sense of the phrase (MIT based) "happy hacking!"10
I had this boss once who called himself a sitting bull sometimes. He was about 60, an absolute dictator, strong right wing and building an aura of fear around him. He had this emberassing macho attitude which was especially delicate since he was a protective of the female ceo. He talked to everyone, colleagues, customers, partners like they where enemys and was extemely aggressive towards everyone. Meetings where extremly emberassing because he insulted everyone (except us devs), talked much bs an didn't let anyone else speak - including customers.
He was also paranoid af. Once he talked the ceo into firing a team lead he disliked. Before the guy got to know this, he called me, and wanted me to sneak in his office, copy everything from his computer in case he would destroy everything when I realized he's fired. As if everything relevant wasn't on GitHub anyway and is if the poor guy would be uprofessional as sitting bull.
The sitting bull lead the department like a ponzi scheme: He required constantly new projects with funding for some years to maintain the old ones and their piles of tech debt. Dev team grew and grew but every insider knew the bubble will explode at one point. One of the last projects was a partner project with another institution. Naturally he didn't want us to do anything for this project but use our man power to rescue older ones. One pm guy was employed fifty percent as ours and fifty at the partner. So while months passt by and we delivered absolute nothing but lame excuses, his other employer started to ask questions. At one point I told him, and told his other employer afterwards, that the sitting bull never intended to anything for the project. When the sitting bull learned the pm. Guy told them the truth he called him a traitor and fired him instantly.
I left shortly after and the bubble imploded eventually. The sitting bull retired after an heart attack. From over twenty dev positions a single one remains and his main job to shit down one broken service after another...3