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Search - "part iii of iii"
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part I)
I've had several great mentors during my career. This is the story of the three most important.
1.- Professor E.
When I was on my first year (University - Computer Science), all my professors were 'normal' except for this one.
E. was the Programming I - Laboratory professor. And the most important thing he teached us was to think. To be independent, and to look for answers beyond simple solutions.
He was always pushing us beyond what was requested and to try new things, to try to improve our own solutions and to look at them as always improvable.
In a regular class, this would happen:
Student: Hey E. How can I do this X requirement?
E.: Use function xyz with A and B parameters.
S: Ok thanks...
...10 minutes later...
S: Hey E. that function doesn't work very good for my case.
E.: You have a book, you have internet connection. Don't waste 10 minutes trying to abide what I told you. Investigate, find a way or even a better way; use your resources.
Other example, in the first year all projects were requested to be delivered with text based interface (console projects).
What about E.?
"Well, you CAN deliver your project with a text based interface BUT you definitely SHOULD try to make a GUI, something simple but effective. Just so you learn more in the process"
Good E. He gave me strong foundations for this industry.2
Welcome to Part III of WHY WOULD I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU?, a saga of competence, empathy and me being dick, even tho I didn't want to be one.
This is a follow-up to: https://devrant.com/rants/2363551. It's title is: "Mt 13:12".
We left off the story in the very moment I had received feedback from 3 companies that decided to interview me. A, B and C. We won't talk about A from now on, since I refused their offer to offer me unpaid internship.
It's December 20, 18:00. I am returning home. Earlier that day I emailed guys at C that I need some time with my decision, because I have another offer that suits me better. It was awaiting response from B, obviously. That day they called me and offered me... full-time job. As a fullstack. On a project for a big company, that they described by something like: "They may not be one of the famous X of the market, but they're probably X+1, yeah". Needless to say, that was some bad marketing. I googled them up later tho. Anyway, my response didn't change, altho thing seemed a little big better for me. Except that I was a little suspicious of them too. Were they *that* desperate for a worker?
It is December 24th. 10 am. My phone rings. It's guy from B. He tells me "saito, the recruiter guy is still sick. Since I don't know if we can hire you for sure, it may be better for you to accept another offer, if you got any. I'll keep you updated." That was pretty cool of him. Remember the quote from part II? That's the empathy part. He called me, even tho he didn't really have to. If you read this, monsieur, you're the best. Back to the story now. I emailed guys at C that I am willing to start the job anytime. They told me that CEO is back January 7th, 2020.
It is January 4th 2020, 10 am. Unkonwn number calls. It's actually a guy from B, but the other one. The one that was sick previously. He tells me that he wants to talk about my employment. He talked with the senior dev and he just wants a talk and a small code test in typescript. He told me that it's no prob that I don't know typescript, since it will be entry level and I have time to learn the basics. And so I do. We decide to meet at January 7th. Later on that day guys from C email me that they want to sign the contract n January 7th.
And here we get to the culmination and the lesson of those posts. What should I do? On one side I have a job that isn't 100% comfirmed, but I'm pretty positive about it. The people at B are great, I love them. During my interview I learned some stuff about the project I would participate in, so I didn't go in blindly. It was my field of interest. I was hyped for the possibility itself to work with that senior dev. On the other hand guys at C had their contract ready. They finally were ready to start. I still didn't know for shit what would I do. I knew that I would need to learn basics of data science and stuff. Their interview and CEO left me with a quite bad impression. I didn't really like them. But it was a job.
What I did I consider the best thing I could do for myself. I told guys from C to meet someday later. I visited B yesterday, January 7th. I've done the test. It had some code refactoring and implementing some React elements. Basic shit indeed. I am almost positive I would do it even if I didn't visit typescript docs during the weekend. We then talked about it. The dev told me what he would change in the solution, but didn't consider it bad. Then they told me I'm hired. And I emailed C that I can't accept their offer. The guy was pretty pissed. I can understand it, they seemed to be ready to start with me and I pulled out last day, in the evening. I am truly sorry for that. But also I feel no regrets. I have chosen those whom I trusted more. I've chosen guys who took notes of my CV and talked about it in my interview over people who didn't even get that I applied for a frontend positin. That's competence for you. I've chosen guys who actually wanted to talk wih me about me making music over people who sat me down at a computer and told me: "code". That's empathy for you.
Dear recruiters. If you want to attract best candidates, show your competence and empathy.
Dear recruitees. If you're looking for a good job, it may take some time. Also, knowing people helps a lot.
1 – Actually, I wouldn't be surprised, if they really needed someone to help them out on their projects and they didn't get a lot of attention. Why? Well, their webpage was unfinished and kinda sucked, their interview sucked also. I still don't know whether they're a startup or what. I just can't help but feel bad seeing HR and Marketing that bad. Because the guys actually might do a lot of good stuff, and their potential employees didn't get to know that.6
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part III)
The next mentor is my former boss in the previous company I worked.
3.- Manager DJ.
Soon after I joined the company, Manager E.A. left and it was crushing. The next in line joined as a temporal replacement; he was no good.
Like a year later, they hired Manager DJ, a bit older than EA, huge experience with international companies and a a very smart person.
His most valuable characteristic? His ability to listen. He would let you speak and explain everything and he would be there, listening and learning from you.
That humility was impressive for me, because this guy had a lot of experience, yes, but he understood that he was the new guy and he needed to learn what was the current scenario before he could twist anything. Impressive.
We bonded because I was technical lead of one of the dev teams, and he trusted me which I value a lot. He'd ask me my opinion from time to time regarding important decisions. Even if he wouldn't take my advice, he valued the opinion of the developers and that made me trust him a lot.
From him I learned that, no matter how much experience you have in one field, you can always learn from others and if you're new, the best you can do is sit silently and listen, waiting for your moment to step up when necessary, and that could take weeks or months.
The other thing I learned from him was courage.
See, we were a company A formed of the join of three other companies (a, b, c) and we were part of a major group of companies (P)
(a, b and c) used the enterprise system we developed, but internally the system was a bit chaotic, lots of bad practices and very unstable. But it was like that because those were the rules set by company P.
DJ talked to me
- DJ: Hey, what do you think we should do to fix all the problems we have?
- Me: Well, if it were up to me, we'd apply a complete refactoring of the system. Re-engineering the core and reconstruct all modules using a modular structure. It's A LOT of work, A LOT, but it'd be the way.
- DJ: ...
- DJ: What about the guidelines of P?
- Me: Those guidelines are obsolete, and we'd probably go against them. I know it's crazy but you asked me.
Some time later, we talked about it again, and again, and again until one day.
- DJ: Let's do it. Take these 4 developers with you, I rented other office away from here so nobody will bother you with anything else, this will be a semi-secret project. Present me a methodology plan, and a rough estimation. Let's work with weekly advances, and if in three months we have something good, we continue that road, tear everything apart and implement the solution you guys develop.
- Me: Really? That's impressive! What about P?
- DJ: I'll handle them.
The guy would battle to defend us and our work. And we were extremely motivated. We did revolutionize the development processes we had. We reconstructed the entire system and the results were excellent.
I left the company when we were in the last quarter of the development but I'm proud because they're still using our solution and even P took our approach.
Having the courage of going against everyone in order to do the right thing and to do things right was an impressive demonstration of self confidence, intelligence and balls.
DJ and I talk every now and then. I appreciate him a lot.
Thank you DJ for your lessons and your trust.
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part II)
The next mentor was my first boss at my previous job:
2.- Manager EA
So, I got new in the job, I had a previous experience in other company, but it was no good. I learned a lot about code, but almost nothing about the industry (project management, how to handle requirements, etc.) So in this new job all I knew was the code and the structure of the enterprise system they were using (which is why the hired me).
EA was BRILLIANT. This guy was the Manager at the IT department (Software Development, Technology and IT Support) and he was all over everything, not missing a beat on what was going on and the best part? He was not annoying, he knew how to handle teams, times, estimations, resources.
Did the team mess something up? He was the first in line taking the bullets.
Was the team being sieged by users? He was there attending them to avoid us being disturbed.
Did the team accomplished something good? He was behind, taking no credit and letting us be the stars.
If leadership was a sport this guy was Michael Jordan + Ronaldo Nazario, all in one.
He knew all the technical details of our systems, and our platforms (Server Architectures both software and hardware, network topology, languages being used, etc, etc). So I was SHOCKED when I learned he had no formation in IT or Computer Science. He was an economist, and walked his way up in the company, department from department until he got the job as IT Manager.
From that I learned that if you wanna do things right, all you need is the will of improving yourself and enough effort.
One of the first lessons he taught me: "Do your work in a way that you can go on holidays without anyone having to call you on the phone."
And for me those are words to live by. Up to that point I thought that if people needed to call me or needed me, I was important, and that lessons made me see I was completely wrong.
He also thought me this, which became my mantra ever since:
LEARN, TEACH AND DELEGATE.
Thank you master EA for your knowledge.
PART I: https://devrant.com/rants/1483428/...1
I guess I can also amend in my long, ongoing, storied history of bad calls, failed projections and stellar forecasting that:
- I invested an embarrassing amount of time, money and hope learning Adobe AIR
- I've sent-away for the https://inventhelp.com patent registration kit at least twice
- I've publicly declared that OAuth would never last
- I actually thought Microsoft was onto something with J++
- I bought a bunch of shares of World Wrestling Federation stock the day it went public
- I've stated on my movie podcast that I'll defend until my last breath my argument that Godfather III may be the best film in the series
Can I pick 'em, or what? ;)
Part 1 of my bad calls: https://devrant.com/rants/2786266/...11
Welcome to post 2 of WHY WOULD I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU?, a saga of competence, empathy and me being dick, even tho I didn't want to be one.
This is a follow-up to: https://devrant.com/rants/2363374 It's title is: "Oh, you can post only every 2h. Didn't know that". I also didn't know that the rest of my rant would be put into a comment. For consistency tho, this time I am still splitting the story.
A wise person once wrote in their book: "People judge other people by two things: Empathy and competence." This may not be an accurate quote, but it carries the same message. Also, I don't really remember who was the author. I only know they were probably quite wise. Anyway, I just wanted to share that sentence. Have a moment and think about it. Or don't. Here's my story:
A was a software house that looked pretty promising. They were elegant, their page and offer looked nice. Well, unless you consider the fact that they offered me internship. Unpaid. But I decided to meet with them anyway, since I had hope that I could negotiate some sort of paid internship or a job contract even. I did my homework after all, and I was confident I am able to keep up with their requirements. I arrived a little bit... no, way to early. One damn hour. Whatever, I waited. I was greeted by a woman. We had a cultural conversation, she had a list of 12 questions I needed to answer, as a form of a test. We begun. First question: How do you change a value in Oracle Database? "Wait a minute", I thought, "What kind of question is that?". Why in seven hells would you want your frontend developer to know how to handle oracle db? Well, I gave my answer, I did lick some of that SQL in my life. Next question: Java stuff. The bloody gal didn't even care to check what position I am applying to before the interview! At this point I didn't really have very high hopes. A shame on them forever.
The story of B and C is connected and a little bit more complicated. More on that in part 2. B stands for Bank. A big corporation then, by definition. A person I know decided called me that day and told me they're hiring, that he referred me and that they would like to arrange a meeting. And so we did. It was couple of days before Christmas. C was a software house again. Or a startup. Idk really. Their website wasn't finished so I couldn't read anything useful up on them. They didn't tell me much about themselves either. They also started with "unpaid internship".
In C, they would greet me and instantly sit me down next to a mac laptop and told me, "hey, do this stuff in python". What the fuck, not again... I told them that I am frontend dev, they guy said "it's no problem, you said you know python, it's a simple task". And yeah, I did host some apps in Flask and I did use psycopg2. It was in my CV. But never, ever, have I mentioned knowing heuristics nor statistics. I'm no data scientist, monsieur. Whatever, I tried, I failed a little bit, I told them that maybe if I did want to spend half of my day there I would finish this task, but back then I was way too nervous to focus and code. I told them what should be done in code and that I just was unable to code this at the very moment. They nodded, we said goodbye and I was sure not to hear from them ever again.
In B, I was greeted by a senior frontend dev. He told me the recruiter is sick and he couldn't come, so we're talking alone. I can buy it. We sat down in said meeting room, and he asked me if I wanted a drink. No thx, I had digested so much caffeine during last 24h, next dose could be an overdose. And then, he took out my resume printed in paper. With notes on it. With some stuff encircled. That bloody bastard did his homework. We spent over an hour, just talking in friendly atmosphere. It was an interview, but it was a conversation also. We shared our experiences, opinions and it went just perfect.
On December 20, I was heading home for Christmas. My situation looked like this: A called me they could offer me only unpaid internship. I was getting kinda bored of rice and debts, tbh. I gracefully rejected their generous offer. B didn't give me feedback yet(it was a most recent interview, so I didn't expect any message until after Christmas anyway). C told me that they could give me internship, but I managed to convince them to make it paid internship. After three months of very bad times, things were starting to get better.
On part III we will explore further events of my very recent past. That post will be same amount of storytelling and possibly a lesson for those who seek an employer and for those who seek an employee.6
Storytime - The Prometheus tales - Part III (I think..).
Updated the node definitions on the old node today, just to keep it up to date. nothing fancy.
I went to the new node and and checked the setup again. I already had roughly 120 node definitions onboard for testing purposes.
so all firewalls should have been configured the right way, so that the wee one might celebrate the marriage with the rest of the gang finally.. and then went with "puppet YOLO" on the new node. added every fkn node definition to the new setup.
every node turned out just to be fine.
except for 137 little InstanceDown alerts (out of 600+).
it's a good thing, that the little fella can send mails to me, myself and I only for the time being.
so debugging. again. but at least it's not a problem related to prometheus itself, because the connections end with a timeout on the related nodes. should be more like a firewall fubar.
we will see.5