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Search - "perception"
When it comes to users, perception is everything.
The task: Choose x random contractor numbers for us to assign to y jobs.
Me: How many contractors are there?
Me: How many jobs need assignment?
Me: Does the program need to assign contractors to individual jobs?
Mgr: No, we just need the 25 contractor numbers
Me: Well in that case just use the list I gave you earlier.
Mgr: No, we can't do that. It won't be random
Fix? Return a list of 25 contractor numbers in a slightly different order than the one originally submitted (5 or 6 items moved around)
The manager was pleased.3
TLDR: There’s truth in the motto “fake it till you make it”
Once upon a time in January 2018 I began work as a part time sysadmin intern for a small financial firm in the rural US. This company is family owned, and the family doesn’t understand or invest in the technology their business is built on. I’m hired on because of my minor background in Cisco networking and Mac repair/administration.
I was the only staff member with vendor certifications and any background in networking / systems administration / computer hardware. There is an overtaxed web developer doing sysadmin/desktop support work and hating it.
I quickly take that part of his job and become the “if it has electricity it’s his job to fix it” guy. I troubleshoot Exchange server and Active Directory problems, configure cloudhosted web servers and DNS records, change lightbulbs and reboot printers in the office.
After realizing that I’m not an intern but actually just a cheap sysadmin I began looking for work that pays appropriately and is full time. I also change my email signature to say “Company Name: Network Administrator”
A few weeks later the “HR” department (we have 30 employees, it’s more like “The accountant who checks hiring paperwork”) sends out an email saying that certain ‘key’ departments have no coverage at inappropriate times. I don’t connect the dots.
Two days later I receive a testy email from one of the owners telling me that she is unhappy with my lack of time spent in the office. That as the Network Administrator I have responsibilities, and I need to be available for her and others 8-5 when problems need troubleshooting. Her son is my “boss” who is rarely in the office and has almost no technical acumen. He neglected to inform her that I’m a part time employee.
I arrange a meeting in which I propose that I be hired on full time as the Network Administrator to alleviate their problems. They agree but wildly underpay me. I continue searching for work but now my resume says Network Administrator.
Two weeks ago I accepted a job offer for double my current salary at a local software development firm as a junior automation engineer. They said they hired me on with so little experience specifically because of my networking background, which their ops dept is weak in. I highlighted my 6 months experience as Network Administrator during my interviews.
My take away: Perception matters more than reality. If you start acting like something, people will treat you like that.3
Why does almost everyone act as if the world they live in is perfect, or is supposed to be perfect?
This is about approaching IT infrastructures, but goes way beyond IT, into daily lives.
Daniel Kahneman wrote about the "Econs" - a mythical creature that behaves according to rules and rational thoughts, that everybody is guided by, as opposed to Humans, who are irrational, intuitive and emotional.
My beef is with a wider perception, beyond economical analysis, profit, investment and so on.
Organization A uses a 15 year old system that is crappy beyond description, but any recent attempt to replace it have failed. Josh thinks that this is a crappy organization, any problem lies within the replacement of that system, and all resources should be devoted to that. Josh lives in a perfect world - where shit can be replaced, where people don't have to live with crappy systems. Josh is stupid, unless he can replace that old system with something better. Don't be Josh. Adapt to the fucking reality, unless you have the power to change it.
Peter is a moron who downloads pirated software with cracks, at the office. He introduced a ransomware that encrypted the entire company NAS. Peter was fired obviously, but Sylvia, the systems administrator, got off easily because Peter the moron was the scapegoat. Sylvia truly believes that it's not her fault, that Peter happened to be a cosmic overgrown lobotomized amoeba. Sylvia is a fucking idiot, because she didn't do backups, restrict access, etc. Because she relied on all people being rational and smart, as people in her imaginary world would be.
Amit finished a project for his company, which is a nice modern website frontend. Tom, the manager says that the website doesn't work with Internet Explorer 8, and Amit is outraged that Tom would even ask this, quoting that IE8 is a dinosaur that should've been euthanized before even hatching. Amit doesn't give a shit about the fact that 20% of the revenue comes from customers that use IE8, what's more important to him is that in his perfect imaginary world everybody uses new hardware and software, and if someone doesn't - it's their fault and that's final. Amit is a fucking asshole. Don't be like Amit.
React to the REAL world, not what you WANT the world to be. Otherwise you're one of them.
The real world can be determined by looking at all the fuck ups and bad situations, admit that they happen, that they're real, that they will keep happening unless you do something that will make them impossible to happen or exist.
Acting as if these bad things don't exist, or that they won't exist because someone would or should change it, is retarded.10
!rant, !dev, random thought
We live in the past. Everything we call the present has already happened, we just aren't immediately aware of it.
For example, if the sun suddenly exploded, we would live for ~8 mins thinking nothing had happened. On the human scale, this still holds although the delays are much smaller. (also, the sun isn't where it appears to be :D)
Our senses deceive us 😯
Open to criticism :) just thought it was an interesting thought.7
I came up with what I considered to be a brilliant approach to a festering internal knowledge management problem using a third-party SaaS. I rolled it out and it was very popular. Weeks later, after my profile had become the "linchpin" by which hundreds of other employees had joined the service, I was told that a female employee (yes, gender is important to this story) had produced a proposal for a more in-house solution that used a different company's software and that I would be on the team to roll it out. I thought it was a great idea and I deferred to her on pretty much everything.
Months after that I was accused, by several other female managers, of trying to take over the whole leadership of the project just because of one minor suggestion I had proposed. One day, after a lengthy interrogation about their take on my emails on the matter (lacking only the bright, hot spotlight in my eyes) I was booted off the project and the woman who had proposed the project was promoted. She then proceeded to lord it over on me and treat me like crap.
This type of thing was a general pattern within the company that amounted to a form of a reverse discrimination "policy" (unwritten). The effect was that the ratio of men to women in upper management was not equal but completely flipped. Way more women than men had upper management positions and higher pay.
In their eyes, the ends (women broke through the glass ceiling) justified the means (discrimination and bullying) which I guess is good and "equal", again in their eyes, in terms of the overall perception modern feminism has about men needing a comeuppance.
But in the context of HR's stated policy on equality, meaning 1:1 men and women in position of power and pay and a non-threatening work environment for all, which we all (men and women) were forced to sign every year, it was an utter fail as far as the math and intimidation went.2
There's too many web apps out there that advertise having great accessibility, but whose only claim to that is that they work okay-ish with screenreaders.
There's more to accessibility, darnit! Not just blind people, also remember people with impaired colour perception, people who have to use increased font sizes, people with poor contrast perception (can we please not do light-gray text, links, or buttons on white background anymore?), and many more.
The amount of apps alone that just are impossible to use properly with increased font sizes due to cut-off unscrollable text or buttons pushed out of the visible part of the page is staggering. Or where you get permanently stuck inside a rich-text editor if you can only navigate by keyboard, or where whole parts of the page are impossible to properly use with background images turned off...
I'm aware this might sound unreasonable and I know it's extra effort to learn all the rules, but once these things are not an afterthought, but rather something to take care of starting even during first implementation, it starts to come naturally.
But would it be unreasonable to ask of an architect to not put the restrooms, conference rooms, managers office, where they can only be reached by stairs? I don't think it would be. Sure it makes placing them more complicated, but excluding people from being able to use the building due to circumstances beyond their control feels a bit elitist and snobby to me.
Saw an app last week where a lot of features were behind click-handlers on elements that are not supposed to be interactive like <div>, <li>, and <span> tags. How's someone who can't use the visual clues even supposed to know that the element is interactive?
And yes, there's some of these points where ensuring accessibility is not just the devs job but also the designer's responsibility (contrast rules for example), but in my experience if the devs notice "oh hey, this could be problematic" then the design people usually listen.
Honestly in the case of accessibility I believe that putting off some features for later to make time to ensure that what's there is accessible, even if it only affects 1% of visitors, belongs into the "social responsibility" category, and most clients I've worked with were open to the subject.
I do believe it's something that everyone should take time to learn.
PS: I don't mean to attack anyone, I just wish it were something that more people watch out for.5
i received a job offer to work at area 51 on extremely sophisticated projects primarily as a c++ engineer. this is the highest pay offer i have ever seen, which i can not discuss right now, but what else to expect when you work for the government. i have bad perception about this. should i take this job or refuse?5
They know it has something to do with creating and modifying software. That is enough for them and so I am seldom bothered with requests for detailed information.
Also, most often, me working on hobby projects, or just viewing tutorial videos at home is looked upon as "Wasting time playing games".
Then there is also the perception of me being the family's in-house tech support guy.
Warn: long rant is long
So for the past couple of weeks I've been frustrated/confused over my thesis course with the kids gloves the professor gave us. This week I found out that in actuality this class isn't just for the IT majors, but a mix of Software Engineering majors, IT majors with minors in the SE department (me), and Information System majors who do product management but don't know much about coding anything.
As a result, we have this really strange set of discussions going on where on one hand we have the professor giving the okay to students making a website in !!Wix because they don't know much about HTML and CSS, to students like me busting ass to get a Java/MongoDB/Bootstrap web application off the ground from scratch.
I'm not as nearly upset as a I was, but it's still a really bizarre thing to lump these two departments together and getting it all coherent. The SE and IT majors is a much easier fit as there's so much overlap between the two that it's next to impossible to see any difference, it's the IS majors who are off in their own little world.
One thing is relieving to me from all this. I've realized I didn't need to major in Software Engineering to become a competent software engineer. It's amazing what one can self teach in 2 years to get the equivalent knowledge and skill sets. In the end this makes it all up for when I dropped out Computer Science in my mid 20's.
It's jaw dropping to me how much my perception of the education system for STEM has changed from when I was freshman to being a senior.1
Reality > Perception (GitHub)
Vue.js has more stars than React.js
Flask has more stars than Django
Sometimes puzzled to guess who should be the industry leader1
Right now, most of my friends in whatsapp are doing one of those stupid viral message challenge that is designed to "testify friendships".
This latest one that i got goes something like this: they ask to send one of your pic to them and they will add it to their status. Then you have to also add their pic they send you as your status. Also you have to forward the challenge to your friends.
I don't know who comes up with such crazy stupid messages that is designed to force people change their perception of friendship. It's amazing how simple and gullible people are to such messages.
Spoiler Alert: yep, i also send it to few of my friends just for the heck of it.4
New Year Resolutions:
1. Build a perception system for self driving cars as a project.
2. Learn Rust
Any other suggestions?