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Search - "real-life meetings"
"when i die i want my group project members to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time"
Last year in College, I had two simultaneous projects. Both were semester long projects. One was for a database class an another was for a software engineering class.
As you can guess, the focus of the projects was very different. Databases we made some desktop networked chat application with a user login system and what not in Java. SE we made an app store with an approval system and admin panels and ratings and reviews and all that jazz in Meteor.js.
The DB project we had 4 total people and one of them was someone we'll call Frank. Frank was also in my SE project group. Frank disappeared for several weeks. Not in class, didn't contact us, and at one point the professors didn't know much either. As soon as we noticed it would be an issue, we talked to the professors. Just keeping them in the loop will save you a lot of trouble down the road. I'm assuming there was some medical or family emergency because the professors were very understanding with him once he started coming back to class and they had a chance to talk.
Lesson 1: If you have that guy that doesn't show up or communicate, don't be a jerk to them and communicate with your professor. Also, don't stop trying to contact the rogue partner. Maybe they'll come around sometime.
It sucked to lose 25% of our team for a project, but Frank appreciated that we didn't totally ignore him and throw him under the bus to the point that the last day of class he came up to me and said, "hey, open your book bag and bring it next to mine." He then threw a LARGE bottle of booze in there as a thank you.
Lesson 2: Treat humans as humans. Things go wrong and understanding that will get you a lot farther with people than trying to make them feel terrible about something that may have been out of their control.
Our DB project went really well. We got an A, we demoed, it worked, it was cool. The biggest problem is I was the only person that had taken a networking class so I ended up doing a large portion of the work. I wish I had taken other people's skills into account when we were deciding on a project. Especially because the only requirement was that it needed to have a minimum of 5 tables and we had to use some SQL language (aka, we couldn't use no-SQL).
The SE project had Frank and a music major who wanted to minor in CS (and then 3 other regular CS students aside from me). This assignment was make an app store using any technology you want. But, you had to use agile sprints. So we had weekly meetings with the "customer" (the TA), who would change requirements on us to keep us on our toes and tell us what they wanted done as a priority for the next meeting. Seriously, just like real life. It was so much fun trying to stay ahead of that.
So we met up and tried to decided what to use. One kid said Java because we all had it for school. The big issue is trying to make a Java web app is a pain in the ass. Seriously, there are so many better things to use. Other teams decided to use Django because they all wanted to learn Python. I suggested why not use something with a nice package system to minimize duplicating work that had already been done and tested by someone. Kid 1 didn't like that because he said in the real world you have to make your own software and not use packages. Little did he know that I had worked in SE for a few years already and knew damn well that every good project has code from somewhere else that has already solved a problem you're facing. We went with Java the first week. It failed miserably. Nobody could get the server set up on their computers. Using VCS with it required you to keep the repo outside of the where you wrote code and copy and paste changes in there. It was just a huge flop so everyone else voted to change.
Lesson 3: Be flexible. Be open to learning new things. Don't be afraid to try something new. It'll make you a better developer in the long run.
We sat down one day and worked for 4 straight hours. We finished the whole project in that time. While other teams were figuring out how to layout their homepage, we had a working user system and admin page and everything. Our TA was trying to throw us for loops by asking for crazy things and we still came through. We had tests that ran along side the application as you used it. It was friggin cool.
Lesson 4: If possible, pick the right tool for the job. Not the tool you know. Everything in CS has a purpose. If you use it for its purpose, you will save days off of a project.1
I don't know why the fuck the manager from the other team keeps trying to involve me in his project. He has his own developers, it's their codebase and they know it better, and yet if he finds something so little that he can associate to our team, he drops my name. Why? My life has been so peaceful for a month. The stress from reliving this traumatic assignment will lower down my immune system and I'm gonna die from corona. The virus would just be like, "Yeeaaah, this bitch wanna die right now. Let's fuck this up real good."
I spent the entire February bitching about this team who borrowed me. Even after my assignment with them, their codebase (see recent rants) followed me to my original team. At least it was fine because we forked it and we'll be handling it in the future, meaning:
- I can clean it up.
- I don't have to subject myself to their stupid fucking stand-ups that last more than an hour because no one knows how to update their Jira tickets.
- I don't have to be talked down to or endure sudden power-trips from one of their asshole developers who revel on the fact that he knows the maze more than I do.
- I don't have to perform their hacks to make shit work.
- I don't have to work on unsupported bundled libraries for Python 2. I do not know why the fuck you keep using that shit or starting new projects with that shit when it's long expired.
- I don't have to turn on my webcam during meetings.
- I don't have to be accused of being a snob for not responding to messages in group chats that I'm not even a member of.
- Many more.
But this guy, fuck this guy. I'm already done with that module and it was transitioned to his developer before I went on vacation. I did not hear any more questions for a month. Even if he asks me questions now, I wouldn't mind answering them, just please don't involve me in this type of hell anymore. I still remember the time your team forgot to develop the user interface and I had to take shit, as a back-end developer, that it's somehow my fault (see old rants).
Oh god, no. You have to let me go. If you just want that module disabled for other users, your team can do it. It would be really quick. It's like the easiest part. I don't want to do the hacks you did to make the libraries work EVER AGAIN. I don't want to spend another week of my life setting up that shit and guessing where things are.
It makes no fucking sense. You have your own developers. One of them even told me they can do it. Even way before that assignment, we agreed (and I don't take offense from this) that it would be a lot easier if someone from your team did it instead of me.
I have a bad feeling about this. If you have plans of adopting me, I will hang myself.
I'm just so fucking tired. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggghh.5
Disclaimer: Long tale of a tech support job. Also the wk29 story is at the bottom.
One time I was working tech support for a website and email hosting firm that was in town. I was hired and worked as the only tech support person there, so all calls came in through me. This also meant that if I was on a call, and another one came through, they would go straight to voice mail. But I couldn't hang up calls either, so, sometimes someone would take up tons of time and I'd have to help them. I was also the "SEO" and "Social Media Marketing" person, as well; managed peoples' social media campaigns. I have tons of stories from this place but a few in particular stick out to me. No particular order to these, I'm just reminiscing as I write this.
I once had to help a man who couldn't find the start button on his computer. When I eventually guided him to allowing me to remote into his computer via Team Viewer, I found he was using Windows XP. I'm not kidding.
I once had to sit on the phone with a man selling Plexus Easy Weight Loss (snake oil, pyramid scheme, but he was a client) and have him yell at me about not getting him more business, simply because we'd built his website. No, I'D not built his website, but his website was fine and it wasn't our job to get him more business. Oh yeah, this is the same guy who said that he didn't want the social media marketing package because he "had people to hide from." Christ.
We had another client who was a conspiracy theorist and wanted the social media marketing package for his blog, all about United States conspiracies. Real nut case. But the best client I've ever had because sometimes he'd come into the office and take up my time talking at me about how Fukushima was the next 911 and that soon it'll spill into the US water supply and everybody was going to die. Hell, better than being on the phone! Doing his social media was great because he wanted me to post clearly fake news stories to his twitter and facebook for him, and I got to look at and manage all the comments calling him out on his bullshit. It was kinda fun. After all, it wasn't _me_ that believed all this. It felt like I was trolling.
[wk29] I was the social media and support techie, not a salesperson. But sometimes I was put in charge _alone_ in front of clients for status meetings about their social media. This one time we had a client who was a custom fashion-type person. I don't really remember. But I was told directly to make them a _new_ facebook page and post to it every day with their hot new deals and stuff. MONTHS pass since I do that and they come in for a face-to-face meeting. Boss is out doing... boss things and that means I have to sit in with her, and for some fucking reason she brought her boyfriend AND HER DAD. Who were both clearly very very angry with me, the company, and probably life. They didn't ever say anything at first, they didn't greet me, they were both just there like British royal guards. It was weird as fuck. I start showing them the page, the progress on their likes goals, etc etc. Marketing shit. They say, "huh, we didn't see any of these posts at home." Turns out they already had a Facebook page, I was working on a completely seperate one, and then the boyfriend finally chimes in with the biggest fucking scowl, "what are you going to do about this?" He was sort of justified, considering this was a payed and semi-expensive service we offered, but holy shit the amount of fire in all three of them. Anyway, it came down to me figuring out how to merge facebook pages, but they eventually left as clients. Is this my fuck up? Is it my company's? Is it theirs? I don't know but that was probably the most awkward meeting ever. Don't know if it comes across through text but the anxiety was pretty real. Fuck.
tl;dr Tech support jobs are a really fun and exciting entry level position I recommend everybody apply for if they're starting out in the tech world! You'll meet tons of cool people and every day is like a new adventure.2
> Worst work culture you've experienced?
It's a tie between my first to employers.
First: A career's dead end.
Bosses hardly ever said the truth, suger-coated everything and told you just about anything to get what they wanted. E.g. a coworker of mine was sent on a business trip to another company. They had told him this is his big chance! He'd attend a project kick-off meeting, maybe become its lead permanently. When he got there, the other company was like "So you're the temporary first-level supporter? Great! Here's your headset".
And well, devs were worth nothing anyway. For every dev there were 2-3 "consultants" that wrote detailed specifications, including SQL statements and pseudocode. The dev's job was just to translate that to working code. Except for the two highest senior devs, who had perfect job security. They had cooked up a custom Ant-based build system, had forked several high-profile Java projects (e.g. Hibernate) and their code was purposely cryptic and convoluted.
You had no chance to make changes to their projects without involuntarily breaking half of it. And then you'd have to beg for a bit of their time. And doing something they didn't like? Forget it. After I suggested to introduce automated testing I was treated like a heretic. Well of course, that would have threatened their job security. Even managers had no power against them. If these two would quit half a dozen projects would simply be dead.
And finally, the pecking order. Juniors, like me back then, didn't get taught shit. We were just there for the work the seniors didn't want to do. When one of the senior devs had implemented a patch on the master branch, it was the junior's job to apply it to the other branches.
Second: A massive sweatshop, almost like a real-life caricature.
It was a big corporation. Managers acted like kings, always taking the best for themselves while leaving crumbs for the plebs (=devs, operators, etc). They had the spacious single offices, we had the open plan (so awesome for communication and teamwork! synergy effects!). When they got bored, they left meetings just like that. We... well don't even think about being late.
And of course most managers followed the "kiss up, kick down" principle. Boy, was I getting kicked because I dared to question a decision of my boss. He made my life so hard I got sick for a month, being close to burnout. The best part? I gave notice a month later, and _he_still_was_surprised_!
Plebs weren't allowed anything below perfection, bosses on the other hand... so, I got yelled at by some manager. Twice. For essentially nothing, things just bruised his fragile ego. My bosses response? "Oh he's just human". No, the plebs was expected to obey the powers that be. Something you didn't like? That just means your attitude needs adjustment. Like with the open plan offices: I criticized the noise and distraction. Well that's just my _opinion_, right? Anyone else is happily enjoying it! Why can't I just be like the others? And most people really had given up, working like on a production line.
The company itself, while big, was a big ball of small, isolated groups, sticking together by office politics. In your software you'd need to call a service made by a different team, sooner or later. Not documented, noone was ever willing to help. To actually get help, you needed to get your boss to talk to their boss. Then you'd have a chance at all.
Oh, and the red tape. Say you needed a simple cable. You know, like those for $2 on Amazon. You'd open a support ticket and a week later everyone involved had signed it off. Probably. Like your boss, the support's boss, the internal IT services' boss, and maybe some other poor sap who felt important. Or maybe not, because the justification for needing that cable wasn't specific enough. I mean, just imagine the potential damage if our employees owned a cable they shouldn't!
You know, after these two employers I actually needed therapy. Looking back now, hooooly shit... that's why I can't repeat often enough that we devs put up with way too much bullshit.3
Finally back at the HQ and away from Offsite Hell after 18 months!!!!!!!!!!!! Real internet! Coffee on tap! Community of practice meetings! COOODDDEEEE!!!! Also back to devrant. Goodbye Indian devs from hell, j/k they still suck life out of my day with their deprecated ways.
Switched to Unreal Engine from Unity recently and my god it is amazing! I definitely prefer being able to use C# with unity vs c++ with unreal but the blueprint system is a great visual programming system.
Unit testing is my new side chick. She wants me to leave my wife; I'm considering it.
Unrelated: Read Dead Redemption 2 is amazing.1
So... a fucking frontend developer is responsible for
- conducting meetings regarding the future of the website,
- talking to the bosses at their own desired times,
- researching on the designs,
- then asking the designer to make the design,
- then implementing those designs
- then again talk with the boss if he likes those designs, then again research ask designer to make designs, and then again fucking implement those designs?
Well fuck it. The politics everyone tries to play at different levels just to grill the poor intern is beyond repair.
A simpler flow could be that boss directly interact with the developer and the designer in a meeting, the designer could then come up with a design based on boss's suggestion, could interact with me and the boss regarding acceptability and practicality and then we could make it once and for all. But nope. 2large is the 10x dev intern that the world needs to grill .
The above is a somewhat exaggerated but real description of what I am currently facing. Since people are good here and am not being pressurized for the time delays, am somewhat cool about it.
But this kind of thing was something that haunted me to the core at another company, where people were not much nice. :|
Blames are actively being thrown on each other . Designs are impractical. the senior devs just "assumes" that junior/intern would magically make stuff without any instructions. And not just the product, but the 100% clean, bug free product, so they don't need to neither review nor provide a direction nor any help when intern couldn't do it.
"But you are an engineer , right? what did you do in your college life? Didn't you studied those subjects" : Fuck you, govi .
Welcome to "Product Based Startups" . God, how long I have to face such unfunctional systems? or do I have to just adapt and learn the art of lying, delaying and playing the blame game?1
The first dev project, like real dev project, I participated in was a school one and it was double.
The class was meant to make us learn about the software's life cycle, so the teacher wanted us to develop a simple, yet complicated, thing: a Web platform to help tutors send/refer students to the university services (psychologist, nutriologist, etc) and to keep track of them visits.
We all agreed on it being easy.
Boy were we so wrong.
I was appointed as dev leader as well as some others (I was the programming leader, the other ones were the DB guy and the security guy) and as such I was in charge of the technology used (well, now we all know that the client is the one in charge of that as well as the designer) and I chose Django because we had some experience with it. We used it for the two projects the teacher asked us to do (the second one was to find a little shop and develop something for it, obviously with the permission and all that), but in the second one I decided to use React on top of Djangl, which ended being a really good combination tho.
So, in the first project, the other ones (all the classroom) started to discuss and decided to use some other stuff like unnecessary carousel for images, unnecessary functions, they created mock ups for stuff that was never there to begin with, etc. It was really awful, we had meetings with the client (the teacher) with updates on the project, and in not a single one he was satisfied with the results. But still, we continued with the path the majority chose and it was the worst: deadlines were not met, team members just vanished until the end of the semester, one guy broke his leg (and was a dev leader) and never said a word not did anything about the project. At the end, we presented literal garbage, the UI was awful, its colors were so ugly because we had to use the university official colors, the functionality was not there, there literally was a calendar to make appointments for the services (when did the client ask for that? No one knows), but hey, you could add services and their data to it, was it what the client wanted? Of course not! What do you think we are? Devs?
Suffice to say that, although we passed with good grades, the project and the team was shit (and I'm counting me in)
The good part is that the second project was finished by me and it looked really good, yet it didn't matter, the first project was supposed to be used by the university, but that thing was unusable.
Then, in the subsequent vacations I tried to make pretty and functional/usable, yet I failed because I had a deadline for another thing I had to do, but hey, the login screen looked amazing!
Working on a (mostly) off-grid LAN.
Basically just a real-life meetup in or around Arnhem (eg. somewhere in a park) where we have some banter and some offline IT (or non-IT, whatever people attending want) fun.
Of course, taking the covid-19 shit in mind.
wrote an entire custom DNS server (using DoH only atm) for it, added a Matrix server (along with Element so people have a start) and a wiki for it :)
Still need to add a Gitea server (or similar, any suggestions?) to it tho.
Gonna see to have some trial-runs by myself (or maybe with 1 or 2 people) soon.
Soooo exited o see two months worth of planning and development start coming together :313