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Search - "requirements matter"
Its Friday, you all know what that means! ... Its results day for practiseSafeHex's most incompetent co-worker!!!
We've had a bewildering array of candidates, lets remind ourselves:
- a psychopath that genuinely scared me a little
- a CEO I would take pleasure seeing in pain
- a pothead who mistook me for his drug dealer
- an unbelievable idiot
- an arrogant idiot obsessed with strings
Tough competition, but there can be only one ... *drum roll* ... the winner is ... none of them!
*audience member: what?*
*audience member: no way!*
*audience member: your fucking kidding me!*
Sir calm down! this is a day time show, no need for that ... let me explain, there is a winner ... but we've kept him till last and for a good reason
You see our final contestant and ultimate winner of this series is our good old friend "C", taking the letters of each of our previous contestants, that spells TRAGIC which is the only word to explain C.
Oh I assure you its no laughing matter. C was with us for 6 whole months ... 6 excruciatingly painful months.
We needed someone with frontend, backend and experience with IoT devices, or raspberry PI's. We didn't think we'd get it all, but in walked an interviewee with web development experience, a tiny bit of Angular and his masters project was building a robot device that would change LED's depending on your facial expressions. PERFECT!!!
... oh to have a time machine
Working with C:
- He never actually did the tutorials I first set him on for Node.js and Angular 2+ because they were "too boring". I didn't find this out until some time later.
- The first project I had him work on was a small dashboard and backend, but he decided to use Angular 1 and a different database than what we were using because "for me, these are easier".
- He called that project done without testing / deploying it in the cloud, despite that being part of the ticket, because he didn't know how. Rather than tell or ask anyone ... he just didn't do it and moved on.
- As part of his first tech review I had to explain to him why he should be using if / else, rather than just if's.
- Despite his past experience building server applications and dashboards (4 years!), he never heard of a websocket, and it took a considerable amount of time to explain.
- When he used a node module to open a server socket, he sat staring at me like a deer caught in headlights completely unaware of how to use / test it was working. I again had to explain it and ultimately test it for him with a command line client.
- He didn't understand the need to leave logging inside an application to report errors. Because he used to ... I shit you not ... drive to his customers, plug into their server and debug their application using a debugger.
... props for using a debugger, but fuck me.
- Once, after an entire 2 days of tapping me on the shoulder every 15 mins for questions / issues, I had to stop and ask:
Me: "Have you googled it?"
C: "... eh, no"
Me: "can I ask why?"
C: "well, for me, I only google for something I don't know"
Me: "... well do you know what this error message means?"
C: "ah good point, i'll try this time"
... maybe he was A's stoner buddy?
- He burned through our free cloud usage allowance for a month, after 1 day, meaning he couldn't test anything else under his account. He left an application running, broadcasting a lot of data. Turns out the on / off button on the dashboard only worked for "on". He had been killing his terminal locally and didn't know how to "ctrl + c a cloud app" ... so left it running. His intention was to restart the app every time you are done using it ... but forgot.
- His issue with the previous one ... not any of his countless mistakes, not the lack of even trying to make the button work, no, no, not for C. C's issue is the cloud is "shit" for giving us such little allowances. (for the record in a month I had never used more than 5%).
- I had to explain environment variables and why they are necessary for passwords and tokens etc. He didn't know it wasn't ok to commit these into GitHub.
- At his project meetups with partners I had to repeatedly ask him to stop googling gifs and pay attention to the talks.
- He complained that we don't have 3 hour lunch breaks like his last place.
- He once copied and pasted the same function 450 times into a file as a load test ... are loops too mainstream nowadays?
You see C is our winner, because after 6 painful months (companies internal process / requirements) he actually achieved nothing. I really mean that, nothing. Every thing was so broken, so insecure / wide open, built without any kind of common sense or standards I had to delete it all and start again ... it took me 2 weeks.
I hope you've all enjoyed this series and will join me in praying for the return of my sanity ... I do miss it a lot.
Man, I think we've all gotten way too many of these.
Normally most interactions that I have are through email. Eventually some would try to contact me via phone. These are some:
"Hey! We are calling you from <whatever company name> solutions! (most of them always seem to end on solutions or some shit like that) concerning the Ruby on Rails senior dev opportunity we were talking about via email"
<niceties, how are you doing, similar shit goes here...eventually>
So tell us! how good/comfortable would you say you are with C++?"
Me: I have never done anything serious with c++ and did just use it at school, but because I am not a professional in it I did not list it in my CV, what does it have to do with Rails?
Them: "Oh the applications of this position must be ready to take in additional duties which sometimes happen to be C or C++"
Me: Well that was not anywhere in the offer you sent, it specifically requested a full stack Rails developer that could work with 3 different frontend stacks already and like 4 different databases plus bla bla bla, I did not see c++ anywhere in it. Matter of fact I find it funny, one of the things that I was curious about was the salary, for what you are asking and specifically in the city in which you are asking it for 75k is way too low, you are seriously expecting a senior level rails dev to do all that AND take additional duties with c++? cpp could mean a billion different things"
Them: "well this is a big opportunity that will increase your level to senior position"
Me: the add ALREADY asks for a senior position, why are you making it sound that I will get build towards that level if you are already off the bat asking for seniors only to begin with?
Them: You are not getting it, it is an opportunity to grow into a senior, applicants right now are junior to mid-level
ME: You are all not making any sense, please don't contact me again.
Them: We are looking for someone with 15 years experience with Swift development for mobile and web
Me: What is up with your people not making these requirements in paper? if I knew from the beginning that you people think that Swift is 15 years old I would have never agreed to this "interview"
Them: If you are not interested in that then might we offer this one for someone with 10 years experience as a full stack TypeScript developer.
Me: No, again, check your dates, this is insulting.
* For another Rails position
Them: How good are you with Ruby on Rails in terms of Python?
Me: excuse me? Python has nothing to do with Ruby on Rails.
Her (recruiter was a woman) * with a tone of superiority: I have it here that Python is the primary technology that accompanies Rails development.
Me (thinking this was a joke) : What do you think the RUBY part of Ruby on Rails is for? and what does "accompanies Rails development" even means?
Me: This is a joke, goodbye.
To be fair this was years ago when I still didn't know better and test the recruiters during the email part of being contacted. Now a days I feel sorry for everyone since I just say no without even bothering. This is a meme all on itself which no one has ever bothered to review and correct in years for now. I don't know why recruiters don't google themselves to see what people think of their "profession" in order to become better.
I think people in web development get the short end of the stick when it comes to retarded recruiters more than anywhere else.6
I used to work in a tech support
after the interview the director of the organization told me that he has been informed about my poor knowledge of the languages. I just told them that I got to know about the interview at the last minute and I never even installed visual studio until last night. I asked them to give me some time so that they can evaluate me. I asked them to give 2 weeks of time.
they agreed and after that each day I was given tasks which I had to complete.
on the 14th day the director told me that he was very impressed and wanted to offer me job. and this is how it all started in my current organization it has been more than 1 yr now
When searching for internship via school I found this small startup with this cute project of building a teaching tool for programming. There were back then 2 programmers: the founder and the co-founder.
Then like 1 week before the internship started, the co-founder had a burnout and had to get off the project, while the company was so low on budget the founder, aka my new b0ss, had to work separate jobs to keep the company alive. (quite metal tbh)
It's funny because I'm a junior developer, 100%. I've been coding as a hobby for around 8 years now but I've never worked in a big company before. (No exception to this workplace either)
First project I get: rewrite the compiler. The Python compiler.
"But wait, why not just embed a real compiler from the first case?"
-nanananana it's never simple, as you probably know from your own projects.
The new compiler, as compared to existing embedded compiler solutions out there, needed these prime features:
- Walk through the code (debugger style), but programmatically.
- Show custom exceptions (ex: "A colon is needed at the end of an if-statement" instead of "Syntax error line 3")
- Have a "Did-you-mean this variable?" error for usage of unassigned variables.
- Be able to be embedded in Unity's WebGL build target
All for the use case of being a friendly compiler.
The last dash in the list is actually the biggest bottleneck which excluded all existing open-source projects (i could find). Compliant with WebAssembly I can't use threads among other things, IL2CPP has lots of restrictions, Unity has some as well...
Oh and it should of course be built using test-driven development.
"Good luck!" - said the founder, first day of work as she then traveled to USA for **3 weeks**, leaving me solo with the to-be-made codebase and humongous list of requirements.
I just finished the 6th week of internship, boss has been at "HQ" for 3 weeks now, and I just hit the biggest milestone yet for this project.
Yes I've been succeeding! This project has gone so well, and I'm surprising myself how much code I've been pumping out during these weeks.
I'm up now at almost 40'000 lines of source and 30'000 lines of code. ‼
( Biggest project I've ever worked on previously was at 8'000 lines of code )
The milestone (that I finished today) was for loops! As been trying to showcase in the GIF.
It's such a giant project and I can honestly say I've done some good work here. Self-five. Over-performing is a thing.
The things that makes me shiver though is that most that use this application will never know the intricates of it's insides, and the brain work put into it.
The project is probably over-engineered. A lot. Having a home-made compiler gives us a lot of flexibility for our product as we're trying to make more of a "pedagogic IDE". But no matter that I reinvented the wheel for the 105Gth time, it's still the most fun I've had with a project to date.
Also btw if anyone wants to see source code, please give me good reasons as I'm actively trying to convince my boss to make the compiler open-source.
Long rant ahead.. 5k characters pretty much completely used. So feel free to have another cup of coffee and have a seat 🙂
So.. a while back this flash drive was stolen from me, right. Well it turns out that other than me, the other guy in that incident also got to the police 😃
Now, let me explain the smiley face. At the time of the incident I was completely at fault. I had no real reason to throw a punch at this guy and my only "excuse" would be that I was drunk as fuck - I've never drank so much as I did that day. Needless to say, not a very good excuse and I don't treat it as such.
But that guy and whoever else it was that he was with, that was the guy (or at least part of the group that did) that stole that flash drive from me.
Context: https://devrant.com/rants/2049733 and https://devrant.com/rants/2088970
So that's great! I thought that I'd lost this flash drive and most importantly the data on it forever. But just this Friday evening as I was meeting with my friend to buy some illicit electronics (high voltage, low frequency arc generators if you catch my drift), a policeman came along and told me about that other guy filing a report as well, with apparently much of the blame now lying on his side due to him having punched me right into the hospital.
So I told the cop, well most of the blame is on me really, I shouldn't have started that fight to begin with, and for that matter not have drunk that much, yada yada yada.. anyway he walked away (good grief, as I was having that friend on visit to purchase those electronics at that exact time!) and he said that this case could just be classified then. Maybe just come along next week to the police office to file a proper explanation but maybe even that won't be needed.
So yeah, great. But for me there's more in it of course - that other guy knows more about that flash drive and the data on it that I care about. So I figured, let's go to the police office and arrange an appointment with this guy. And I got thinking about the technicalities for if I see that drive back and want to recover its data.
So I've got 2 phones, 1 rooted but reliant on the other one that's unrooted for a data connection to my home (because Android Q, and no bootable TWRP available for it yet). And theoretically a laptop that I can put Arch on it no problem but its display backlight is cooked. So if I want to bring that one I'd have to rely on a display from them. Good luck getting that done. No option. And then there's a flash drive that I can bake up with a portable Arch install that I can sideload from one of their machines but on that.. even more so - good luck getting that done. So my phones are my only option.
Just to be clear, the technical challenge is to read that flash drive and get as much data off of it as possible. The drive is 32GB large and has about 16GB used. So I'll need at least that much on whatever I decide to store a copy on, assuming unchanged contents (unlikely). My Nexus 6P with a VPN profile to connect to my home network has 32GB of storage. So theoretically I could use dd and pipe it to gzip to compress the zeroes. That'd give me a resulting file that's close to the actual usage on the flash drive in size. But just in case.. my OnePlus 6T has 256GB of storage but it's got no root access.. so I don't have block access to an attached flash drive from it. Worst case I'd have to open a WiFi hotspot to it and get an sshd going for the Nexus to connect to.
And there we have it! A large storage device, no root access, that nonetheless can make use of something else that doesn't have the storage but satisfies the other requirements.
And then we have things like parted to read out the partition table (and if unchanged, cryptsetup to read out LUKS). Now, I don't know if Termux has these and frankly I don't care. What I need for that is a chroot. But I can't just install Arch x86_64 on a flash drive and plug it into my phone. Linux Deploy to the rescue! 😁
It can make chrooted installations of common distributions on arm64, and it comes extremely close to actual Linux. With some Linux magic I could make that able to read the block device from Android and do all the required sorcery with it. Just a USB-C to 3x USB-A hub required (which I have), with the target flash drive and one to store my chroot on, connected to my Nexus. And fixed!
Let's see if I can get that flash drive back!
P.S.: if you're into electronics and worried about getting stuff like this stolen, customize it. I happen to know one particular property of that flash drive that I can use for verification, although it wasn't explicitly customized. But for instance in that flash drive there was a decorative LED. Those are current limited by a resistor. Factory default can be say 200 ohm - replace it with one with a higher value. That way you can without any doubt verify it to be yours. Along with other extra security additions, this is one of the things I'll be adding to my "keychain v2".11
I'm so pissed off by the people I'm working with right now asking me for shit that they should be asking the business analysts. I'm working on other things, you know, like writing actual code? I can only answer the technical side in the backend. Stop asking me what you should return to the user and how your goddamn user interface should work. I gave you the APIs. Whatever the fuck they require you to display is not my call.
"What are we gonna do?" No, sir. What are YOU gonna do? You know what I'll do? I'll ask the fucking guy who requested this component because while I believe in fucking team work, I can't read that guy's mind for you. You have so many resources - complete UI mock-ups, API documents, sample payload, JIRA issue, etc. Why the hell are you asking me?
It's been like this for the whole week that I can barely remember anything anymore and it affects my own output. Even the tester counts everything as bugs because it doesn't work the way he imagined it to work. Have you considered asking whoever the fuck gave the requirements how it should work?
I get confused, try to fix it, and then realize that it wasn't a bug. I can't remember all these things. All these things that happened in the past few months. And most of all, with the every changing requirements that aren't coming from me, I JUST DON'T KNOW ANYMORE, OKAY? STOP FUCKING BOTHERING ME. I have done everything I can. I asked for clarifications via call, messaging app, email, and I even update my own ticket with all the details but none of those efforts matter because someone flicks a switch on their brain and they change their minds.
We've been discussing this problem in the retrospective so many times. The least you can do is not add to the problem and start messing with your co-workers' head. Let me fucking code in peace. Now I have a feeling I'm gonna be highlighted on this fuck-up. I'm exhausted.
Leave me alone. Leave me the fuck alone, please. Please just fucking stop talking to me.5
"Impossible deadline experience?"
When product owners promise delivery dates.
One day, I came back from a two weeks holiday, relaxed. I noticed a teammate missing. "Yes, he took the week off". Sure, why not.
We were working under a bastardized enterprisey version of Scrum (didn't we all at some point?). So we didn't just have a product owner, we had three and an additional "Head of PO". Because enterprises can't live without hierarchies or something. Barely an hour after I came into office, she entered the room and came straight to me. "Your coworker was almost done implementing feature X. You need to finish it immediately. No worries, though, coworker said the rest is a piece of cake".
It wasn't. There was *a lot* left to do, the JIRA task wasn't entirely clear, and the existing code for the feature was so-so (obviously WIP code). I estimated two weeks for the implementation, plus some time to clarify the requirements. When telling "Head of PO" she lost her shit. Screaming things like "this feature is due the end of this week" and "I signed this with my blood!". Well, I didn't, and I made it clear that I hadn't been consulted on this, thus I would not accept any blame in case we missed the deadline.
So I gave my best that week, getting pestered by "Head of PO" all the time. "Is it done yet?", "why does it take so long?" and "your coworker would've been done by now!". Yeah fuck you, too. Not only was I not relaxed any more, I was even more stressed than before my holiday! Thanks, you stupid bitch.
Well, her arbitrary deadline came and the feature wasn't ready. And what happened was... exactly nothing. The following week my coworker returned, who gave me an apologetic smile. "I told her the feature was nowhere finished. And even me, being familiar with the task, couldn't make it in time". We finished the feature together that week, and that was the end of it. So... "Head of PO" either didn't listen or lied to me. She then stressed me to the max right from the day I came back from my holiday. And in the end it didn't even matter.
Again, thanks you stupid bitch, for creating a toxic work environment. Should you ever read this, I'm happy I quit and I hope you miss every single deadline for the rest of your life. Screw you.8
A morbid realization (I am just wasting your time keep scrolling)
Unless someone takes a stand for the user, and their comfort and requirements, unless someone looks a client straight in the eye and says "no, I will not do that, and neither will my team" and denies them their request, nothing will change, good devs will keep losing their spark to save themselves frustration, good people will walk away and the tyranny that we face daily grows... unless someone stands up, someone who cannot be knocked down, or reprimanded and told they're wrong for fighting for what's right.. unless someone stands up for what is right and fair... nothing changes... and nothing ever will... poor programs, bad games and content, lower standards, frustrated users, annoyance that you don't matter as a user or a dev will never go away... unless someone says enough. But no one will, money is the boss, morality a liability, and people an abundant resource. This world is backwards, devs are carrying the blame and no one who is able, cares enough to say "that's enough!".13
This was not exactly the worst work culture because the employees, it was because the upper level of the organization chart on the IT department.
I'm not quite sure how to translate the exact positions of that chart, but lets say that there is a General Manager, a couple of Area Managers (Infrastructure, Development), some Area Supervisors (2 or 3, by each area), and the grunts (that were us). Anyway, anything on the "Manager" was the source of all the toxicity on the department.
First and foremost, there was a lack of training for almost any employee. We were expected to know everything since day-1. Yes, the new employees had a (very) brief explanation about the technologies/languages were used, but they were expected to perform as a senior employee almost since the moment they cross the door. And forget about having some KT (Knowledge Transfer) sessions, they were none existent and if they existed, were only to solve a very immediate issue (now imagine what happened when someone quit*).
The general culture that they have to always say "yes" to the client/customer to almost anything without consulting to the development teams if that what was being asked to do was doable, or even feasible. And forget about doing a proper documentation about that change/development, as "that was needed yesterday and it needs to be done to be implemented tomorrow" (you know what I mean). This contributes to the previous point, as we didn't have enough time to train someone new because we had this absurd deadlines.
And because they cannot/wanted to say "NO", there were days when they came with an amount of new requirements that needed to be done and it didn't matter that we had other things to do. And the worst was that, until a couple of years (more or less), there was almost impossible to gather the correct requirements from the client/user, as they (managers) "had already" that requirement, and as they "know better" what the user wants, it was their vision what was being described on the requirements, not the users'...
And all that caused that, in a common basis, didn't have enough time to do all this stuff (mainly because the User Support) causing that we needed to do overtime, which almost always went unpaid (because a very ambiguous clause of the contract, and that we were "non-union workers"**). And this is my favorite point of this list, because, almost any overtime went unpaid, so basically we were expected to be working for free after the end of the work day (lets say, after the 17:00). Leaving "early" was almost a sin for the managers, as they always expected that we give more time to work that the indicated on the contract, and if not, they could raise a report to HR because the ambiguous clause allowed them to do it (among other childish things that they do).
Finally, the jewel of the crown, is that they never, but never acknowledge that they made a mistake. Never. That was impossible! If something failed on the things/systems/applications that they had assigned*** it was always our fault.
- "A report for the Finance Department is giving wrong information? It's the DBA's fault**** because although he manages that report, he couldn't imagine that I have an undocumented service (that runs before the creation the report) crashed because I modified a hidden and undocumented temporal table and forgot to update that service."
But, well, at least that's on the past. And although those aren't all the things that made that workplace so toxic, for me those were the most prominent ones.
* Well, here we I live it's very common to don't say anything about leaving the company until the very last day. Yes, I know that there are people that leave their "2-days notice", but it's not common (IMHO, of course). And yes, there are some of us that give a 1 or 2-weeks notice, but still it's not a common practice.
** I don't know how to translate this... We have a concept called "trusted employee", which is mainly used to describe any administrative employee, and that commonly is expected to give the 110% of what the contract says (unpaid overtimes, extra stuff to do, etc) and sadly it's an accepted condition (for whatever reasons). I chose "non-union workers" because in comparison with an union worker, we have less protections (besides the legal ways) regarding what I've described before. Curiously, there are also "operative workers", that doesn't belong to an union, but they have (sometimes) better protections that the administrative ones.
*** Yes, they were in charge of several systems, because they didn't trust us to handle/maintain them. And I'm sure that they still don't trust in their developers.
**** One of the managers, and the DBA are the only ones that handle some stuff (specially the one that involves "money"). The thing that allows to use the DBA as scapegoat is that such manager have more privileges and permissions than the DBA, as he was the previous DBA2
I really need to vent. Devrant to the rescue! This is about being undervalued and mind-numbingly stupid tasks.
The story starts about a year ago. We inherited a project from another company. For some months it was "my" project. As our company was small, most projects had a "team" of one person. And while I missed having teammates - I love bouncing ideas around and doing and receiving code reviews! - all was good. Good project, good work, good customer. I'm not a junior anymore, I was managing just fine.
After those months the company hired a new senior software engineer, I guess in his forties. Nice and knowledgeable guy. Boss put him on "my" project and declared him the lead dev. Because seniority and because I was moved to a different project soon afterwards. Stupid office politics, I was actually a bad fit there, but details don't matter. What matters is I finally returned after about 3/4 of a year.
Only to find senior guy calling all the shots. Sure, I was gone, but still... Call with the customer? He does it. Discussion with our boss? Only him. Architecture, design, requirements engineering, any sort of intellectually challenging tasks? He doesn't even ask if we might share the work. We discuss *nothing* and while he agreed to code reviews, we're doing zero. I'm completely out of the loop and he doesn't even seem to consider getting me in.
But what really upsets me are the tasks he prepared for me. As he first described them they sounded somewhat interesting from a technical perspective. However, I found he had described them in such detail that a beginner student would be bored.
A description of the desired behaviour, so far so good. But also how to implement it, down to which classes to create. He even added a list of existing classes to get inspiration or copy code from. Basically no thinking required, only typing.
Well not quite, I did find something I needed to ask. Predictably he was busy. I was able to answer my question myself. He was, as it turns out, designing and implementing something actually interesting. Which he never had talked about with me. Out of the loop. Fuck.
Man, I'm fuming. I realize he's probably just ignorant. But I feel treated like his typing slave. Like he's not interested in my brain, only in my hands. I am *so* fucking close to assigning him the tasks back, and telling him since I wasn't involved in the thinking part, he can have his shitty typing part for himself, too. Fuck, what am I gonna do? I'd prefer some "malicious compliance" move but not coming up with ideas right now.5
This is long rant/story:
My manager conducts sync-up meetings regularly. The idea is to sync up all developers on current state of work. He does’t conduct stand-ups. He doesn't have time for it. He rather discusses on individual basis if we are blocked. The rule of the sync-up meeting is NOT to discuss any blockers or problems but simply explain each other what we are doing and how we plan next.
Sometime ago, the manager brought up and explained a new way of working in the sync-up meeting. At this point, a new developer in the team was absent due to sickness.
Today, there was a sync-up meeting and the manager started to question the new member about the newly introduced way of working. He was unaware of it and the manager never communicated this important information via email or any mode of communication available.
So, the conversation goes on as follows:
"Manager": — "Why didn’t you complete your task as per the new way of working?"
"Employee": — "Well, I've no idea. Am I supposed to do? I’ve been working as usual like any other"
"Manager": — "We have a new process and you have failed to follow it, so we’re late in delivering your work"
"Employee": — "I’ve already finished my work on time. I've raised a pull-request this morning"
"Manager": — "It doesn’t matter, it is not merged to main branch and so we can’t include your work in the release"
"Employee": — "I’ve no idea about the new process"
"Manager": — "Haven’t you asked around about what happened from previous meeting"
"Employee": — "Yes, I have. I was told which tasks were handled, but nothing about a new process"
"Manager": — "Aren’t you interested to learn it?"
"Employee": — "Why won’t I be interested? I was on a sick leave and I have no clue what happened here"
"Manager": — "What’s happened is past now, let’s not focus on it"
"Employee": — <Dumbfounded>
The Employee felt ashamed in front of everyone. He did his job but it didn’t pay off.
…. After an hour … the Employee had a talk with the Manager
"Employee": — "You shouldn’t have pointed me out in front of everyone. It made me feel real bad. You should have emailed this information if its important for the team."
"Manager": — "I have no idea what you’re talking about. When did I say so? I think you’ve a bright future in the team. You should be focusing on doing better things."
Employee goes back to work. A minute later, the Manager sends a PowerPoint screenshot of the process in the group chat.
It's about delivering release packages based on priorities defined by client. Each release package is a set of work items or requirements. Individual developers are assigned to work items. They are expected to deliver on planned delivery timelines in order to consider a work item into a release package.1
Realising that sometimes customers just don't listen...or they don't even bother trying to understand what you are doing.
It's not the first time that a set of requirements have been agreed and then they turn round and go
Cust: "but we wanted it that way"
Us: "did you ask it for us? Cause it would have been in the statement of work..."
Cust: "no but sure, it won't take yous that long. So yous can still fit it in"
No matter how good things are going, a customer somewhere is going to fuck you over because "you should have known" about their requirements...1
Some of you know I'm an amateur programmer (ok, you all do). But recently I decided I'm gonna go for a career in it.
I thought projects to demo what I know were important, but everything I've seen so far says otherwise. Seems like the most important thing to hiring managers is knowing how to solve small, arbitrary problems. Specifics can be learned and a lot of 'requirements' are actually optional to scare off wannabes and tryhards looking for a sweet paycheck.
So I've gone back, dusted off all the areas where I'm rusty (curse you regex!), and am relearning, properly. Flash cards and all. Getting the essentials committed to memory, instead of fumbling through, and having to look at docs every five minutes to remember how to do something because I switch languages, frameworks, and tooling so often. Really committing toward one set of technologies and drilling the fundamentals.
Would you say this is the correct approach to gaining a position in 2020, for a junior dev?
I know for a long time, 'entry level' positions didn't really exist, but from what I'm hearing around the net, thats changing.
Heres what I'm learning (or relearning since I've used em only occasionally):
* Git (small personal projects, only used it a few times)
* Backend (Flask, Django)
* Frontend (React)
* Testing with Cypress or Jest
Any of you have further recommendations?
Gulp? Grunt? Are these considered 'matter of course' (simply expected), or learn-as-you for a beginner like myself?
Is knowing the agile 'manifesto' (whatever that means) by heart really considered a big deal?
What about the basics of BDD and XP?
Is knowing how to properly write user-stories worth a damn or considered a waste of time to managers?
Am I going to be tested on obscure minutiae like little-used yarn/npm commands?
Would it be considered a bonus to have all the various HTTP codes memorized? I mean thats probably a great idea, but is that an absolute requirement for newbies, or something you learn as you practice?
During interviews, is there an emphasis on speed or correctness? I'm nitpicky, like to write cleanly commented code, and prefer to have documentation open at all times.
Am I going to, eh, 'lose points' for relying on documentation during an interview?
I'm an average programmer on my good days, and the only thing I really have going for me is a *weird* combination of ADD and autism-like focus that basically neutralize each other. The only other skill I have is talking at people's own level to gauge what they need and understand. Unfortunately, and contrary to the grifter persona I present for lulz, I hate selling, let alone grifting.
Otherwise I would have enjoyed telemarketing way more and wouldn't even be asking this question. But thankfully I escaped that hell and am now here, asking for your timeless nuggets of bitter wisdom.
What are truly *entry level* web developers *expected* to know, *right out the gate*, obviously besides the language they're using?
Also, what is the language they use to program websites? It's like java right? I need to know. I'm in an interview RIGHT now and they left me alone with a PC for 30 minutes. I've been surfing pornhub for the last 25 minutes. I figure the answer should take about 5 minutes, could you help me out and copypasta it?
Okay, okay, I'm kidding, I couldn't help myself. The rest of the questions are serious and I'd love to know what your opinions are on what is important for web developers in 2020, especially entry level developers.7
I just came home from opening of the fiscal year of a small drivers' club and it was quite an amazing life experience.
I got about a 5-times "rise" for a first, small, post-due-time project.
All of the members were so relaxed in one of the most serious moments of an association. We ate, drank beer and had as much fun as possible without break the law and other rules.
The story goes like this:
I was an intern in a website development company as students tend to do. In middle of the internship my teacher asked me if I'd be willing to develop a website to the before mentioned organization.
School will help with the money by being as a middle-man. It wasn't going to pay much, about 120€ or so, it's nothing really for the job, but I said yes for the experience. We organized a meeting, school provided the space, and went straight to the business.
The development went quite well: I got the final design requirements late (there weren't too much), research a lot about CMS:s, ended up with a beta version CMS (a risk), learned it, developed some plugins (not published yet), kept copyrights for most of the work and so on.
I was done _relatively_ quickly with the project and was quite happy with it. Only things still pressing my mind was bugs of the beta CMS, support for the plugins and my somewhat inexperienced graphical design.
Then it hit me, the world. Hosting, domain transfer, certificates, registry agreements. Arrgh. Most of things were fine, I know them. I had luck that I had a technical contact for the club. It would have been a nightmare of it's own otherwise.
We had problems transferring the domain, again, as you do. The other hosting company was to blame. They were the n00bs here. I went trough the law, technical guidance, etc. I was having heavy messaging with my technical contact about it, who was a middle-man for me and the hosting firms.
After a long while loop of waiting, reconfiguring, researching and messaging, until he transfer was finally over.
We had a long while of radio silence after some bug fixes. Until the Christmas came and I was invited to a Christmas party in a cottage, third Christmas party that year. It was great fun. We ate, drank, talked, went to sauna and had a playful adult stiga or sledging competition, etc.
I updated the site yet again, a stable version of the CMS were published. Yess!
Another radio silence came and year changed. It was broken off by a call to the opening of the fiscal year, the same day. This is today, or yesterday by now. This was just after my current company's board game night. I was really busy that day. A whole afternoon of second-hand shopping around the city with a bike. I counted 35 kilometers. Yes I go by bike, don't own a car or have an driving license... Yet.
I wasn't horribly late, around 30 minutes. I started eating and drinking. Free food and beer! They was also late, they should've got trough the business before I got there, before eating. So I ate and listened. Learned more about having business or an association in general. Until my matter came to be heard. They thanked me of the co-operation and made public the change of my reward sum, I WAS GRANTED 500€ REWARD for the work. It's still not an amazing sum in a larger point of view, but I can imagine that it's big deal for a small non-profit organization, which was loosing money. Everybody applauded, every 25 members of the club. I was greatly pleased. I will have to update their site a bit still, but they are going to pay the reward ASAP.
Did I mention that the school works around the taxes, legally. Taxes for the reward, if it were assumed as a wage would be 15%, for me, at the worst case scenario, only for getting the money to my hands.
I was offered another gig at the event, but didn't promise anything yet. I left before sauna, so we didn't get to change contact details. He will find a way to reach me if he really wants so. I'm a busy free man.3
Just some more thoughts on Life and money, a spiritual sequel to my previous rant on money:https://devrant.com/rants/2854425/...
Based on thoughts from other people and my own experiences, I have made this pyramid(Please point me to stuff like this, if you have already seen one)
I will call it as "Goals of a general Human". Say if you have suddenly born into the world fully naked onto a street with a 21 year old body( in other words fully independent and without relations) , then i guess this would be your goal to live your next 60-80 years:
0. The zeroth point to note is that this pyramid runs on money. Their is no way a person could create even the bottommost level without money. Weather you earn it by yourself , someone else give it to you or you take it forcefully, everything could be just achieved by money.
1. The first thing for any human is to achieve the minimum requirements of living : food , clothes, shelter and education.
I often feel everyone should be definitely getting this, but sadly the biggest competition to struggle for life is seen in this level.
2. the 2nd comes equally as soon as the first gets filled: The need to get safety and health for ourselves. People are forced to live in pollution filled areas, near garbage or eating unhealthy food. Personally if i have made sure that i have clothes to wear, food to eat and a shelter above, i can only then make sure if the plate i am eating is clean, the cloth i am wearing is untainted and the place i am living is without any open sewer. Other than that.
3. The next comes the investments. People invest , keep their money in banks, buy lands and properties so as to have some money in case their daily life got disrupted, but more so for future needs.
4. The next comes the luxury. The Usually the people will put luxuries at par with basic needs . Personally.
5. The final stage is the power. Its a situation when you have a hell lot of money: you are no longer worried about the basic needs, quality of life, future needs, you can have the luxury as much as you want and yet you still have the money. At this stage you are powerful. Not just because you have a particular amount of money, but because for you, so much money is coming in "You can have whatever you want".
And that's where you get the definition of power : To be able to do what you want, without someone stopping you or without someone's help . You want a helipad in your home? done. You want to become the president of US? Done.
The power is so sweet to have that it eventually becomes a cockfight. Once you are the biggest in town, you want to continue working on it to remain the biggest. That's why i didn't capped the power triangle
I am often conflicted about what i really want. I do not desire the power. The definition of power is self centric, but its just not following the conventional system: If you want something you can achieve it no matter the impact on other people.
So do you really want to be that god like personna who could have anything without thinking about the impact? I am pretty sure that since money is so much intermingled with our lives , that if jeff bezos wants to get something done, without considering the society, it would definetly be harming someone on this planet.
Thus the "consideration" clause is very important at this level which could either make you the god or villain. I do not find myself in either of those shoes .
I am not sure if anyone has the right to be powerful. Every discussion that i could think of will result in someone coming out as villain or vcitim because of power. As @Fast-Nop pointed out in my previous post, having the ability to get what we want is not always highly impactful (Sorry for pointing you out, Fast-Nop). For eg, a sick rich family could get their loved ones treated faster through backdoors and other sources using money. but again, others got their life served through fate while the rich secured their life through money(welp, 2Large is suddenly the villain. Again, don't wanna go into that debate. I am just looking for a meaning of life)
I do not desire the luxuries (level 4). I *demand* for the basic necessities and health and safety. I wish to live in a world where i do not think of securing my future. Am I born in the wrong century or do i need to get a better mindset?18
It doesn't matter if you've done multiple projects with different tools, languages, team sizes and requirements for ANY company / org etc.
You will feel fucking stupid while taking too long on some of these questions.
I know interview questions are mostly to test your critical thinking skills but fuck I feel so bad after 2 evenings of doing this shit.
It is addictive though...2
A very long rant.. but I'm looking to share some experiences, maybe a different perspective.. huge changes at the company.
So my company is starting our microservices journey (we have a 359 retail websites at this moment)
First question was: What to build first?
The first thing we had to do was to decide what we wanted to build as our first microservice. We went looking for a microservice that can be used read only, consumers could easily implement without overhauling production software and is isolated from other processes.
We’ve ended up with building a catalog service as our first microservice. That catalog service provides consumers of the microservice information of our catalog and its most essential information about items in the catalog.
By starting with building the catalog service the team could focus on building the microservice without any time pressure. The initial functionalities of the catalog service were being created to replace existing functionality which were working fine.
Because we choose such an isolated functionality we were able to introduce the new catalog service into production step by step. Instead of replacing the search functionality of the webshops using a big-bang approach, we choose A/B split testing to measure our changes and gradually increase the load of the microservice.
Next step: Choosing a datastore
The search engine that was in production when we started this project was making user of Solr. Due to the use of Lucene it was performing very well as a search engine, but from engineering perspective it lacked some functionalities. It came short if you wanted to run it in a cluster environment, configuring it was hard and not user friendly and last but not least, development of Solr seemed to be grinded to a halt.
Elasticsearch started entering the scene as a competitor for Solr and brought interesting features. Still using Lucene, which we were happy with, it was build with clustering in mind and being provided out of the box. Managing Elasticsearch was easy since there are REST APIs for configuration and as a fallback there are YAML configurations available.
We decided to use Elasticsearch since it provides us the strengths and capabilities of Lucene with the added joy of easy configuration, clustering and a lively community driving the project.
Even bigger challenge? Which programming language will we use
What we’ve noticed during researching various languages is that almost all actions done by the catalog service will boil down to the following paradigm:
- Execute a HTTP call to fetch some JSON
- Transform JSON to a desired output
- Respond with the transformed JSON
Actions that easily can be done in a parallel and asynchronous manner and mainly consists out of transforming JSON from the source to a desired output. The programming language used for the catalog service should hold strong qualifications for those kind of actions.
Another thing to notice is that some functionalities that will be built using the catalog service will result into a high level of concurrent requests. For example the type-ahead functionality will trigger several requests to the catalog service per usage of a user.
To us, PHP and .NET at that time weren’t sufficient enough to us for building the catalog service based on the requirements we’ve set. Eventually we’ve decided to use Node.js which is better suited for the things we are looking for as described earlier. Node.js provides a non-blocking I/O model and being event driven helps us developing a high performance microservice.
The beauty of microservices and the isolation it provides, is that you can choose the best tool for that particular microservice. Not all microservices will be developed using Node.js and Elasticsearch. All kinds of combinations might arise and this is what makes the microservices architecture so flexible.
Even when Node.js or Elasticsearch turns out to be a bad choice for the catalog service it is relatively easy to switch that choice for magic ‘X’ or component ‘Z’. By focussing on creating a solid API the components that are driving that API don’t matter that much. It should do what you ask of it and when it is lacking you just replace it.
Many more headaches to come later this year ;)3
How do you think about unit testing/TDD when writing apps? (I'm working this at 3am so might be a bit messy... Just a thought I woke up to).
Whenever I write an app, I don't write unit tests but as I'm developing I may create test functions for specific parts that I run to validate a specific component is working before moving onto the next.
So first, when I get a problem, break it up into components based on the requirements. It's usually sort of input, processor, output sequence.
Where the processor is essentially the core app. And so I start coding it, referring to the input thru an interface, model objects, adding fields as I go along (assume no matter what the input, I will get these before the logic is called). I may add some more interfaces as well for other data I may need but I know won't be going in the first input.
So I write all the logic, functions needed to get a basic app to run that does what I am writing the app for.
Only then do I write a test functions passing in different parameters to make sure the logic and response is what I want and making fixes as necessary. At that point I basically have the simplest version of the app.
(I guess this is sort of like mocking?)
Then build outwards implementing and testing components as I go along and may do some simple refactoring/redesign. (I guess all these tests are functional then, have to start the whole app).
And finally when I have the basic requirements fully complete I will add the "nice to haves" on top via refactoring of specific logic in specific components. Again testing by running the app maybe with simple inputs.
I guess now I'm thinking how do you write unit tests/TDD if the app keeps changing (via adhoc refactorings) as you are creating it?
1. Able to create object with an event i.e click
2. Able to drag and move the object
3. Able to label it (for circle : inside it, for arrow: mid length)
4. Able to make double circle when specified event occurs,
5. Able to draw arrows from one object to other object or to self, and can also label the arrow.
Which technology stack should I use for this kind of requirements. doesn't matter desktop or web-applications.8